JUNE 6. CORPUS CHRISTI. Mk. 14. 12-16, 22-26
On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, his disciples said to Jesus, ‘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 you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him, and say to the owner of the house which he enters, “The Master says: Where is my dining room in which I can eat the Passover with my disciples?” He will show you a large upper room furnished with couches, all prepared. Make the preparations for us there.’ The disciples set out and went to the city and found everything as he had told them, and prepared the Passover.
And as they were eating, he took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them. ‘Take it,’ he said ‘this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them, ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many. I tell you solemnly, I shall not drink any more wine until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.’
After psalms had been sung, they left for the Mount of Olives.
One of the great Feasts of the Church year; - the institution of the Eucharist; - a gift that displays the Power of God, the Wisdom of God, and the Love of God, but sadly the reality of this Sacrament; - (Transubstantiation – the bread and wine used for Communion during the Mass become the body and blood of Christ at the consecration) is denied by most Catholics.
This is a tragedy as it amounts to God’s creatures saying to him: - “We do not believe” even though, of all of Christ’s teachings this is the one he spoke very clearly about leaving no room for confusion. The Church also calls the Eucharist “The Source and Summit of Christian Life!”
But those who believe are able to rejoice in the enormity of this gift Christ instituted at the Last Supper; - on the eve of his Passion and Death; - establishing a Sacrament where he could remain sacramentally with his people until the end of time; - via the Sacrament of the Priesthood.
What a gift for those who believe? The fact so few acknowledge Christ’s real presence only emphasises the beauty of the gift of Faith, where we can believe and accept all of Christ’s teachings, including what takes place at the Altar each day in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
Christ addressed the lack of belief in the Eucharist when he spoke to St Margaret Mary calling it “The Sacrament of my Love” and stating “in return (for this gift) I receive nothing but ingratitude through the contempt, irreverence, sacrileges and coldness people show me.”
This neglect, and disbelief in the Sacrament is the reason Christ requested the Devotion to the Sacred Heart be established, including that the First Friday each month, and the Feast of the Sacred Heart (next Friday; - the Friday after today’s Feast) be Days of Reparation for the neglect Catholics show towards this “Sacrament of God’s Love”.
Personally, I find it difficult to understand how anyone can profess to be a Catholic and not believe in transubstantiation, as it lies at the very heart of the Catholic Faith. And Christ’s left little room for doubt when he told us to “Take and Eat” and proclaimed; - “This is my body!”
Gospel Acclamation John 6:51-52
I am the living bread from heaven, says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live for ever.