June 3, 2018: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Corpus Christi
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
For the Church, the option for the poor is primarily a theological category rather than a cultural, sociological, political or philosophical one. God shows the poor “his first mercy”. This divine preference has consequences for the faith life of all Christians, since we are called to have “this mind… which was in Jesus Christ” (Phil 2:5). Inspired by this, the Church has made an option for the poor which is understood as a “special form of primacy in the exercise of Christian charity, to which the whole tradition of the Church bears witness” This option – as Benedict XVI has taught – “is implicit in our Christian faith in a God who became poor for us, so as to enrich us with his poverty”. This is why I want a Church which is poor and for the poor. They have much to teach us. Not only do they share in the sensus fidei, but in their difficulties they know the suffering Christ. We need to let ourselves be evangelized by them. The new evangelization is an invitation to acknowledge the saving power at work in their lives and to put them at the centre of the Church’s pilgrim way. We are called to find Christ in them, to lend our voice to their causes, but also to be their friends, to listen to them, to speak for them and to embrace the mysterious wisdom which God wishes to share with us through them. (198) Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis
First Reading: Exodus 24:3-8
Psalm: 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18
Second Reading: Hebrews 9:11-15
Gospel: Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. “The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession. (1378)
It is highly fitting that Christ should have wanted to remain present to his Church in this unique way. Since Christ was about to take his departure from his own in his visible form, he wanted to give us his sacramental presence; since he was about to offer himself on the cross to save us, he wanted us to have the memorial of the love with which he loved us “to the end,” even to the giving of his life. In his Eucharistic presence he remains mysteriously in our midst as the one who loved us and gave himself up for us,210 and he remains under signs that express and communicate this love:
The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go to meet him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease.(1380)
“That in this sacrament are the true Body of Christ and his true Blood is something that ‘cannot be apprehended by the senses,’ says St. Thomas, ‘but only by faith, which relies on divine authority.’ For this reason, in a commentary on Luke 22:19 (‘This is my body which is given for you.’), St. Cyril says: ‘Do not doubt whether this is true, but rather receive the words of the Savior in faith, for since he is the truth, he cannot lie.'”
Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived;
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God’s Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there’s nothing true”
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Corpus Christi, Cycle B
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: No references this week
Water didn’t come from turning open a faucet or removing the cap from a bottle in the arid lands of ancient Palestine. Everyone’s water was drawn from wells and carried in earthen jars for use in their homes. Many times a job of servants to provide life giving water in harsh environs. Jesus sent two disciples into the city, to prepare for the Passover meal, telling them to encounter a man carrying a jar of water. On any given day numerous people would have matched that description. Phraseology used by Jesus for the disciple to engage with humanity. And like the pronouncement of His birth by the lowly shepherds, Jesus uses a servant carrying water for his master to point the direction to the place Jesus would reveal Himself to the world profoundly again though Eucharistic grace. An act not initiated in solemn ceremony, with pious platitudes, but the coming together in a celebratory meal. An act of using the most common items present on the table. An act communally shared. An act of self-giving love celebrated in His real presence for two millenniums. An act we participate in just like the first disciples.
The early covenant used the sacrifice, blood of animals and sprinkling of heifer’s ashes as an external cleansing of those defiled. Christ’s passing through the perfect tabernacle cleanses our consciences from meaningless works to offer thanksgiving to the living God for the promise of eternal inheritance. Eucharist, the most holy Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, will we let it transform us, quench our yearnings in life, nurture us to go forth as the hands and feet of Christ? Our simple Amen affirms our belief to the transformative power of the Eucharist in our lives and the world. The source and summit of our Catholic faith, an unfathomable gift yet paradoxically so simple, personal yet communal in the presence of all His people. The living bread that came down from heaven with the Lord’s pledge of eternal life.
Individual Reflection: Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
Start attending daily mass to daily revive the blessings and grace of the Eucharist.
Family Reflection: Psalm 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18
Discuss how the Eucharist transforms our lives.
Prayerfully, spend time this week before the Blessed Sacrament or tabernacle.
Blogs to Visit:
How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
Social Ministry Resources Engaging Parishes: Monthly and liturgical seasons resources for use with parish websites, bulletins and newsletters
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born May 25, 2018 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.