Year C. 29th May, 2016
Responsorial Psalm.109:1-4. “You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.”
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Gospel. Luke 9:11-17
This is such a beautiful feast day, the Body and Blood of Christ…. Or “Corpus Christi””, as it is also known…..
The Eucharist is so central to our church and to our faith…..
A priest I knew once described regular Eucharist as like the piers on a bridge…. The Length of the bridge represents the journey of our daily and weekly lives…. The upward support pylons of the bridge are what support the length of the bridge…. to keep the whole thing standing.
Similar to the image of a bridge, we need regular Eucharist as our weekly, (for many people a daily), support, along the whole length of our life-journey; lest the whole thing "caves in"….
It is so fitting to be celebrating this feast the weekend after many young people celebrated their first communion in this parish and (around this time) many parishes around the country and the world….. These confirmation and communion children have now been fully initiated into the life of the church… and the action that completes their full initiation is that they receive Holy Communion… And, by receiving Holy Communion they are truly are ONE with Jesus, united with God, and united with all of us, .. We are truly “in communion” of heart, mind and soul with God and one-another…..
I love to tell First communion candidates that “ First communion is a truly very special moment. There is only one thing better than first holy communion, and that is "second holy communion," and there is only one thing better than second holy communion and that is "third"….. and so on……. This sacrament makes the best sense when it is the beginning of a pattern for one’s weekly life…. (And most certainly may it NOT be the first and last time one ever comes to communion…and may it not be the first and rarest time that one occasionally comes to communion). Eucharist is participating in the fullness of our membership as a disciple of Jesus.
God comes to us in a ‘touchable’ (tangible) form and that is a gift of priceless value that we need to cherish by participating in regularly….
I remember when I was only about five or six…. In church at Canberra… (and by the way, my earliest memories of church was not in a church… in Canberra in the seventies, they had virtually no churches… and there were many growing and new areas… so we had masses at the local school assembly hall.. which was transformed into a church for the Sunday masses … God was present in the midst of the the church, literally the 'ecclesia' - "the People of God" gathered… The only permanent piece of furniture at that time was a tabernacle built into a wall, and kept safely locked to store the blessed sacrament.
I remember as a six year old being in awe and wonder about the Mass. Even then I KNEW that Jesus came to us in a real way during the Mass.. and made his home in our hearts…. , though I got a little confused about how this happened as I was too young to receive communion at this time… …. I somewhat confusedly thought that Jesus was released into our hearts when they went to opened the tabernacle at communion time… As a child I thought that that Jesus was in there locked away and at communion time they would go and unlock the tabernacle and Jesus would fly out and fill our hearts… Well.. I didn’t connect that the host given and the chalice given to people was Jesus truly coming into our hearts.. in a real way.. as real nourishment… Isn’t it wonderful how the child’s mind works… It is wonderful that God knows that we are physical beings who need tangible ways of connecting to God who is bigger than we can see or touch…. So, Our Lord gives us the gift and mystery of his Body and Blood. Real food and real drink for our spiritual journey and our connection to Christ.
The other thing I remember as a little child was the words of the priest… “the lord be with you… and we would say, (at that time and also with you” now of course we say.. “and with your Spirit”…. Then the priest would say, as we still do…. “Lift up your hearts…”
…….and I, as a six-year old would strain to lift up my chest as high as I could… I wanted to really “lift up my heart” to the lord …SOOO high……!!!
Even as adults… we want to lift up our hearts and lives to the Lord… we have so much to be grateful for… including our families, and friends and fellow parish members,..… who, by their lives and their example, have done what saint Paul has so beautifully written in this weekend’s Second reading… “We hand on what we in turn have had handed on to us … the message of Jesus”.. The gift of Holy Communion…. And the proclaimation of our membership as God’s sons and daughters…..
May the blessings of the sacrament fill our hearts and lives… so that WHAT we profess with our lips will be proclaimed by the loving ways we live our daily lives….. “We become what we eat”… As we take in the Body and Blood of Christ, we become more and more the Body of Christ …. A real sacrament and sign of God’s constant care and presence amongst us….always…
Fr Paul W. Kelly
here are some thoughts from my uncle vincent hodge, who has been studying the scriptures and adds these very interesting insights:
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The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ - Corpus Christi. Year C.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Lord Jesus, you raise us to new life: Lord, have mercy// //Lord Jesus, you forgive us our sins:Christ, have mercy//Lord Jesus, you feed us with your body and blood:Lord, have mercy//
1. We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection, until you come again.
2. When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.
3. Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection, you have set us free.
Preparation of the Gifts
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
Blessed be God for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
Blessed be God for ever.
Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father.
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.
Eucharist I p.35
Eucharistic Prayer II p.56
Go forth, the Mass is ended.