Sunday, June 2, 2013

Corpus Christi

Today is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  It is also referred to as Corpus Christi. St. Michael's and Sacred Heart parishes will process with Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament from our church up Ridge Rd. to Sacred Heart. This is one expression of our Faith; but it's a very important one.

In the Gospel of St. John, chapter 6, Our Lord says: 
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. (vv. 54-56)
This teaching definitively says that the Holy Eucharist is not a symbol, but in fact the whole Jesus, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. In the same chapter we hear:
Then many of his disciples who were listening said, "This saying is hard; who can accept it?" ...As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?" Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. (vv. 60, 66-69)
If Jesus were speaking symbolically about eating his Flesh and drinking his Blood, He would have not let his disciples leave without giving them a further explanation. There are converts today who were lead to the Catholic Church because of this passage.

True disciples of Jesus believed this teaching. They may not have understood how it could be that they would eat His Flesh and drink His blood; but they didn't doubt that somehow it would happen. Indeed, it did happen at the Last Supper; and it has happened and continues to happen at every Mass. What a privilege to consume the Body and the Blood and the Soul and the Divinity of Christ. That is why it is so important to appreciate this Gift. All of us must prepare ourselves with prayer and good Confessions to receive our Lord.

Let us pray for those who do not know this Gift -- for those who think that the Eucharist is only a symbol of Jesus' presence. It is sad to say that some Catholics think this way. May they read slowly and prayerfully John 6 and then meditate on this truth. May they know the joy of having the real Presence in every tabernacle of every Catholic church throughout the world.
Father Stanley

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