For the life of the world

Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Today the Church celebrates the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. In the Old Testament reading Moses tells the people that man lives not just by bread, but also by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. The manna in the desert is a foreshadowing of the Eucharist. In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us we must eat his flesh and drink his blood to have eternal life. This Living Bread is unlike other food. Food we eat and absorb for health and strength of body. When we eat the Living Bread, however, rather than our bodies transforming it as food, Jesus transforms us into himself, into his body. We are unable to ascend to God on our own, and so, in the most profound humility, Jesus has humbled himself to come to us as man and also as the Living Bread. Let us bow and kneel as we ponder such a great mystery of the God who loves us so dearly as to come under such a guise and who does so that we may be healed, strengthened, and nourished as we journey through this valley of tears.

Scriptures of the Day

Old Testament: Manna from heaven: Deuteronomy 8:2–3, 14B–16A

Moses said to the people:
“Remember how for forty years now the LORD, your God,
has directed all your journeying in the desert,
so as to test you by affliction
and find out whether or not it was your intention
to keep his commandments.
He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger,
and then fed you with manna,
a food unknown to you and your fathers,
in order to show you that not by bread alone does one live,
but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the LORD.

“Do not forget the LORD, your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
that place of slavery;
who guided you through the vast and terrible desert
with its saraph serpents and scorpions,
its parched and waterless ground;
who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock
and fed you in the desert with manna,
a food unknown to your fathers.”

Responsorial Psalm: 147:12–13, 14–15, 19–20

Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

He has granted peace in your borders;
with the best of wheat he fills you.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

Epistle: One body in Christ: 1 Corinthians 10:16–17

Brothers and sisters:
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.

Gospel: Living Bread: John 6:51–58

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world.”

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

Mini Homily with the Bishop: Be Filled With Eucharistic Wonder

Question of the Day

Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you—for you alone?
He burns with the desire to come into your heart. — Saint Therese of Lisieux

Quotes of the Day

Corpus Christi reminds us first of all of this: that being Christian means coming together from all parts of the world to be in the presence of the one Lord and to become one with him and in him. …

With the gift of himself in the Eucharist the Lord Jesus sets us free from our “paralysis,” he helps us up and enables us to proceed, that is, he makes us take a step ahead and then another step, and thus sets us going with the power of the Bread of Life. — Pope Benedict XVI, homily May 22, 2008

Do not say that you have no time. Rather, acknowledge that you do not love him enough. If you did, you would leave everything in order to visit him. — Jose Guadalupe Trevino (Mexican priest, born 1889, author of The Holy Eucharist)

Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament has his hands full of graces, and He is ready to bestow them on anyone who asks for them. — Saint Peter of Alcantara (Spanish priest, 1499–1562, confessor of Saint Teresa of Avila)

This fountain [the Blessed Sacrament] is a fountain of light, shedding abundant rays of truth. And beside it the angelic powers from on high have taken their stand, gazing on the beauty of its streams, since they perceive more clearly than we the power of what lies before us and its unapproachable dazzling rays. — Saint John Chrysostom (ordained priest after living as an anchorite for 12 years, born in Antioch, 344–407)

in our fragmented lives, the Lord comes to meet us with a loving “fragility”, which is the Eucharist.  In the Bread of Life, the Lord comes to us, making himself a humble meal that lovingly heals our memory, wounded by life’s frantic pace of life.  The Eucharist is the memorial of God’s love.  There, “[Christ’s] sufferings are remembered” (II Vespers, antiphon for the Magnificat) and we recall God’s love for us, which gives us strength and support on our journey.  This is why the Eucharistic commemoration does us so much good: it is not an abstract, cold and superficial memory, but a living remembrance that comforts us with God’s love.  The Eucharist is flavoured with Jesus’ words and deeds, the taste of his Passion, the fragrance of his Spirit.  When we receive it, our hearts are overcome with the certainty of Jesus’ love.  — Pope Francis’ homily for Corpus Christi 2017