Thursday, 3 June 2021 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, Corpus Christi (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Mark 14 : 12-16, 22-26

At that time, on the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the day when the Passover Lamb was killed, the disciples asked Him, “Where would You have us go to prepare the Passover meal for You?”

So Jesus sent two of His disciples with these instructions, “Go into the city, and there, a man will come to you carrying a jar of water. Follow him to the house he enters and say to the owner, ‘The Master says, Where is the room where I may eat the Passover meal with My disciples?’ Then he will show you a large room upstairs, already arranged and furnished. There, you will prepare for us.”

The disciples went off. When they reached the city, they found everything just as Jesus had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal. While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to them. And He said, “Take this. It is My Body.” Then He took a cup; and after He had given thanks, He passed it to them and they all drank from it.

And He said, “This is My Blood, the Blood of the Covenant, poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I will not taste the fruit of the vine again, until that day when I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.”

After singing psalms of praise, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Thursday, 3 June 2021 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, Corpus Christi (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Hebrews 9 : 11-15

But, now, Christ has appeared, as the High Priest, with regard to the good things of these new times. He passed through a Sanctuary more noble and perfect, not made by hands, that is not created. He did not take with Himself the blood of goats and bulls, but His own Blood, when He entered, once, and for all, into this Sanctuary, after obtaining definitive redemption.

If the sprinkling of people, defiled by sin, with the blood of goats and bulls, or with the ashes of a heifer, provides them with exterior cleanness and holiness, how much more will it be, with the Blood of Christ? He, moved by the eternal Spirit, offered Himself, as an unblemished Victim, to God, and His Blood cleanses us from dead works, so that we may serve the living God.

So, Christ is the Mediator of a new Covenant, or testament. His death made atonement for the sins committed under the old testament, and the promise is handed over, to all who are called to the everlasting inheritance.

Thursday, 3 June 2021 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, Corpus Christi (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 115 : 12-13, 15 and 16bc, 17-18

How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to Me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the Name of the Lord.

It is painful to the Lord to see the death of His faithful. Truly Your servant, Your handmaid’s Son. You have freed Me from My bonds.

I will offer You a thanksgiving sacrifice; I will call on the Name of the Lord. I will carry out My vows to the Lord in the presence of His people.

Thursday, 3 June 2021 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, Corpus Christi (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Exodus 24 : 3-8

Moses came and told the people all the words of YHVH and all His laws. The people replied with one voice : “Everything that YHVH has said, we shall do.”

Moses wrote down all the words of YHVH, then rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain with twelve raised stones for the twelve tribes of Israel. He then sent young men from among the sons of Israel to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice bullocks as peace offerings to YHVH.

And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins; and with the other half of the blood he sprinkled the altar. He then took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. They said, “All that YHVH said we shall do and obey.”

Moses then took the blood and sprinkled it on the people saying, “Here is the blood of the Covenant that YHVH has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

Thursday, 3 June 2021 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the word of God regarding love, the Law of God that is meant for us to know love and to practice that same love in our lives, showing it first and foremost towards God, and then showing that same love towards our fellow brothers and sisters, just as God intended it for all of us. That is what is most important for us, to know that we are all creatures of love, created out of love by God Who loves us all very much, and then called to love in the same way.

The Lord showed us this in our first reading today from the story of Tobias and his meeting with Sara, who was to be his betrothed and eventually they were married to each other. Tobias was the son of Tobit, an Israelite living in exile in Assyria. While his father was afflicted by blindness, God sent the Archangel Raphael, having heard his prayers, as well as the prayers of Sara herself, who was beset by a powerful demon named Asmodeus. Asmodeus had killed all the seven men who had been married to Sara, and because of that she was shunned by those who thought wrongly that she was the one that killed all her previous husbands.

The Archangel Raphael showed Tobit the power of God by freeing Sara from her predicament and also showed how Tobit, his father would eventually be healed, although everyone then did not know that Raphael was an Archangel as he was in disguise in the form of a man. The demon Asmodeus was cast out and bound by the Archangel Raphael while Tobias and Sara were together, and no harm came to Tobias unlike all the previous occasions when Sara was with all of her previous husbands. It was there then that Sara’s family accepted Tobias and decided to give her to him as his wife.

Through this story we heard first and foremost God’s love for all of us His people, the love which He showed to Sara, who had been suffering under the tyranny of the demon Asmodeus. And then, we heard of the love that grew between Tobias and Sara, as they came to love each other, and this is a reminder for all of us to have love in us, to be genuine in caring for one another and to be centred in God in all things. Otherwise, we cannot call ourselves as Christians because without love we are not truly God’s people, for God is Love.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord as He was met by a teacher of the Law who wanted to know what is the most important commandment in the whole Law. Contextually, the teacher’s question need to be understood within the fact that there were plenty of different commandments, rules and regulations within the whole Law that was practiced and enforced by the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, such that at times indeed it may be difficult for them to understand why they had to do such a tedious work observing all the commandments and the complicated set of rules and regulations.

The Lord then revealed how all those rules and regulations were in fact mostly man-made, of man’s imperfect and even flawed attempt to interpret God’s Law, which resulted in the Law being misunderstood and even misused that instead of bringing the people of God closer to Him as intended, it made those same people more and more distant instead. How is that so? First of all, by imposing such draconian and strict set of rules, it made things difficult for many people to obey the Lord and people ended up just abandoning the whole faith altogether. And then, this led to the elitism among the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law who made use of the Law for their own selfish desires, and they ended up doing the Law and obeying it not for the right reasons.

That is why the Lord revealed the true intention of God’s Law, that just as we have heard in our first reading and discussed earlier, God loves each and every one of us. And He wants us to practice and show that same love towards Him and towards our fellow brothers and sisters as well, that we are generous in our love and in reaching out to those who especially have been ostracised, rejected and unloved. This is our true calling as Christians, to be a people beloved by God, filled with His love and be exemplary in our love towards each other.

Today, we celebrate the feast of saints whose life and devotion to God, commitment to the faith and love for one another should be great inspiration to all of us. St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, the Holy Martyrs of Uganda were courageous and faithful servants of the Lord, who were killed for their faith in Uganda, during the early years of Christian mission in that area. There were missionaries and local converts amongst the martyrs, all those who have given themselves for the service of God, and all those who remained faithful to the Lord despite the persecutions and sufferings they encountered.

At that time, Christian missionaries just arrived in Uganda, over the several years in which they ministered to the locals. Many among the locals welcomed the missionaries and many chose to become Christians, including that of St. Charles Lwanga, who was an important official in the court of the king of Buganda, the largest local kingdom. The king saw the increasing conversion to Christianity among his people as a threat to his own power and influence, and began to persecute Christianity throughout his realm.

All these became worse when the converts among the royal pages and courtiers refused to obey the king’s debaucherous desires and shunned his wicked actions. The king ordered all Christians in his court and also foreign missionaries to be rounded up and put to death, and the locals if they would not abandon their faith. St. Charles Lwanga and his companions in martyrdom refused to abandon their faith, and in prison, he even managed to convert some more people, before being martyred by being burnt alive after refusing again to abandon the Christian faith.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we can see from this just how great the love that these martyrs had for the Lord and His laws, that they remained firm in faith despite all the trials and sufferings that they had to endure, and they also cared for one another, and just as shown how St. Charles Lwanga tried to persuade even more people to follow the Lord from the prison, shows how much he treasured others, that he would not want more people to fall into the depth of hell because of their sins.

Can we be faithful to the Lord just as these brethren of ours had been faithful? Can we commit ourselves in the same way that they had done in their lives? Let us all turn to the Lord with renewed conviction and hope, with dedication and commitment that all of us may grow ever more in love towards the Lord and may all of us be courageous in living our lives to the fullest in the most Christ-like way as possible. May God bless us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) The Feast of Corpus Christi (I Classis) – Thursday, 3 June 2021 : 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, 3 June 2021 : 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, 3 June 2021 : 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, 3 June 2021 : 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, 3 June 2021 : 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.