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Homilies for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ (B)

NATIONAL SHRINE

Msgr. Raymond G. East (Pastor, St. Teresa of Avila Parish) preaching homily for Corpus Christi in the Crypt Church at the National Shrine (Washington D.C.)


Sunday Homilies

June 3, 2018 | June 7, 2015 | June 10, 2012 | June 14, 2009

Homilies for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ (B)

Cardinal Tagle

THE NEW COVENANT IS SEALED BY THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST

THE WORD EXPOSED (2018)

Give witness through your word and teaching that your God is the God of love, the triune God.

Recent Videos by Cardinal Tagle

Jeff Cavins

CORPUS CHRISTI

ASCENSION PRESENTS (2018)

John Michael Talbot

BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST

THEOLOGICAL REFLECTIONS (2018)

Father James Kubicki

THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST

POPE’S WORLDWIDE PRAYER NETWORK-USA (2009)

SCOTT HAHN

ON HOLY EUCHARIST

SCOTT HAHN (2009)

Homilies for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ (B)

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf

GOD FEEDS HIS PEOPLE

SHOW/HIDE HOMILY TRANSCRIPT

The Bible gives us many episodes of God feeding His people. In fact, the word food appears more times in the Bible than the word prayer. When God feeds us we have strength. When the Devil feeds us we are ruined. In the Garden of Eden, our first parents preferred the food offered by Satan and were condemned. Jesus, however, gave us the food of our redemption at the Last Supper. The Eucharist however, is not only based on the “Last Supper” that Jesus had with his disciples, but is also influenced by a long history of special meals celebrated by ancient Jews and early Christians, both before, during, and after Jesus’ lifetime. When God asks for the release of the Israelites from Egypt, it is to go and celebrate the Passover. On this note the Israelites shared the Passover meal before leaving Egypt (Ex12:1-28). This constituted their spiritual and physical strength on the journey. They were to celebrate this Passover meals annually, as recorded in Exodus 12:43-51; Leviticus 23:4-14; Numbers 9:1-14; 28:16-25; Deuteronomy 16:1-8.

When they were hungry, they complained to God and he fed them in the desert with manna, quails and water. This gave them strength during the 40 years they spent in the desert. “The Israelites ate this manna for forty years, until they came to the settled land; they ate manna until they reached the borders of Canaan” (Ex 16: 35). The lives of King David and the Prophet Elijah tell us even more: When David was hungry; he ate consecrated bread with his men before continuing his expeditions. This instance gives us a hint on the spiritual preparation prior to partaking in the Eucharist: So the priest gave him holy bread, for no other bread was on hand except the showbread which had been removed from the LORD’S presence and replaced by fresh bread when it was taken away” (cf. 1 Sam 21: 4-7).

Elijah’s life vividly reveals a caring God, a God who feeds his people. When Elijah was to travel long distances at the time of famine God sent ravens to feed him and he drank from the brook (1 Kg 17:2-7). When the brook dried, God made a widow at Zarephat to feed him (cf. 1 Kg 17:8-16). Even when he escaped from the wrath of Jezebel, God sent ravens to feed him and this gave him the strength to travel for 40 days for his encounter with God: He got up, ate and drank; then strengthened by that food; he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb” (1 Kg 19:2-8).

In the New Testament, God’s caring character comes alive in Jesus Christ. Jesus fed his disciples and a great multitude. He was even accused of being a glutton. He fed the 5000 in Galilee (Mark 6:30-44; Matt 14:13-21; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14). He also fed another crowd of 4000 people (Mark 8:1-10; Matt 15:32-39). All this was done with physical bread. From the episode of the feeding of the 5000 people in the Gospel of John chapter 6, a great Eucharistic theology is developed in which Jesus says that His Flesh is real food and His Blood is real drink. Put otherwise, we find in those episodes interpretations of the formal institution of the Eucharist in the Last Supper. Jesus left us a memorial of his life, death and resurrection. He ate the Last Supper with his disciples (Mark 14:12-27; Matt 26:17-30; Luke 22:7-39; cf. 1 Cor 11:23-25). He ordered his disciples at the Last Supper to break bread in memory of him.

As we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus we strongly believe in Transubstantiation. This is the point at which the bread and wine cease to be bread and wine, but are changed in substance into the body and blood of Jesus. We know and believe in the real presence of Jesus in the consecrated bread for he did not mince words. From food, the Eucharist has become an element of Adoration. Because we adore Jesus and since we believe He is present in His body, soul and divinity in the Eucharist, then adoring the Eucharist means adoring Jesus.

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
Please pray for me

Fr. Austin Fleming

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT 

A CONCORD PASTOR COMMENTS | 2009

In St. Augustine’s effort to help us understand the comfort that is ours in believing that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, there comes also a challenge, to believe not only that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ, but to believe also that, indeed, we are to become what we eat and drink: we are to become the true presence of Christ breaking ourselves like bread to nourish our neighbor; pouring ourselves out like wine in outreach to those in need. Like a coin, a host as two sides: we receive a mystery that we already are and are challenged to become. We receive our own mystery which is the mystery of Christ.

And like a glass, a chalice may be half empty or half full: and we are called to empty ourselves out for one another so that we might know the fullness of God’s grace within us.

We are what we eat and drink……

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Related Homilies by Fr. Fleming

The Gift of the Lord’s Broken Body (2012)
Homily for Corpus Christi Sunday (2015)

Fr. Evans K Chama, M.Afr

HE GIVES HIMSELF FOR OTHERS

SINGLE HUMANITY | 2018

This Sunday we celebrate the Body and Blood of Christ, also called Corpus Christi. What newness does this feast bring to our life? Each time we celebrate a feast, no matter the number of times we may have already celebrated it, it’s always an occasion to make a step further not only in terms of knowledge but also in deepening our life as Christians. When we pose ourselves questions, even on the well-known practice, we save ourselves from falling into mere routine of a good Catholic who’s regular: I go to mass, I receive Holy Communion, I do adoration… We are enriched when we pose fresh questions even on our regular practice. And when we look around, certain events of life can stimulate us into becoming the disciples that Jesus wants to be. That’s why, perhaps, the recent event in Paris which made headlines in the French media can inspire us as we celebrate Corpus Christi. (2018)

Fr. Chama’s homily is divided into the following sections:

  • Spider-man
  • Corpus Christi
  • Can I take a distance from myself?
Click on title to read entire homily.

Related Homilies by Fr. Chama

Become What You Receive (YEAR A Homily)

Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino

ON EUCHARISTIC ADORATION

DIOCESE OF ST. PETERSBURG | 2021

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi forces us to take a deep look at our belief in the Eucharist as well as our participation in the Eucharistic Community that is the Church.  The solemnity reminds us: This is Jesus. He is present on our altars offering Himself up for us to the Father.  He is present within us in the reception of communion.  He is present at Eucharistic Adoration looking at us as we look at Him.

And He is present in our tabernacles.  What a pity it is that so many of our churches have become social halls before Mass.  Some people even ignore the people next to them trying to pray before the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle.  Perhaps a good reminder for us all of what a Catholic Church is would come if we return to the fundamentals: genuflecting when we enter the pew, right knee people, and kneeling to speak to the Presence of the Lord before us.  We should also genuflect or at least bow any time that we cross in front of the tabernacle.  By the way, we should be sure that there is as little movement around the Church as possible during the Eucharistic Prayer.

Click on title to read entire homily.

Related Homilies by Msgr. Pellegrino

The Gift of the New Covenant (2018)
The Covenant of the Eucharist (2015)
The Food of Christianity (2012)
The Eucharist: Commitment and Strength  (2009)
The Covenant of Eucharist (2006) – PDF

Fr. George Smiga

EATING AS WE WAIT

BUILDING ON THE WORD | 2003

The Eucharist is not simply about what we have.  It is also about what we are waiting for. Jesus makes this very clear in today’s Gospel because on the eve of his passion and death, even as he tells his disciples, “Eat my body, drink my blood,” he also points to what he is waiting for.  He says: “I will never again drink from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the Kingdom of God.”  Therefore, this Eucharistic meal is not only a meal that we celebrate today, but a meal that points to a future hope; to the establishment of God’s Kingdom.  There we will share in the full blessings of God with Christ.  This meal, then, is not simply about  what we have, but what we are waiting for.

What we have is the real presence of Christ.  You and I as Catholic Christians believe that when we receive the bread and wine of the Eucharist, we receive the real presence of Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity.  This is a wonderful gift and a wonderful mystery.  It is one that we share in every weekend.  But, even as we consume what we have, this meal still points to what we are waiting for.  Even as we eat, we are longing for the establishment of God’s Kingdom, when all evil will be destroyed and when we will share in the fullness of God’s promises.  It is obvious how much our world still needs God’s Kingdom to be established.  For we live in a world that is characterized by hatred, injustice, violence, by sickness and greed and death.  These realities in our midst tells us that all that God has promised us has not yet come to pass, that the Kingdom is not yet here.

Click on title to read entire homily.

Related Homilies by Fr. Smiga

Sabbath (2018)
Being Ready to Take (2015)
The Perfect and Imperfect Meal (2012)
In Memory of Him (2009)
Why Christ is Present in the Eucharist (2006)

Fr. John Kavanaugh, SJ

AN EMBODIED GOD

SUNDAY WEB SITE | 1997

We believe in a God incarnate. The fact that the eternal Word was human flesh in Jesus of Nazareth centers our faith. Hence Christians, and especially Roman Catholics, seem to celebrate the human body endlessly. We cherish sacraments that affirm God’s presence in our births and dyings, our confession of sin, and marking of commitment. Our feast days are remembrances of deaths, births, and even conceptions.

Not only do we celebrate when Jesus was born; we commemorate those precise moments of space and time when he was conceived and circumcised. And after we honor the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Trinity at this time of the church year, our rituals turn to Christ’s glorious flesh. We celebrate his heart as sacred, his blood as precious and his body as transfigured.

Christians cannot be other than a people that honors the body. True, we are quite aware of its frailty and fate, but its ontological goodness remains an inescapable fact. Thomas Aquinas insisted that the body could never be the ultimate source or immediate cause of evil. Otherwise, how could the incarnation have occurred? How could Christ have been a human body?

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Fr. Vincent Hawkswell

THE TRINITY: THE CENTRAL MYSTERY OF OUR FAITH

B.C. CATHOLIC | 2021

This Sunday the Church proclaims that the one God is three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is “a mystery of faith in the strict sense,” says the Catechism of the Catholic Church: something we could not know except by God’s revelation, at which Moses marveled… Why is it so important? The answer is that God wants us – creatures he makes, not begets – to share “the glory of his blessed life,” says the Catechism. In fact, “the ultimate end” of all God’s work is our entry “into the perfect unity” of the Trinity, not just as his artifacts but as his children, sharing his divinity by adoption as Jesus shares it by nature. To achieve this destiny, we must be reborn and “conformed to the image” of God’s begotten Son. God accomplishes this rebirth in baptism by giving us his Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, whom Jesus also revealed.

Click on title to read entire homily.

Homilies for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ (B)

Bishop Robert Barron

BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST

CORPUS CHRISTI – The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ – as it is now known – honours Jesus substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament. The truth of the Real Presence was confirmed in 1215 by the Fourth Lateran Council. Later, in 1551, the Council of Trent definitively re-affirmed the doctrine in a passage quoted verbatim by the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

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THE ULTIMATE BLOOD SACRIFICE

by Bishop Robert Barron . June 3, 2018

To truly understand what Jesus did at the climax of his life—and what the Catholic Church does at every Mass—we must understand the importance of blood sacrifice to Judaism in Jesus’ time. Everything that Moses did at Mt. Sinai, and all that was done for a thousand years in the temple, was summed up by Christ’s ultimate blood sacrifice on the Cross, offered for the reconciliation of God and humanity. And this ultimate lifeblood of God, sprinkled by Christ the high priest once for all, is what the Mass re-presents and makes sacramentally present to us.

THE MASS AND SACRIFICE

by Bishop Robert Barron . June 18, 2006

For this feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord, I reflect on the Mass as a sacrifice. Sacrificial language runs right through all of our readings for today, just as it runs through the whole of Israelite history. In Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, God’s fidelity unto death finally meets a human obedience unto death–and in that meeting, the covenant is fully realized, and salvation is accomplished. The Mass is the re-presenting of that world-changing event.

THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE

by Bishop Robert Barron . June 22, 2003

Another homily from Fr. Robert Barron and Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.

Homilies for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ (B)

Father Frank Pavone

THIS IS MY BODY

SACRAMENT OF FAITH

As possible launching points for preaching on the sanctity of life on Corpus Christi, I offer you the following text from our brochure “The Pro-life Commitment is Eucharistic.”

Our commitment to defend our pre-born brothers and sisters is shaped by our faith in the Eucharist as a sacrament of faith, unity, life, worship, and love.

The Eucharist is a sacrament of faith. The Consecrated Host looks no different after the consecration than before. It looks, smells, feels, and tastes like bread. Only one of the five senses gets to the truth. As St. Thomas Aquinas’ Adoro Te Devote expresses, “Seeing, touching, tasting are in Thee deceived. What says trusty hearing that shall be believed?” The ears hear His words, “This is My Body; this is My Blood,” and faith takes us beyond the veil of appearances..

Christians are used to looking beyond appearances. The baby in the manger does not look like God; nor for that matter does the man on the cross. Yet by faith we know He is no mere man. The Bible does not have a particular glow setting it off from other books, nor does it levitate above the shelf. Yet by faith we know it is uniquely the Word of God. The Eucharist seems to be bread and wine, and yet by faith we say, “My Lord and My God!” as we kneel in adoration.

The same dynamic of faith that enables us to see beyond appearances in these mysteries enables us to see beyond appearances in our neighbor. We can look at the persons around us, at the annoying person or the ugly person or the person who is unconscious in a hospital bed, and we can say, “Christ is there as well. There is my bother, my sister, made in the very image of God!” By the same dynamic we can look at the pre-born child and say, “There, too, is my brother, my sister, equal in dignity and just as worthy of protection as anyone else!” Some people will say the child in the womb, especially in the earliest stages, is too small to be the subject of Constitutional rights. Is the Sacred Host too small to be God, too unlike Him in appearance to be worshipped? The slightest particle of the Host is fully Christ. Eucharistic Faith is a powerful antidote to the dangerous notion that value depends on size.

SACRAMENT OF UNITY

The Eucharist is also a Sacrament of Unity. “When I am lifted up from the earth,” the Lord said, “I will draw all people to myself” (Jn.12:32). He fulfills this promise in the Eucharist, which builds up the Church. The Church is the sign and cause of the unity of the human family.

Imagine all the people, in every part of the world, who are receiving Communion today. Are they all receiving their own personalized, customized Christ? Are they not rather each receiving the one and only Christ? Through this sacrament, Christ the Lord, gloriously enthroned in heaven, is drawing all people to Himself. If He is drawing us to Himself, then He is drawing us to one another. St. Paul comments on this, “We, many though we are, are one body, since we all partake of the one loaf” (1 Cor. 10:17). When we call each other “brothers and sisters,” we are not merely using a metaphor that dimly reflects the unity between children of the same parents. The unity we have in Christ is even stronger than the unity of blood brothers and sisters, because we do have common blood: the blood of Christ! The result of the Eucharist is that we become one, and this obliges us to be as concerned for each other as we are for our own bodies.

Imagine a person who receives Communion, accepts the Host when the priest says, “The Body of Christ,” says “Amen,” and then breaks off a piece, hands it back, and says, “Except this piece, Father!” This is what the person who rejects other people may as well do. In receiving Christ, we are to receive the whole Christ, in all his members, our brothers and sisters, whether convenient or inconvenient, wanted or unwanted.

As St. John remarks, Christ was to die “to gather into one all the scattered children of God.” Sin scatters. Christ unites. The word “diabolical” means “to split asunder.” Christ came “to destroy the works of the devil” (1Jn.3:8). The Eucharist builds up the human family in Christ who says, “Come to me, feed on My Body, become My Body.” Abortion, in a reverse dynamic, says, “Go away! We have no room for you, no time for you, no desire for you, no responsibility for you. Get out of our way!” Abortion attacks the unity of the human family by splitting asunder the most fundamental relationship between any two persons: mother and child. The Eucharist, as a Sacrament of Unity, reverses the dynamic of abortion.

SACRAMENT OF LIFE

The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Life. “I am the Bread of Life. He who eats this bread will live forever. I will raise Him up on the last day.” (See Jn.6:47-58) The Eucharistic sacrifice is the very action of Christ by which He destroyed our death and restored our life. Whenever we gather for this sacrifice we are celebrating the victory of life over death, and therefore over abortion. The pro-life movement is not simply working “for” victory; we are working “from” victory. As the Holy Father said in Denver in 1993, “Have no fear. The outcome of the battle for life is already decided.” Our work is to apply the already established victory to every facet of our society. Celebrating the Eucharist is the source and summit of such work.

SUPREME ACT OF WORSHIP OF GOD

The Eucharist is the Supreme act of Worship of God. Two lessons each person needs to learn are, “1.There is a God. 2. It isn’t me.” The Eucharist, as the perfect sacrifice, acknowledges that God is God, and that “it is [His] right to receive the obedience of all creation.” (Sacramentary, Preface for Weekdays III). Abortion, on the contrary, proclaims that a mother’s choice is supreme. “Freedom of choice” is considered enough to justify even the dismemberment of a baby. Choice divorced from truth is idolatry. It is the opposite of true worship. It pretends the creature is God. Real freedom is found only in submission to the truth and will of God. Real freedom is not the ability to do whatever one pleases, but the power to do what is right.

SACRAMENT OF LOVE

The Eucharist is, finally, the Sacrament of Love. St. John explains, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (1Jn.3:16). Christ teaches, “Greater love than this no one has, than to lay down his life for his friends” (Jn.15:13). The best symbol of love is not the heart, but rather the crucifix.

Abortion is the exact opposite of love. Love says, “I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person. Abortion says, “I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself.” In the Eucharist we see the meaning of love and receive the power to live it. The very same words, furthermore, that the Lord uses to teach us the meaning of love are also used by those who promote abortion: “This is my body.” These four little words are spoken from opposite ends of the universe, with totally opposite results. Christ gives His body away so others might live; abortion supporters cling to their own bodies so others might die. Christ says “This is My Body given up for you; This is My Blood shed for you.” These are the words of sacrifice; these are the words of love.

In Washington in 1994 Mother Teresa said that we fight abortion by teaching the mother what love really means: “to be willing to give until it hurts…So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child.”

Gustave Thibon has said that the true God transforms violence into suffering, while the false god transforms suffering into violence. The woman tempted to have an abortion will transform her suffering into violence unless she allows love to transform her, and make her willing to give herself away. The Eucharist gives both the lesson and the power. Mom is to say “This is my body, my blood, my life, given up for you my child.”

Everyone who wants to fight abortion needs to say the same. We need to exercise the same generosity we ask the mothers to exercise. We need to imitate the mysteries we celebrate. “Do this in memory of me” applies to all of us in the sense that we are to lovingly suffer with Christ so others may live. We are to be like lightning rods in the midst of this terrible storm of violence and destruction, and say, “Yes, Lord, I am willing to absorb some of this violence and transform it by love into personal suffering, so that others may live.”

Indeed, the Eucharist gives the pro-life movement its marching orders. It also provides the source of its energy, which is love. Indeed, if the pro-life movement is not a movement of love, then it is nothing at all. But if it is a movement of love, then nothing will stop it, for “Love is stronger than death, more powerful even than hell” (Song of Songs 8:6).

GENERAL INTERCESSIONS

General Intercessions

Celebrant: Gathered around this Eucharistic table, we seek God’s blessings for ourselves and all the world.

Deacon/Lector:

For the Church, that the Blood of Christ poured out for the world may be the cleansing grace which unites all God’s people in his kingdom, we pray to the Lord.

For our nation, that our citizens may be faithful to the Christian values on which it was founded, we pray to the Lord.

For our bishops, that they may exercise their ministry with supernatural courage and fidelity, we pray to the Lord.

For a new Culture of Life, that welcomes children with a self-sacrificing love that says, “This is my body, given for you,” we pray to the Lord.

For those members of our family and friends who have turned away from the practice of their faith, may they come to seek the true God of consolation and joy, we pray to the Lord.

For all the faithful who have died, that they may share the banquet of Christ eternally, we pray to the Lord.

Celebrant:  Father, we ask you to hear these prayers and fulfill all our needs, that we may follow your will more faithfully. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

SOURCE: Priests for Life

Life Issues Homilies

Lifeissues.net website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

Eucharist — a celebration of sinners

Al Carino

Christ wants us to find nourishment and strength in His Body and Blood, trusting that after we have partaken of Himself, we may become a little stronger than the weakling we thought we would always be.


The Bread of Life

Frank Enderle

In each Holy Mass that is celebrated, when Holy Communion is received, we Christians eat the Body and drink the Blood of Christ. Our Lord makes Himself present in a real way in the bread and wine consecrated by the priest. The food that the Eucharist gives us is the only food that can strengthen our souls. If we do not eat it, we will become spiritually weaker, just as the physical body weakens when it does not take in food.


A New Sacrifice

Antonio P. Pueyo

The lack of emphasis on the sacrificial aspect of the Eucharist might be part of a whole culture to avoid the word “sacrifice”. It seems in an indulgent contemporary culture, we become allergic to making sacrifices.


The Blood of Christ Helps Us Grow into His Likeness

Jeremiah R. Grosse

The Precious Blood of Jesus is our ransom from death. The Son of Man came to give His life as a ransom for the many. It is actually a compensation made on our behalf to the outraged justice of God. We are not to think of our Lord’s death as if it were merely an inevitable result of His conflict with the leaders of the Jewish people; as if it were a regrettable accident of history.

Lifeissues.net website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

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