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Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

June 18, A.D. 2006

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Exodus 24:3-8
Psalm 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18
Hebrews 9:11-15
Mark 14:12-16, 22-26

A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:

The Feast of Corpus Christi (the Body of Christ) was established by Pope Urban IV in 1264. He was probably influenced by a miracle which had occurred in Boslena, Italy. A German priest, Father Peter of Prague, stopped there to celebrate Mass. At the Elevation of the Host, blood poured down on his hands, and onto the altar linens. The blood on the corporal scientifically proved to be human blood is still intact at Orvieto to this day. There are many other authenticated miracles concerning the Real Presence which are supportive, but not necessary for our faith. Jesus, after all, is sacramentally present right in the tabernacle of our own hometown church. The ancient practice of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is gradually being restored. In support of this, our present Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, quotes St. Augustine as saying, “No one should eat this flesh without first adoring it … we should sin were we not to adore it” (on the Psalms 98:9).

Feasts are established by the Church to strengthen faith. This feast is no exception. The readings for today’s Mass describe the ritual actions of Moses’ pouring blood on the people. Why? To help them remember God’s commands. The second reading speaks of Jesus pouring out his blood on all people. This priestly act effectively redeemed the world from the Father’s displeasure. Then, in the gospel, Jesus established the sacrament of Eucharist as the means of continuing His saving death.

There is tremendous meaning in the word “communion” which describes our reception of the Body and Blood of Jesus. Just as Jesus at the Last Supper passed around the one cup, so too we share the one bread and the one cup at every Mass. First, we adore, then we receive, then we become the food we have received. We are truly one body in Christ. Strengthened and transformed in love, truth, and joy through the Spirit, we are ready to share the fruits of love, compassion, forgiveness, service, and all the rest of the great fruits of the Spirit with our brothers and sisters.

No wonder the apostles and early followers were so insistent on joy as the mark of a Christian! If anyone confronts you today with that common remark, “What are you so happy about?” we just might set them on their heels with the reply, “I received Jesus into my heart through Communion today!” If we’re not that brave, we must settle for “Wouldn’t you like to know!"

- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
(smartins at frontiernet dot net)

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

The Feast of Corpus Christi

Lives of the saints:

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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