Thursday, June 20, 2019


FEAST OF CORPUS CHRISTI


2 Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verse 3
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts may be corrupted from a sincere [and pure] commitment to Christ.

Paul was concerned here about the faithfulness of the church knowing that where the mind goes so does the heart and soul. We are often plagued by worldly hearts.

Let us listen to the words of Saint John Vianney:

The World is Everything and God is Nothing![1]

“If people would do for god what they do for the world, my dear people, what a great number of Christians would go to Heaven! But if you, dear children, had to pass three or four hours praying in a church, as you pass them at a dance or in a cabaret, how heavily the time would press upon you! If you had to go to a great many different places in order to hear a sermon, as you go for your pastimes or to satisfy your avarice and greed, what pretexts there would be, and how many detours would be taken to avoid going at all. But nothing is too much trouble when done for the world. What is more, people are not afraid of losing either God or their souls or Heaven. With what good reason did Jesus Christ, my dear people, say that the children of this world are more zealous in serving their master, the world, than the children of light are in serving theirs, who is God. To our shame, we must admit that people fear neither expense, nor even going into debt, when it is a matter of satisfying their pleasures, but if some poor person asks them for help, they have nothing at all. This is true of so many: they have everything for the world and nothing at all for God because to them, the world is everything and God is nothing.”

*Corpus Christi[2]


WHY is this day called Corpus Christi? Because on this day the Catholic Church solemnly celebrates the institution of the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. The name, which is Latin, signifies the body of Christ.

Why is this feast not celebrated on Maundy Thursday? Because on Maundy Thursday, the day of the institution of this sacrament, the Church is occupied with the passion and death of Christ, and has no thought of joy, but gives herself up to grief.

By whom was this feast established? It was instituted by Pope Urban IV. Persuaded by a devout nun of Liege, who believed herself to be divinely encouraged to introduce this feast, Robert, Bishop of Liege, determined, in the year 1247 to celebrate this feast in his diocese. This intention he was prevented from carrying out by death. In the year 1264 Pope Urban IV commanded this feast to be solemnly celebrated throughout the whole Church. Clement V confirms the order, at the Council of Vienne, 1311, and fixed the feast on the first Thursday after Trinity Sunday.

For what purpose was this feast instituted, and why are processions so solemnly held on this day?

1. To declare, openly, to the faithful the real and substantial presence of Jesus in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
2. In order to manifest, in the sight of heaven and earth, honor and adoration for Him before Whom every knee shall bow.
3. To give public thanks for the institution of this holy sacrament, and for all the graces thereby conferred upon the faithful.
4. To repair, in some measure, by solemn adoration, the wrongs done to Christ, in this sacrament.
5. To bring down God’s blessing upon the land and upon the people.
6. To show that Jesus, as true God, dwells not only in temples built by hands, but that He has heaven for His throne, the earth for His foot stool, and the whole world for His temple.

The Church sings at the Introit of the Mass: He fed them with the fat of wheat, alleluia; and filled them with honey out of the rock, alleluia, alleluia. Rejoice to God our helper, sing aloud to the God of Jacob” (Ps. Ixxx.).

Prayer. O God, Who in this wonderful sacrament hast left us a memorial of Thy passion, grant us, we beseech Thee, so to reverence the sacred mysteries of Thy body and blood, that we may ever perceive within us the fruit of Thy redemption.

EPISTLE, i. COR. xi. 23-29.

Brethren: For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, broke and said: Take ye and eat: This is My body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of Me. In like manner also the chalice, after He had supped, saying: This chalice is the New Testament in My blood, this do ye as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of Me. For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord until He come: therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so, let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself: not discerning the body of the Lord.

GOSPEL. John vi. 56-59.

At that time Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews: My flesh is meat indeed and My blood is drink indeed; he that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father so he that eateth Me, the same also shall live by Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead. He that eateth this bread shall live forever.

Why did Jesus say, this is the bread that came down from heaven? He wished thereby to teach the Jews that the bread which He would give them, like the manna, came down from heaven, and was, indeed, the only true bread from heaven. The manna was but a type and could only prolong the life of the body. The type was now to be fulfilled; the bread that He was about to give them would impart to them eternal life, and this bread would be His flesh, Himself, Who truly came from heaven, to redeem mankind, and to bring them to life everlasting. Jesus calls His flesh bread, partly on account of its likeness to the manna, partly on account of its effect; for as bread nourishes the body, and sustains the earthly life, so the body of Christ, in the Holy Sacrament, nourishes the soul, and imparts to it, continually, a new, divine, and everlasting life.

What is the Holy Sacrament of the Altar? It is that sacrament in which, after the words of its institution have been spoken by the priest, Jesus Christ is present, whole and entire, in His Godhead and in His manhood, under the appearance of bread and wine.

When and how did Jesus institute this sacrament? At the Last Supper; In the night, before He was betrayed, He took bread, and, giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to His disciples saying, Take and eat, for this is My body which will be given for you. In the same manner, He took the chalice and said, Take and drink, for this chalice is the new covenant in My blood. Do this as often as you drink from it in commemoration of Me.

What did Jesus affect by these words? He changed bread and wine into His most precious body and blood.

Has He given to others the power to do the same? Yes; He gave this power to His apostles and their successors, the bishops and priests, in these words: Do this in commemoration of Me.

What takes place at the words of consecration? Bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and only the outward appearances of bread and wine remain.

How is Jesus present in the Most Holy Sacrament? He is present, truly, really, and substantially, in His divinity and humanity, in flesh and blood, in body and soul, under the appearances of bread and wine.

Why do we believe this?

1. Because the words of Jesus do not reasonably admit of any other meaning: since by them we see

(a) that Jesus gave His disciples a certain nourishment which they were to eat;

(b) that this nourishment was bread and wine to all appearances, but Jesus called the bread His body, which was afterwards to be sacrificed for us, and the wine His blood, which was to be shed for us: this food consequently was not bread and wine, but, under the appearance of bread and wine, was indeed His body and blood; since what He gave for our redemption was not bread and wine, but His true body and His true blood;

(c) that as the body and blood of Jesus were inseparable from His soul and divinity, He gave Himself up for our nourishment, whole and undivided, as He hung, bled, and died upon the cross;

(d) that He commanded what He had done to be continued until He should come again (1 Cor. xi. 26), that is, until the end of the world; and that He,

(e) on account of this being His testament, and the New Law, was not at liberty to speak figuratively, but plainly and distinctly.

2. Because the apostles preached this very doctrine.

3. Because the Catholic Church, the pillar and foundation of truth, has thus constantly taught, from the apostle’s times down to the present day, as the oldest Councils and the Holy Fathers unanimously testify.

Body of Christ[3]

Feast of Corpus Christi, in the U.S., said on the Sunday rather than the Thursday after the Feast of the Holy Trinity. An adoration of the Food that sustains us on our post-Pentecostal pilgrimage and "the pledge of our future glory" The history of Corpus Christi started with a humble Belgian girl at the age of sixteen, who began having visions of a bright moon marred by a small black spot. After years of seeing this perplexing portent, Jesus Christ appeared to her and revealed its meaning. The moon, He told her, represented the Church calendar, and the black spot the absence of a feast in honor of the Blessed Sacrament. That nun was St. Juliana, Prioress of Mont Cornillon (1258), and the Feast she was commissioned by our Lord to promote was the feast of Corpus Christi. Even before its universal promotion in 1314, Corpus Christi was one of the grandest feasts of the Roman rite. At the request of Pope Urban IV (d. 1264), the Mass proper’s and divine office for this day were composed or arranged by St. Thomas Aquinas, whose teaching on the Real Presence was so profound that the figure of Jesus Christ once descended from a crucifix and declared to him, "Thou hast written well of me, Thomas." The mastery with which Aquinas weaves together the scriptural, poetic, and theological texts of this feast amply corroborates this conclusion.

Processions & Pageants

Though Maundy Thursday is in a sense the primary feast of the Blessed Sacrament, Corpus Christi allows the faithful to specially reflect on and give thanks for the Eucharist. Hence there arose a number of observances centered on Eucharistic adoration. The most conspicuous of these is the splendid Corpus Christi procession. This public profession of the Catholic teaching on the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament was solemnly encouraged by the Council of Trent: there is even an indulgence attached to all who participate in it. By the 1600s, the procession on Corpus Christi had become the most famous of the year. Long parades of faithful walk with the Blessed Sacrament (carried in a monstrance by the priest) while church bells peal and bands play. In Latin countries, the streets are blanketed with boughs and flowers, often elaborately woven together. Sometimes a variation on the custom of Stations is employed (see Stational Churches, etc.), where the procession stops at several points for benediction and adoration. By its very nature, the Corpus Christi procession encouraged pageantry. In addition to the grandeur mentioned above, vivid symbolic reenactments of various teachings became a part of the procession. During the height of baroque piety, people impersonating demons would run along aside the Blessed Sacrament, pantomiming their fright and fear of the Real Presence. Others would dress as ancient’s gods and goddesses to symbolize how even the pagan past must rise and pay homage to Christ. Still others would carry all sorts of representations of sacred history: Moses and the serpent, David and Goliath, the Easter lamb, the Blessed Virgin, etc. But the most popular of all these was the custom of having children dress as angels. Appearing in white (with or without wings), these boys and girls would precede the Blessed Sacrament as symbols of the nine choirs of heavenly hosts who ever adore the Panis Angelicum, the Bread of Angels.

At Holy Trinity German Church, the Corpus Christi procession was the most important of the year. One witness to the procession of 1851 wrote:
The girls clad in white, with lilies in their hands, groups of symbolic figures, with banner and flags, the boys with staffs and rods, all the associations of the parish with their signs and symbols and burning candles, finally the flower-strewing little children preceding the clergy -- all these made a fantastic impression (from Holy Trinity German Catholic Church of Boston: A Way of Life, Robert J. Sauer (Dallas, TX: Taylor Publishing, 1994), p. 49)

Plays

Medieval piety is famous, among other things, for its mystery plays, theatrical pieces held after Mass on great feast days that dramatized the lesson or mystery of the day. These effective didactic tools were enormously popular, but perhaps none so much as those held on Corpus Christi. Shakespeare gives an oblique allusion to them when he has Prince Hamlet speak of the Termagant, a violent, overbearing woman in long robes who appeared often in these productions (Hamlet III.ii). Favorite medieval saints, such as George and Margaret, would often be the protagonists, though the details and plot varied from place to place. Perhaps the most famous of these plays are the Autos Sacramentales (Plays of the Sacrament) by Fr. Pedro Calderon de la Barca (1681).

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.

Thursday Traditional Corpus Christi[4]


The Feast of Corpus Christi commemorates the sacrament of Holy Communion in the Roman Catholic Church.  This includes the receiving of the Eucharist which Catholics know is the body and blood of Christ.

This feast seeks to remind us of Jesus Christ's sacrifice Do this in remembrance of me -
Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25.

In many countries, Corpus Christi is observed on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, however where it is not a holy day of obligation, the celebration occurs on the Sunday that follows.

Today as Catholics we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi or the body of Christ. As Catholics the one thing that has always been consistent in the church is the taking of the body of our Lord.

While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is my body." Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many. (Mark 14:22-24)

Feast of Corpus Christi Facts & Quotes

·         In the Middle Ages, the priest was the only person who received the elements.  The congregation watched him eat the bread and drink the wine.
·         The Sacraments are Jesus Christ's presence in us.  So, it is important for us to go to Confession and receive Holy Communion. - Pope Francis via twitter on Nov 23, 2013.

Feast of Corpus Christi Top Events and Things to Do

·         If you're Christian, go to Mass and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of Corpus Christi.
·         Travel to the Vatican City and watch the annual procession of the Blessed Sacrament, headed by the Pope, through the streets of Rome.
·         A wide range of theologies exist about Holy Communion.  Read about how the elements of bread and wine are related to the body and blood of Christ depending on your denomination.

Novena to the Sacred Heart[5]


This novena prayer was recited every day by Padre Pio for all who asked for his prayer. You are invited to recite it daily, so as to be spiritually united with the prayer of St. Pio of Pietrelcina.

Prayers

I. O my Jesus, You have said "Truly I say to you, ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you." Behold I knock, I seek, and I ask for the grace of . . . .
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father... Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
II. O my Jesus, You have said, "Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in My Name, He will give it to you." Behold, in Your name, I ask the Father for the grace of . . . .
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father... Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
III. O my Jesus, You have said, "Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away, but My words willl not pass away." Encouraged by Your infallible words, I now ask for the grace of . . . .

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father... Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have mercy on us sinners, and grant us the grace which we ask of You, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Your tender mother and ours.
Say the Hail Holy Queen (Salve Regina) prayer. Conclude with: St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.

World Refugee Day[6]


World Refugee Day serves to commemorate the strength, courage and resilience of millions of refugees that have been forced to flee their homes out of fear of persecution or to escape disasters. The day also aims to recognize refugees for their contribution to the world. According to the United Nations, there are more than 50 million people displaced by war and violence, of which 33 million are internally displaced while the other 17 million are refugees, mostly in neighboring nations.

The
United Nations General Assembly designated World Refugee Day in December 2000. It is celebrated every June 20th, a day chosen in order to coincide with Africa's previously celebrated Refugee Day.

June 14, 2019

WASHINGTON[7]— Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration has issued a statement in support of Catholic Bishops of Mexico who have expressed concern regarding a recent agreement between Mexico and the United States which will restrict the flow of migrants at the U.S./Mexico Border.
·         "We express our concern for the lack of a truly humanitarian reception for our brother migrants, which reflects our conviction regarding the protection of the rights of all human beings equally," the bishops further stated, "Our brother migrants must not be a bargaining chip. No negotiations should be placed above what the church and civil society have defended for years: not criminalizing migrants nor the defenders of human rights.”
·         We stand in solidarity with our brother bishops in Mexico. We implore the Administration not to confuse economic issues with the humanitarian issues of forced migration. Families fleeing violence, persecution and extreme poverty must be treated with love and compassion and not be used as a tool for negotiations.
·         As always, we recognize the right of a nation to secure its borders.  However, the Gospel teaches us to love our neighbor. This is the imperative we must follow in treating our migrant brothers and sisters with compassion and dignity. We should be working with the governments of the Northern Triangle and the Mexican Government to eradicate violence and improve the local economies from which families are being forced to migrate.”

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         90 Days for our Nation, 54-day rosary-Day 38
·         Go to MASS and have a Kouign Amann afterward
·         Novena to Sacred Heart Day 1



* This feast is no longer a holyday of obligation in the United States.
[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
[5]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=892

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