Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.” (1 Cor. 10:16,17)

Today we observe the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, also referred to as Corpus Christi, or in Latin “Dies Sanctissimi Corporis et Sanguinis Domini Iesu Christi,” meaning “Day of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ the Lord.”

While it is not a day like various holy days in the liturgical calendar, it nonetheless a very solemn commemoration regarding the institution of the Blessed Sacrament. In 1264, Pope Urban IV requested Thomas Aquinas to compose the Mass for this special occasion. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “My dearly beloved, is it not beyond human power to express the ineffable delicacy of this sacrament in which spiritual sweetness is tasted in its very source, in which is brought to mind the remembrance of that all-excelling charity which Christ showed in His sacred passion? Surely it was to impress more profoundly upon the hearts of the faithful the immensity of this charity that our loving Savior instituted this sacrament at the last supper when, having celebrated the Pasch with His disciples. He was about to leave the world and return to the Father. It was to serve as an unending remembrance of His passion, as the fulfillment of ancient types — this the greatest of His miracles. To those who sorrow over His departure He has given a unique solace.”

On this solemn occasion, our attention should be on the Eucharist itself. We should be thinking about the holiness of the day, the blessed presence of Christ, and the blessings given to the faithful of the Church. At Mass our focus should be on the suffering and death of our Lord. In the “communion of the body of Christ” we are reminded of the fact that we are united with Him. Thus, our entire being should be focused on the real participation in which we have in our Lord. Those who take communion are partaking of Him, and become one in Him.

May God bless you,
Fr. Charles
14 June 2020

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