Sunday, June 22, 2014

Today's Mass Reading's - Corpus Christi, Sunday, June 22, 2014 with Reflection

1ST READING - Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16
2 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. 3 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. 14 “Do not forget the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery; 15 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 16 and fed you in the desert with manna, a food unknown to your fathers.”
P S A L M - Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
R: Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
12 Glorify the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion. 13 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed your children within you. (R) 14 He has granted peace in your borders; with the best of wheat he fills you. 15 He sends forth his command to the earth; swiftly runs his word! (R) 19 He has proclaimed his word to Jacob, his statutes and his ordinances to Israel. 20 He has not done thus for any other nation; his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia. (R)
2nd READING - 1 Corinthians 10:16-17
16 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? 17 Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord; whoever eats this bread will live forever.
John 6:51-58
51 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.” 52 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”  53 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. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. 57 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. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

Today, the Church celebrates one of its most beautiful feasts— the Body and Blood of Christ, or Corpus Christi. The feast evokes memories for me as a seminarian, taking part in the procession of the Blessed Sacrament along the city streets — a great testimony of faith in the Body and Blood of the Lord which is given for the life of the world.
       This year, we take the Gospel from St. John. This is the longest discourse in the Gospel of John about Jesus referring to Himself as the Bread of Life. Jesus reminds His followers that He is the Living Bread that has come down from heaven. During the time of Moses, God rained down bread from heaven. Jesus does not go back on His words, even when His teaching on eating the body, His flesh, seemed repugnant to the crowds. Jesus comes to us as simple bread, ground into wheat by His death and resurrection. He is life for us. He gives Himself for our nourishment and sustenance. Many will find Jesus’ teaching hard to accept and so walk away from His offer of life. See how much Jesus loves us! He is present in the Eucharist and remains in our tabernacles, awaiting our adoration and worship.
       Bread was the staple food of the Jews and was also a symbol of the Torah, the law and teachings of God for our nourishment and well-being. Jesus Himself told us that if we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we will have eternal life. Just as Jesus has life from the Father, so too His followers are to have life from Him.
       How is our faith in the Eucharist? Do we value the importance of attending Mass? Today’s feast is an opportune time to renew our faith in the Eucharist by attending daily Mass, spending more time in adoration, or reading more on the value of the Eucharist (found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church). Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
REFLECTION QUESTION: How strong is your faith in the Body and Blood of Jesus?
Lord, we thank You for this feast of Your Body and Blood, the Corpus Christi. Enable us to live in union with You through the Eucharist.
St. Thomas More, martyr, pray for us.

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