Thursday, 20 June 2019 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, Corpus Christi (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the great Solemnity of the Most Holy and Most Precious Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, also known as the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, a great day and occasion dedicated to one of the most important central tenets of our Christian faith, in our belief and firm conviction that God Himself has given us His own Precious Body and His own Precious Blood to be partaken.

We believe that in the celebration of the Holy Mass, or more appropriately, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the priest minister as the representation of Christ Himself, acting in persona Christi, unites the offerings of the bread and wine made at the Offertory with the offerings that Christ Himself had made to His heavenly Father as our one and true Eternal High Priest from the Altar of His Cross at Calvary.

The bread and wine themselves have been completely and fundamentally transformed into the essence and material of the Lord’s Body and Blood Himself, in what is known as the Transubstantiation. Therefore, while the bread and the wine themselves still appear to be the appearance and texture of bread and wine, but the moment they are consecrated by the priest they become completely and truly the matter and the essence of the Lord’s own Body and Blood.

There are those who doubted the veracity and truth behind this seemingly mysterious and otherworldly transformation, as by our eyes and senses, by the appearance and by the taste and texture, the bread and wine seemingly remain unchanged as they were. However, this is where our faith is essential and necessary, because we truly believe that each and every one of our priests, moulded and ordained in the same order of priesthood as Christ is, and representing Christ Himself, has truly been given the power and authority to turn the bread and wine into Our Lord’s Body and Blood.

The Lord Himself made it clear in one occasion as He taught the people about Himself as the Bread of Life, the Living Bread Who has come down from heaven to the midst of His people, to give them the true Bread by which all of those who partake in this Bread will never hunger again and will have a share in the eternal life promised to all those who have received this Bread worthily and with faith.

He was not just mentioning this Bread of Life randomly at that occasion without reason. In fact, He was referring to His very own Flesh and Body, His own Blood as He made that teaching to the people. The Lord speaks only the truth, and therefore, how can the Lord bluff or lie to the people about His own Body when He spoke of it then? He spoke of His own Body as real Food, to be partaken by His people, His faithful ones.

And in today’s Gospel passage, we heard yet another occasion in the Gospel, when the Lord miraculously provided for the need of His people, in feeding the five thousand men and countless other women and children when they were hungry and without food, giving them bread and fishes to eat, out of merely five loaves of bread and two fishes that were available. This occasion was in fact a prefigurement and premonition of what was to come in the Sacrifice of the Cross, though the people then did not know it as yet.

As the Lord offered the bread and the fishes and giving thanks to His heavenly Father, He was representing His own upcoming sacrifice, in which He offered Himself instead as the perfect offering for the oblation and atonement of all of our sins. In the olden days, lambs and other animals were used in sacrifices according to the Jewish laws and customs to be the sin offerings to atone temporarily for one’s sins.

And in the time of the Passover, if we remember, the people chose a young, unblemished lamb to be slaughtered and as a sign of God’s providence and salvation, with the blood of the lamb being smeared and placed on the doorposts of the houses of the people of Israel, as sign for God’s Angels to ‘pass over’ them as they scourged the whole land of Egypt for the firstborn sons of the Egyptians.

Therefore, at the celebration of the Holy Mass, the Holy Sacrifice of Our Lord on the Cross, we mark our new Christian Passover, in which a new Covenant had been made by God to be binding between Him and all of us. He offered not the imperfect offerings of lambs and animals of this world, but His own Most Holy and Precious Body and Blood, as He was ‘slaughtered’ on the Cross for the crimes that His enemies had charged on Him.

He laid down Himself and offered His Body and Blood as the perfect sacrifice and offering before God, on the Cross which is His Altar. He is our Paschal Lamb by Whose Blood we have been marked as those who are faithful and worthy to be saved from eternal damnation and destruction because of our sins. By His Most Precious Blood, if we refer to the Book of the Revelations of St. John, the holy martyrs have been washed and made clean in their own outpouring of their blood, and thus, we too are made clean by His Blood.

The Lord Himself has given His all for our sake, laying down His own life and giving His own Most Holy and Precious Body and Blood for us all to partake, in that same Sacrifice at Calvary, to which each and every celebrations of our Holy Mass are united to, not as separate and different sacrifices as some would have misunderstood it, thinking that the Lord is being sacrificed and offered again and again, but in fact, the truth is every time the Eucharist is celebrated, it is the same Sacrifice of Our Lord at Calvary again.

And this is what we truly believe, that God Himself has truly become present in our midst, in the form of His own Most Precious Body and Blood in the Eucharist, and therefore, He is truly and really present in that Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist we receive and partake, a Holy Communion that each and every one of us members of the Church share with one another, and that is why we become the part of the Church, the Body of Christ.

If God Himself has come into our midst and entered into our bodies as we receive Him, then it is of the utmost importance that we understand what this means for us, and how we live our lives from now on, or else we scandalise our own faith and God by our unworthiness and by our own actions that are against His ways. What do I mean by this? I mean that if we believe that the Lord is truly present in the Eucharist then we will do our very best to make sure that we are properly prepared and worthy to receive Him.

Of course this must be understood also in the context that the Lord also seeks to gather all those who have been lost to Him, in extending His mercy and forgiveness to those who have sinned, and the Eucharist is one way that this reconciliation has been made in full. Yet, if one is to receive the Eucharist, the Most Precious and Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord in a state of continuing sin, then it is also a scandal to our faith.

We have to be properly predisposed and be prepared to receive Him into ourselves. And we do not have to look far but see how in the liturgical celebrations, we do our very best in everything, to make use of the finest and greatest materials to contain the most Precious matter of God’s Body and Blood, using only precious and incorruptible materials such as gold and silver for the chalices and ciborium used to contain the Sacred Host and Blood of the Lord.

And the Tabernacle housing the Lord’s Presence in that same Eucharist is also made using the finest materials, in a way comparable to that of the Temple of God in Jerusalem at the time of Solomon, where everything that is finest and good were used to adorn the whole Temple, with the Ark of the Covenant being the most precious of all, made using gold and finest materials, and so holy that no one was allowed to touch it.

Then, we know of an even better Tabernacle, the one who had contained the Lord Himself for nine months in her womb, and she is none other than Mary, Our Lord’s own Mother, who had borne our Lord and Saviour in her, and for this very purpose, the Lord made her, as the finest Tabernacle, not crafted by human hands unlike our chalices, ciborium, Tabernacles or the Temple of God in Jerusalem, but the perfect and unblemished human being, not tainted by the corruption of original sin, Mary, conceived and born without sin.

God did so much to prepare His own Mother to bear His holy and most sacred Presence in her, to show that when God is truly present in our midst, there can be nothing less than doing our best just as He has done His best, to bear His Presence, for nothing evil and wicked can truly exist in His Presence and survive. In the same way therefore, do we realise that when we receive the Lord into ourselves through the Eucharist, we too have become the Tabernacles and Temples of God’s own Presence?

St. Paul spoke of this, how by receiving the Lord into ourselves we have made ourselves into Living Temples, the Temples of His Presence and the Temples of the Holy Spirit. And if we sully the sanctity of this Holy Temple, that is our body, heart, mind and soul with the corruption of sin, it is indeed a great sin and wickedness we have committed against God Himself. That is why, as Christians, we are called to be worthy and to be ready to welcome the Lord’s Holy Presence into ourselves.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is where and when we are called to recommit ourselves in our faith, to live in accordance with our faith again if we have fallen away and went astray from the true faith. We are called to turn towards God, Who is ever loving and merciful towards us. We only need to ask, and He will forgive us our sins, and that is what the Sacrament of Reconciliation is for, readily available through our priests.

Let us all from now on truly show it in our lives, in our every actions, in how we consciously and actively participate in the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and in how we reverently receive Him in the Most Holy Eucharist, to show everyone that truly, the bread and wine which we brought to Him in offering, has become nothing less than God’s own Most Holy and Precious Body and Blood, which He offers to us generously for the sake of our salvation.

May the Lord, Who is ever present in us, and Who is our Bread of Life continue to be with us, and guide us in our journey of life, so that each and every one of us who have worthily received Him into ourselves, may be transformed by His Presence into beings truly worthy to be called God’s own beloved people and God’s own beloved children. May God be with each and every one of us, now and always. Amen.

Thursday, 20 June 2019 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, Corpus Christi (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 9 : 11b-17

At that time, Jesus welcomed the people of Bethsaida, and began speaking about the kingdom of God, curing those who needed healing. The day was drawing to a close, and the Twelve drew near to tell Him, “Send the crowd away, and let them go into the villages and farms around, to find lodging and food, for we are here in a lonely place.”

But Jesus replied, “You yourselves, give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves and two fish. Do You want us to go and buy food for all this crowd?” for there were about five thousand men. Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.”

So they made all of them sit down. Jesus then took the five loaves and two fish, and, raising His eyes to heaven, pronounced a blessing over them; He broke them, and gave them to the disciples to distribute to the crowd. They ate and everyone had enough; and when they gathered up what was left, twelve baskets were filled with broken pieces.

Thursday, 20 June 2019 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, Corpus Christi (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Corinthians 11 : 23-26

This is the tradition of the Lord that I received and that in my turn I have handed on to you; the Lord Jesus, on the night that He was delivered up, took bread and, after giving thanks, broke it, saying, “This is My Body which is broken for you; do this in memory of Me.”

In the same manner, taking the cup after the supper, He said, “This cup is the new Covenant in My Blood. Whenever you drink it, do it in memory of Me.” So, then, whenever you eat of this bread and drink from this cup, you are proclaiming the death of the Lord until He comes.

Thursday, 20 June 2019 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, Corpus Christi (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 109 : 1, 2, 3, 4

The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand till I make Your foes Your footstool.”

From Zion the Lord will extend Your mighty sceptre and You will rule in the midst of Your enemies.

Yours is royal dignity from the day You were born in holy majesty. Like dew from the womb of the dawn, I have begotten You.

The Lord has sworn, and He will not take back His word : “You are a Priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”

Thursday, 20 June 2019 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, Corpus Christi (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Genesis 14 : 18-20

Then Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought bread and wine; he was a priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Maker of heaven and earth! And blessed be God Most High Who has delivered your enemies into your hands!”

And Abram gave him a tenth part of everything.

(Usus Antiquior) The Feast of Corpus Christi (I Classis) – Thursday, 20 June 2019 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : White
Offertory

Leviticus 21 : 6

Sacerdotes Domini incensum et panes offerunt Deo : et ideo sancti erunt Deo suo, et non polluent Nomen Ejus. Alleluja.

 

English translation

The priests of the Lord offer incense and loaves to God, and therefore they shall be holy to their God, and shall not defile His Name. Alleluia.

 

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Ecclesiae Tuae, quaesumus, Domine, unitatis et pacis propitius dona concede : quae sub oblatis muneribus mystice designantur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Of Your goodness, we beseech You, o Lord, grant to Your Church the gifts of unity and peace which are mystically represented under the gifts we offer. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

 

Communion

1 Corinthians 11 : 26-27

Quotiescumque enim manducabitis panem hunc et calicem bibetis, mortem Domini annuntiabitis, donec veniat : Itaque quicumque manducaverit panem hunc vel biberit calicem Domini indigne, reus erit Corporis et Sanguinis Domini, Alleluja.

 

English translation

As often as you shall eat this bread, and drink this chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord until He comes. Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink of the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord. Alleluia.

 

Post-Communion Prayer

Fac nos, quaesumus, Domine, divinitatis Tuae sempiterna fruitione repleri : quam pretiosi Corporis et Sanguinis Tui temporalis perceptio praefigurat : Qui vivis et regnat in Spiritui Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Grant us, we beseech You, o Lord, to be filled with the everlasting enjoyment of Your divinity, which the temporal partaking of Your precious Body and Blood had foreshown. You who lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) The Feast of Corpus Christi (I Classis) – Thursday, 20 June 2019 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : White
Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. John

John 6 : 56-59

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus turbis Judaeorum : Caro Mea vere est cibus et Sanguis Meus vere est potus. Qui manducat Meam Carnem et bibit Meum Sanguinem, in Me manet et Ego in illo.

Sicut misit Me vivens Pater, et Ego vivo propter Patrem : et qui manducat Me, et ipse vivet propter Me. Hic est Panis, qui de caelo descendit. Non sicut manducaverunt patres vestri manna, et mortui sunt. Qui manducat hunc Panem, vivet in aeternum.

 

English translation

At that time, Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews, “My Flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. He who eats My Flesh, and drinks My Blood abides in Me, and I in him.”

“As the living Father had sent Me, and I live by the Father, so he who eats Me, the same shall also live by Me. This is the Bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers had eaten manna and are dead. He who eats this Bread shall live forever.”

(Usus Antiquior) The Feast of Corpus Christi (I Classis) – Thursday, 20 June 2019 : Sequence

Liturgical Colour : White
Sequence of St. Thomas Aquinas, 13th Century

Lauda Sion Salvatorem, Lauda ducem et pastorem in hymnis et canticis.

Quantum Potes, Tantum Aude : Quia major omni laude, Nec laudare sufficis.

Laudis Thema Specialis, Panis vivus et vitalis, Hodie proponitur.

Quem in Sacrae Mensa Coenae, Turbae fratrum duodenae datum non ambigitur.

Sit Laus Plena, Sit Sonora, Sit jucunda, sit decora mentis jubilatio.

Dies Enim Solemnis Agitur, In qua mensae prima recolitur hujus institutio.

In Hac Mensa Novi Regis, Novum Pascha novae legis, Phase vetus terminat.

Vetustatem Novitas, Umbram fugat veritas, Noctem lux eliminat.

Quod in Coena Christus Gessit, Faciendum hoc expressit in Sui memoriam.

Docti Sacris Institutis, Panem, vinum, in salutis Consecramus hostiam.

Dogma Datur Christianis, Quod in Carnem transit panis, Et vinum in Sanguinem.

Quod Non Capis, Quod Non Vides, Animosa firmat fides, Praeter rerum ordinem.

Sub Diversis Speciebus, Signis tantum, et non rebus, Latent res eximiae.

Caro Cibus, Sanguis Potus : Manet tamen Christus totus, Sub utraque specie.

Asumente Non Concisus, Non confractus, non divisus : Integer accipitur.

Sumit Unus, Sumunt Mille : Quantum isti, tantum ille : Nec sumptus consumitur.

Sumunt Boni, Sumunt Mali : Sorte tamen inaequali, Vitae vel interitus.

Mors est Malis, Vita Bonis : Vide paris sumptionis quam sit dispar exitus.

Fracto Demum Sacramento, Ne vacilles, sed memento, Tantum esse sub fragmento, Quantum toto tegitur.

Nulla Rei Fit Scissura : Signi tantem fit fractura : Qua nec status nec statura signati minuitur.

Ecce Panis Angelorum, Factus cibus viatorum : Vere panis filiorum, Non mittendus canibus.

In Figuris Praesignatur, Cum Isaac immolatur : Agnus paschae deputatur datur manna patribus.

Bone Pastor, Panis Vere, Jesu, nostri miserere : Tu nos pasce, nos tuere : Tu nos bona fac videre in terra viventium.

Tu, Qui Cuncta Scis Et Vales : Qui nos pascis hic mortales : Tuos ibi commensales, Coheredes et sodales, Fac sanctorum civium.

Amen. Alleluja.

 

English translation

Praise, o Sion, your Saviour, praise your Leader and your Shepherd in hymns and canticles.

As much as you can, so much you dare, for He is above all praise, nor you are able to praise Him enough.

Today there is given us a special theme of praise, the Bread both living and life-giving.

Which, is not to be doubted, was given to the assembly of the brethren, Twelve in number, at the table of the Holy Supper.

Let our praise be full and sounding, let the jubilations of the soul be joyous and becoming.

For that solemn day is now being celebrated, on which is commemorated the first institution of this table.

At this table of the new King, the new Passover of the New Law puts an end to the ancient Passover.

The new supplants the old, truth puts to flight the shadow, day banishes night.

What Christ did at that Supper, the same He commanded to be done in remembrance of Him.

Taught by His sacred precepts, we consecrate bread and wine into the Victim of salvation.

This is the dogma given to Christians, that bread is changed into Flesh, and wine into Blood.

What you do not understand, what you do not see, a lively faith confirms in a supernatural manner.

Under different species in externals only, and not in reality, wondrous substances lie hidden.

Flesh is good, Blood is drink, nevertheless Christ remains entire under each species.

By the recipient the whole Christ is received, He is neither cut, broken nor divided.

One receives Him, a thousand receive Him, as much as the thousand receive, so much does the one receive, though consumed, He is not diminished.

The good receive Him, the bad receive Him, but with what unequal consequences of life or death.

It is death to the unworthy, life to the worthy, behold then of a like reception, how unlike may be the result!

When the Sacrament is broken, doubt not, but remember, that there is just as much hidden in a fragment, as there is in the whole.

There is no division of the substance, only a breaking of the species takes place, by which neither the state nor stature of the substance signified is diminished.

Lo, the Bread of Angels is made the food of earthly pilgrims. Truly, it is the Bread of children, let it not be cast to dogs.

It was prefigured in types, when Isaac was immolated, when the Paschal Lamb was sacrificed, when Manna was given to the fathers.

O Good Shepherd, True Bread, o Jesus, have mercy on us, feed us and protect us. Make us see good things in the land of the living.

You who knows all things and can do all things, who here feeds us mortals, make us there be Your guests, the co-heirs and companions of the heavenly citizens.

Amen. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) The Feast of Corpus Christi (I Classis) – Thursday, 20 June 2019 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : White
Psalm 144 : 15-16 and John 6 : 56-57

Oculi omnium in Te sperant, Domine : et Tu das illis escam in tempore opportuno.

Response : Aperis Tu manum Tuam : et imples omne animal benedictione.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Caro Mea vere est cibus, et Sanguis Meus vere est potus : qui manducat Meam Carnem et bibit Meum Sanguinem, in Me manet et Ego in eo.

 

English translation

The eyes of all hope in You, o Lord, and You give them meat in due season.

Response : You opened Your hand, and fill every living creature with Your blessing.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : My Flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood, abides in Me, and I in him.

(Usus Antiquior) The Feast of Corpus Christi (I Classis) – Thursday, 20 June 2019 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : White
Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Corinthios – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians

1 Corinthians 11 : 23-29

Fratres : Ego enim accepi a Domino quod et tradidi vobis, quoniam Dominus Jesus, in qua nocte tradebatur, accepit panem, et gratias agens fregit, et dixit : Accipite, et manducate : hoc est Corpus Meum, quod pro vobis tradetur : hoc facite in Meam commemorationem.

Similiter et calicem, postquam cenavit, dicens : Hic calix Novum Testamentum est in Meo Sanguine. Hoc facite, quotiescumque bibetis, in Meam commemorationem. Quotiescumque enim manducabitis panem hunc et calicem bibetis, mortem Domini annuntiabitis, donec veniat.

Itaque quicumque manducaverit panem hunc vel biberit calicem Domini indigne, reus erit Corporis et Sanguinis Domini. Probet autem seipsum homo : et sic de pane illo edat et de calice bibat. Qui enim manducat et bibit indigne, judicum sibi manducat et bibit : non dijudicans Corpus Domini.

 

English translation

Brethren, I have received of the Lord, that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, broke it, and said, ‘Take all of you and eat, this is My Body which shall be delivered for you, do this for the commemoration of Me.’

In like manner He also took the chalice, after He had finished supper, saying, ‘This chalice is the New Testament in My Blood, this all of you do, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of Me.’ For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink this chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord until He comes.

Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink of the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and 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 who eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Body of the Lord.