The Body and Blood of Christ (CORPUS CHRISTI) June 22, 2014
Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6:51-52
Today, we are celebrating the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. This special Feast is celebrated in remembrance of Jesus who gave His life for our salvation and commanded us to celebrate the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist in his memory. The Feast owes its existence to Blessed Juliana of Liege, who began devotion to the Blessed Sacrament in around 1230. Largely through her insistence, in 1264 Pope Urban 1V commanded its observance by the universal church. The Feast sums up three important confessions about our Faith. First is that God became physically present in the person of Christ, true God and true Man. Secondly, God continues to be present in His people as they form the Mystical Body of Christ in his church. Thirdly, the presence of God under the form of bread and wine is made available to us on the altar at Mass and preserved there for our nourishment and worship. Our liturgy today recalls the scriptural origins of this devotion. In the first reading of today Moses reminds his people of God’s many gifts and particularly to remember the manna, the food that had been unknown to their ancestors, through which he fed them during their journey in the desert. St Paul in the second reading reminds us that we receive Christ under the form of bread and wine. Because we are joined to him, we are also united to one another, leading to the building of the mystical body of Christ. In the Gospel Jesus immediately after the miracle of the multiplication of loaves proclaims that he is the bread of life. Whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood will have the eternal life.