Sunday, May 29, 2016 Saint Joan of Arc Eve

Mark, Chapter 5, Verse 33
The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.

The woman in the chapter had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years and was ritually unclean by Jewish laws.

An unclean person in general had to avoid that which was holy and take steps to return to a state of cleanness. Uncleanness placed a person in a "dangerous" condition under threat of divine retribution, even death, if the person approached the sanctuary. Uncleanness could lead to expulsion of the land's inhabitants and its peril lingered upon those who did not undergo purification. Bodily discharges (blood for women, semen for men) represented a temporary loss of strength and life and movement toward death. Because decaying corpses discharged, so natural bodily discharges were reminders of sin and death. Physical imperfections representing a movement from "life" toward "death" moved a person ritually away from God who was associated with life. Purification rituals symbolized movement from death toward life and accordingly involved blood, the color red, and spring (lit. "living") water, all symbols of life.[1]

For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9). Christ also being clean took this woman uncleanliness and gave her his Holiness. Indeed she was filled with wonder and awe.

This day emulate our Lord by reflecting and living the prayer of St. Francis.

The Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

Corpus Christi[2]
Day of Wreaths

In some places of Europe Corpus Christi is known as the Day of wreaths. Exquisite wreaths of flowers are used in the pageants, either perched on banners, houses, and arches that stretch over the street, or worn by the participants of the procession. The monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament could also be adorned with a bouquet of flowers. After the solemnities these beautiful decorations would be taken home as keepsakes and posted over gardens and fields for blessing and protection.
Hymns

Special mention must be made of the exquisite hymns written by St. Thomas Aquinas for this feast and their subsequent popularity. Aquinas wrote four: Verbum Supernum Prodiens (for Lauds), Pange Lingua Gloriosi (Vespers), Sacris Solemniis (Matins), and Lauda Sion Salvatoris (Mass sequence). Parts of these, in turn, were used as separate hymns. The famous Tantum ergo Sacramentum used at Benediction is taken from Pange Lingua and O salutaris hostia is taken from Verbum Supernum, while Panis Angelicus is taken from Sacris Solemniis. These hymns have become cherished treasures of Catholic devotion and worship and should be sung with gusto on this great feast.






[1] http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/clean-unclean.html.

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