Friday, June 16, 2006

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi - Lo! The Sacred Host we Hail

Like always, these are random thoughts. I hope they're coherent. Feel free to comment.

This Sunday we get to celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ...Corpus Christi. Since that's the name of our group, I think it would be really cool if we could remember to pray for each other in a special way this Sunday. We may be all over the state (or in Canada if you count me), but "there is no distance between tabernacles" (I'm going to attribute that quote to Mother Angelica, but since I'm going by memory that could be wrong).

While Holy Thursday was the night on which our savior instituted the mystery of the Eucharist, that holy night is marked by sadness since it is the night of Our Lord's betrayal. The feast of Corpus Christi gives the Church the opportunity to contemplate the mystery of Christ's presence among us in the Eucharist in the joy of Easter. Instead of adoring Him by keeping watch near the altar of repose, we adore Him in the monstrance and celebrate with joyous processions and hymns.

The readings for this Sunday can be found here.

The readings tie into each other nicely. In the first reading we see Moses sacrificing young bulls as peace offerings to the Lord and sprinkling the blood on the people as a sign of the covenant God had formed with them. The second reading talks about how Christ's offering on Calvary is the fulfillment of the sacrifices of the Old Testament. Jesus was both priest and victim. In the Gospel reading Jesus doesn't only say "This is the cup of my blood." He goes on to say "which will be shed for many." The Eucharist has a sacrificial dimension as well. At every Mass, the one sacrifice of Christ is made present. Talk about a mystery!

I can't even fathom how God is so humble that He can take the appearance of bread and allow us to consume Him. The incarnation (God becoming man) was intense enough. God becoming our food...allowing us to consume's too much. How can I hope to be pure enough to feast at the banquet of the Lamb? I'm not...St. Paul tells us that we should examine ourselves before participating in the Eucharist lest we eat and drink judgment upon ourselves. That's pretty intense. If there are any sins that I could take back from my past they would be those times when I went to communion without examining myself carefully and receiving when I shouldn't have. Our Lord asks so little of us...fortunately for us, He is very merciful.

The Second Vatican Council called the Eucharist the "source and summit" of all Christian life. The Eucharist really is a banquet of love. Jesus promised that He would be with us always, even until the end of time, and He is truly, really, and substantially with us today. If we could only understand what happens each time we go to Mass....

Mary really is the woman of the Eucharist. In Ecclesia de Eucharistia, John Paul II says that Mary's fiat ("Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me as you have said.") resounds in the heart of every believer when they proclaim "Amen" prior to receiving the Eucharist. She is also present at every Mass with every saint in Heaven and every soul in purgatory. When I prepare to receive Communion, I always try to ask her to help me welcome Jesus into my soul with the same openness she did.

And so, with the Angelic Doctor, let's sing, shall we?

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
veneremur cernui:
et antiquum documentum
novo cedat ritui:
praestet fides supplementum
sensuum defectui.

Genitori, Genitoque
laus et jubilatio,
salus, honor, virtus quoque
sit et benedictio:
procedenti ab utroque
compar sit laudatio.


or, if you prefer:

Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail;
Lo! o'er ancient forms departing,
newer rites of grace prevail;
faith for all defects supplying,
where the feeble sense fail.

To the everlasting Father,
and the Son who reigns on high,
with the Holy Ghost proceeding
forth from Each eternally,
be salvation, honor, blessing,
might and endless majesty.



Blogger British Jenny said...

I liked that brad, thanks.

10:09 PM  

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