06Jun June 6, 2021. The Most Holy and Precious Blood of Christ

Sunday June 6, 2021

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)

1st Reading: Exodus 24:3-8

Ratification by Moses and the people of their covenant with God on Mount Sinai.

Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and set up twelve pillars, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel. He sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed oxen as offerings of well-being to the Lord. Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he dashed against the altar. Then he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” Moses took the blood and dashed it on the people, and said, “See the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

Responsorial: Psalm 115:12-13, 15-18

R./: I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord

How can I repay the Lord
for his goodness to me?
The cup of salvation I will raise;
I will call on the Lord’s name. (R./)

O precious in the eyes of the Lord
is the death of his faithful.
Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;
you have loosened my bonds. (R./)

A thanksgiving sacrifice I make:
I will call on the Lord’s name.
My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
before all his people. (R./)

2nd Reading: Hebrews 9:11-15

Through Christ our high priest, God has made an eternal covenant with his people.

But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.

Now if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God! For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.

Gospel: Mark 14:12-16, 22-26

The Passover meal Jesus ate with his disciples the night before he died.

On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.” So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.

While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.


The table of fellowship

Sitting together for a meal can generate a special feeling of togetherness. Each of us will have our own memories of table companionship or fellowship. Many of these will be happy experiences of celebration and laughter, of love received and shared. Some memories of table fellowship may be sad, times when we were more aware of one who was absent than of those who were present. Jesus shared table many times with his disciples. It is likely that, when sharing food with his disciples, he also shared with them his vision of God’s kingdom . At table, the disciples imbibed something of Jesus’ mind and heart and spirit. Of all the meals he shared with them, the meal that stayed in their memory more than any other was their last meal together, what came to be known as the last supper. Today’s gospel gives us Mark’s account, his word-picture, of that last supper.

This last meal Jesus shared with his disciples stood out in their memory, capturing the imagination of generations of disciples right up to ourselves. He did more than share his vision with the disciples; he gave them himself in a way he had never done before, and in a way that anticipated the death he would die for them and for all, on the following day. In giving himself in the form of the bread and wine of the meal, he was declaring himself to be their food and drink. In calling on them to take and eat, to take and drink, he was asking them to take their stand with him, to give themselves to him as he was giving himself to them.

It was because of that supper and of what went on there that we are here in this church today. Jesus intended his last supper to be a beginning rather than an end. It was the first Eucharist. Ever since that meal, the church has gathered regularly in his name, to do and say what he did and said at that last supper — taking bread and wine, blessing both, breaking the bread and giving both for disciples to eat and drink.

Jesus continues to give himself as food and drink to his followers. He also continues to put it up to his followers to take their stand with him, to take in all he stands for, living by his values, walking in his way, even if that means the cross. Whenever we come to Mass and receive the Eucharist, we are making a number of important statements. We are acknowledging Jesus as our bread of life, as the one who alone can satisfy our deepest hungers. We are also declaring that we will throw in our lot with him, as it were, that we will follow in his way and be faithful to him all our lives, in response to his faithfulness to us. In that sense, celebrating the Eucharist is not something we do lightly. Our familiarity with the Mass and the frequency with which we celebrate it can dull our senses to the full significance of what we are doing. Every time we gather for the Eucharist, we find ourselves once more in that upper room with the first disciples, and the last supper with all it signified is present again to us.


 

4 Responses

  1. Thara Benedicta

    Key Message:

    There is a sufficient payment already paid for our entry to Heaven by the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus. All we need to do is to believe in the name of our Lord Jesus and enjoy our way to Heaven!!

    Homily:

    Takeaway from First Reading:
    The Israelites entered the covenant with God by promising, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” Obedience was the pre-requisite to enter the covenant. It makes God’s heart happy. Our caring Mother Mary says “Do whatever He tells you”. Jesus was obedient even unto His death on the cross!! Obedience is our part to play in the covenant!!

    Takeaway from Gospel & Second Reading:
    In the Old Testament days, once every year the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies and offer a young unblemished lamb as a sacrifice for the atonement of sins. But Jesus, our High priest entered the Holy of Holies, took His blood in His hands, and poured out in front of His Father, “Father, see the Blood I have shed for the forgiveness of sins of children. Please forgive them”.
    Hence, the Blood of our Lord Jesus forgives all our sins. Like the Israelites smeared the blood of lambs on their doorposts, let us smear the Blood of Lord Jesus Christ on ourselves.

    The difference in the blood of Christ and in the blood of Abel:
    Cain killed Abel and acted as though nothing had happened. But then God asked Cain, ‘What have you done? The blood of your brother cries out to me from the ground.’
    Abel’s blood cried out to God for justice. But the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ cries out to God for forgiveness.

    The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ forgives our past, present and future sins:
    The second reading, says “once for all” – yes, our Lord Jesus Christ once for all entered the Holy of Holies and redeemed us from our past, present and future sins. It is an unbelievable gift from God for us. All we need to do is to readily receive it in faith from our Lord Jesus like the good thief. Then we can hear the gift of Paradise from our Lord Jesus on the cross – “You will be with me in Paradise”.
    The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ washes away all our sins:
    Our dear Jesus crucified on the cross, prayed for the forgiveness of sins of those who crucified Him. Are we worried if our sins will be forgiven? The Lord Jesus shed blood for all those who crucified Him too. Can’t our sins be forgiven? Only when we do not believe in the power of redemption, will we experience a far away feeling from God, living with regrets, no joy or no enthusiasm. But God does not want us to live like that. He wants to see us enjoying life. Our dear Jesus forgave the sins of all those who came to Him. He saved the prostitute from being stoned, He even forgave those who crucified Him instantly. He did not ask them to undergo punishment for their sins and then get freed from it. Our Jesus is so loving, that He did not want them to even have a single guilty thought in their minds that they have sinned.
    The same loving Lord is still waiting for us to receive forgiveness of our sins and live happily.
    Hence, let us not look at life backwards and live with regrets. Let us ask forgiveness from God, forgive ourselves, and live life forward.
    Blood and Body of our Lord Jesus Christ cures our sickness:
    Isaiah 53:5 : “…. and by his wounds we are healed.”
    We find that there are four types of sickness, mentioned in the Bible.
    1. Sickness for the church of God
    2. Sickness for our discipline
    3. Sickness caused by sin
    4. Sickness caused by not taking care of our health.

    Sickness for the church of God:
    Colossians 1:24, “Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.”
    Paul says that He suffered in his flesh for the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. This kind of suffering we see in the life of all the saints and apostles of our Lord. For example, Little Thérèse of the Child Jesus writes that it is the blood that oozed from the right hand of Jesus hanging on the cross and that there was no one to hold it, stirred up her desire for saving souls. She decided to be at the foot of the cross always to hold the Blood of Jesus and pour it on the poor sinners. Hence, she was unwell for the major part of her life.
    Sometimes we also wonder why so many holy people are sick. It is because their sufferings serve the body of Christ.

    Sickness for our discipline:
    Even though the Apostle Paul was a completely dedicated servant of God, he says about the thorn in his flesh. He also explains that thorn was given to him so that he does not think highly of himself because of the revelations given to him. Hence, there are some sicknesses that are helpful for disciplining us. When the Apostle Paul prayed three times to take the sickness away, God said that His ‘grace is sufficient for you.’ Hence, there is some sickness that God allows us to go through for our betterment.

    Sickness caused by sins:
    The Bible says the wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ heal our sickness. When Jesus cured the paralyzed man, He said “Sin no more”. The same blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which cured the paralyzed man is still alive today forgiving our sins and curing all our diseases.
    Psalm 103:3 – forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,

    Sickness caused by not taking care of our health:
    In the Bible, we read Timothy became sick because He was overstraining for the sake of the Gospel. If we do not have a balance in our life (without proper rest/food/sleep/too much stress), then we tend to fall sick. The Blood of Jesus cures our diseases. These sufferings are not part of God’s plan for us. Jeremiah 17:14, “Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”

    Blood and Body of our Lord Jesus Christ brings us peace:
    Isaiah 53:5: “… the punishment that brought us peace was on him…”
    The Blood of Jesus brought us peace. When we know that our sins are forgiven, then we can enjoy the nearness of God. There is so much joy in it.

    The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ triumphs over Satan:
    There is an interesting story in Revelation on the war between God’s angels (Archangel Michael and Team) and Satan and his angels. Archangel Michael and God’s angels will win over Satan and his army. The interesting part that is written is: they win over Satan by the Blood of the Lamb. (Revelations 12:11 “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;”)
    Hence, there is no need to get frightened by the attacks of Satan. The Blood of Jesus will fight and protect us against the enemy’s attacks.

    Tips for applying the blood of the Lamb of God:

    1. When our Lord Jesus Christ has already paid for our sin, why should we too? All we can do is to just remember and believe that Jesus has already paid for our sins.

    2. The scenes at the foot of the cross are being replayed at our Eucharistic Celebration – Mass. What happens when we offer Mass for a soul? Why do we all practice it so regularly? It is because the sacrifice of the Body and the Blood of the Lamb is ‘being entered into’ in the Mass and is being poured out on the soul. Hence, we can offer Mass for any soul or an intention.

    3. If we are not able to offer Mass, then we need to attend Mass attentively. Even if it is an online Mass, the Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is still sacrificed.

    4. Our Lord Jesus asked Saint Faustina to portray a picture of Jesus with Blood and Water oozing out from His heart. He has asked us to pray remembering the Blood and Water that oozed out from His side for the salvation of the world. ‘O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus, I trust in You’. Meditating on the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ while reciting the Divine Mercy Chaplet protects us with the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    5. Through the day of our work, we can say beautiful prayers, ‘Blood of my Lord Jesus Christ, wash away my sins’ or ‘Blood of my Lord Jesus Christ, wash away my sins, sins of my family, the whole world and the Holy souls in purgatory.’ Say it anyway it is comfortable for you.

    6. Whatever be our need, we can pray to the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus. ‘Blood of Jesus, cure my family. Blood of Jesus, protect my job. Blood of Jesus, protect our parish. Blood of Jesus, protect us from evil works of Satan’.

    Blood of God paid for our names to be written in the book of life!!

  2. Chuck Ortego

    Thanks it is a good resource for seeing the Gospels from a different view. Thanks again Deacon Chuck Ortego

  3. George Kooran

    These days Thara Benedicta gives wonderful homiletic notes in the Response section.

    I wonder, how much the author’s reflections this time are in keeping with the present day Theological reflections, which is not anymore the ‘Atonement’ model.
    The author writes:
    “Key Message:
    There is a sufficient payment already paid for our entry to Heaven by the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus. All we need to do is to believe in the name of our Lord Jesus and enjoy our way to Heaven!!”
    And then in the ‘Take away from Gospel and second reading’:
    “But Jesus, our High priest entered the Holy of Holies, took His blood in His hands, and poured out in front of His Father, “Father, see the Blood I have shed for the forgiveness of sins of children. Please forgive them”

    Though there may be truth in all these, I wouldn’t prefer to give a homily in this line.

    Peace!

    George

  4. Paddy Ferry

    Fr. Brian logue. (Sunday 6th of June.) This may not be the correct slot to share this but I just needed to share it somewhere. I hope it can be found due to our ongoing problems with Recent Comments.

    My friend, Fr. Brian logue, a native of Kincasslagh –yes, where Daniel comes from–just two miles from my home in Keadue, celebrated 60 years of priesthood on Friday having been ordained on 4/6/1961. Brian served the Diocese of Motherwell here in Scotland and is now retired.

    I remember reading about Brian’s Silver Jubilee in the Scottish Catholic Observer–35 years ago now — and Tom Winning, Archbishop of Glasgow and soon to be Cardinal Archbishop, describing him during those celebrations as the finest priest he had ever known.
    My old friend, Fr. Jim McGarry, former PP of St.Paul’s here in Edinburgh once told me that in his home parish in Motherwell he was an altar server when Tom Winning was PP and Brian was the curate.

    I also remember well Brian coming home for his summer holidays and saying Mass in Kincasslagh and what a breath of fresh air he always was, enough to make a young lad give serious consideration to becoming a priest.

    I remember so well the evening of 4/6/1961 and how we all gathered at St. Mary’s Hall to welcome him home as a newly ordained priest. I was only 8 but I was playing in one of the marching bands gathered to meet him. Brian, however, never did arrive that evening. There had been a serious crossing of the wires and he did not arrive back in Kincasslagh until next day. I shared this memory with Brian a few years ago and he told me he never knew that he was expected to arrive home that evening.

    Brian has always been a lovely man and a wonderful priest. I am sure he would have been a member of the ACP if he had been at home in Ireland.
    I had to share this good news story of a great Irish priest.

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