The Holy Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Corpus Christi. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gifts of Knowledge and Understanding from the Holy Spirit so he can grow in love and awe of the Mass and by building the Virtues of Gratitude and Piety so he can joyously receive Christ’s life-saving Body and Blood.
Solemnity of the Corpus Christi – Sunday – Cycle A – Jn 6:52-58
After He Feeds the 5000 and walks on water, the crowds follow Jesus to the synagogue in Capernaum, seeking more miracles and signs. Instead, Jesus rebukes them and delivers His Bread of Life Sermon (Jn 6:22-59), cryptically revealing the miraculous truth that the Real Presence of His Body and Blood in the Eucharist will be available to mankind after His Resurrection.
Following His revelation of the necessity of eating His Body and Blood to receive eternal life, the Jews, including many of His disciples, begin to argue with one another and question Him; Jesus’ claim that men must eat His Body and drink His Blood is strange, for it sounds like cannibalism and goes against Jewish dietary laws which adamantly forbids the consumption of blood. Jesus responds in unambiguous terms: consuming His Body and Blood is required for eternal life and His Body and Blood is real food. Jesus’ blunt revelation is clearly understood by most of the crowd, not as a figure of speech but as literal; many refuse to continue to follow Jesus after this (Jn 6:60, 66).
After the Ascension, the Apostles continued to emphasize the celebration of the Eucharist (Acts 2:42). As early as the 5th century, the Holy Catholic Church celebrated a special day in recognition of the Eucharist, and by the 12th century established the Feast of Corpus Christi (Latin for the Body of Christ). Because Holy Thursday celebrates Christ’s example of the humble act of washing the feet of the Apostles, and the anticipation of the great sorrow of Good Friday, a separate feast day was established to focus on the Divine Gift of the Eucharist. Today, the week after the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Catholics around the world celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, glorifying God, giving thanks for His Most Precious Body and Blood in the Eucharist, and witnessing to the world by making public Eucharistic processions.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be stunned and awed by Jesus’ revelation of the Sacrament in the Eucharist in the Bread of Life Sermon: full of Divine Knowledge, Jesus makes no mistake when He explicitly uses taboo language that implies cannibalism to tell men they must “gnaw” on His flesh and drink His blood to receive eternal life; Divine Fortitude, Jesus courageously confronts the angry reaction of the multitude when they revolt against His description of the Sacrament of the Eucharist and He does not back down an inch.
Grow in love and awe of the Mass
Realize: Beginning with the Apostles, Christ’s Holy Catholic Church has grown in understanding and celebration of the Eucharist in the Mass for two millennia.
Believe: Reflect upon the Liturgy of the Eucharist (CCC 1345-1419).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gifts of Knowledge and Understanding so You help me better know and understand the marvelous Liturgy of the Mass, and I experience overwhelming awe and happiness each time I am blessed to be a witness of Christ’s Passion in the Eucharist.
Joyously receive Christ’s life-saving Body and Blood
Realize: Jesus, with the Divine Wisdom and Power as the Son of God, dies to give every Catholic man His Body and Blood.
Believe: Reflect upon the Eucharist as the Center of the Economy of Salvation (CCC 1333-1344) and is the Source and Summit of the faith.
Pray: Jesus, Holy Eucharist, help me build the Virtues of Gratitude and Piety (parts of Justice) so I grow in gratefulness and piously build a sacramental life, and I have an aching hunger for You and joyously receive Your Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist.