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Corpus Christi…..The Body and Blood of Christ. Year B, 2015. A realhomilie from Fr.Kevin Walsh, Sydney, Australia. A reflection on the meaning of the Feast by Fr.Brian Gleeson, C.P, Melbourne, Australia.

04 Jun

VIEWING THIS BLOG

If you subscribe to this Blog, which of course is FREE, the format that arrives in your inbox is sometimes all over the place. Might I suggest to you that you use the Blog alert for you to go back to www. realhomilies.com

 And view it in the way which I originally posted it….hopefully it will appear neat and tidy. However, you might find a typo every now and then, sometimes they escape my eye, sorry. 🙂 Thanks, Fr.Kev

dali-last-supper-1955-granger  The Last Supper

This feast, originally Corpus Christi, arose in thirteenth century Belgium, in response to debates about the real presence, and as a result of an upsurge in Eucharistic piety. Its extension to the entire Western Church was first decreed by Urban IV in 1264. The feast celebrates the mystery of the nourishing and enduring presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist.

THE LITURGY OF THE WORD.

Helpful hints

It is very important for us to read God’s Word slowly and reflectively. We are not reading it just to get information or answer questions; we must enable God’s Word to enter us just like liquid polish enters timber that is thirsty for nutrition. A good rule of thumb is to have a question like this in our mind……”Lord, what are you saying to ME in your Word today? Secondly, how can my life be changed, in order to allow God’s Word to find a Home in my being? Finally, as for special Feasts, Advent and Lent, the three Readings are in a sequence which has an underlying thread running through them. In Ordinary time, the First Reading, and the Gospel are bridged…so we generally look for the link. The Second Reading is continuous, and follows on to the next Sunday.

St%20Catherine's%20Monastery%20with%20Jebel%20Musa,%20tb062205290

First Reading: Exodus 24:3-8

Moses went and told the people all the commands of the Lord and all the ordinances. In answer, all the people said with one voice, ‘We will observe all the commands that the Lord has decreed.’ Moses put all the commands of the Lord into writing, and early next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain, with twelve standing-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he directed certain young Israelites to offer holocausts and to immolate bullocks to the Lord as communion sacrifices. Half of the blood Moses took up and put into basins, the other half he cast on the altar. And taking the Book of the Covenant he read it to the listening people, and they said, ‘We will observe all that the Lord has decreed; we will obey.’ then Moses took the blood and cast it towards the people. ‘This’ he said ‘is the blood of the Covenant that the Lord has made with you, containing all these rules.’ The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

(Let’s PAUSE and reflect upon this reading, and let us ask ourselves the two questions stated above. That is our PERSONAL response to the Word. This might take a few minutes, try not to rush it. The Psalm and Antiphon is the COMMUNITY response to God’s Word, a bit like a short and sweet Text Message)

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Psalm: Ps 115:12-13. 15-18

 I will take the cup of salvation,

and call on the name of the Lord.

How can I repay the Lord

for his goodness to me?

The cup of salvation I will raise;

I will call on the Lord’s name. R.

O precious in the eyes of the Lord

is the death of his faithful.

Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;

you have loosened my bonds. R.

A thanksgiving sacrifice I make:

I will call on the Lord’s name.

My vows to the Lord I will fulfil

before all his people. R.

Second Reading: Hebrews 9:11-15

Now Christ has come, as the high priest of all the blessings which were to come. He has passed through the greater, the more perfect tent, which is better than one made by men’s hands because it is not of this created order; and he has entered the sanctuary once and for all, taking with him not the blood of goats and bull calves, but his own blood, having won an eternal redemption for us. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer are sprinkled on those who have incurred defilement and they restore the holiness of their outward lives; how much more effectively the blood of Christ, who offered himself as the perfect sacrifice to God through the eternal Spirit, can purify our inner self from dead actions so that we do our service to the living God.

He brings a new covenant, as the mediator, only so that the people who were called to an eternal inheritance may actually receive what was promised: his death took place to cancel the sins that infringed the earlier covenant. The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

 thd_heartcross

Let’s PAUSE again after this Reading, and reflect on it like you did after the first Reading. The Community Acclamation follows and should be sung: e.g ALLELUIA, or PRAISE TO YOU LORD JESUS CHRIST KING OF ENDLESS GLORY. When we are present at our Sunday Eucharistic Celebration, the Alleluia or Praise be to you…should always be sung. Why? It’s a bit like singing Happy Birthday!  We never say it… 🙂

Gospel: Mark 14:12-16. 22-26

img_5076 Cup and plate

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 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. The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Reflection time again……. Can you see and hear the links, connecting the First Reading, Second Reading and the Gospel? After that, we are then ready for what is to follow…..

 altar-c-biblewalks-350 Loaves and Fish

ESSAY SECTION…………………………….If you would like to read more about the Reception of Holy Communion over the ages, please refer to the dashboard on the website, and press the Tab called: READINGS. If you wish to find these, you will need to scroll down a fair way, because he has written other Essays on various topics of interest.

A realhomilie from Fr.Kev

Kevin in Garden June 014

Dear One and All,

Today, I would like to go DEEP SEA DIVING again in this realhomilie with you. I am very curious as to the bottomless, underlying Biblical meanings in the First Reading and the Gospel, because what awaits us is like various types of Reef Coral, in their splendid colours. What does the vista of such beauty do to the human spirit? It takes one’s breath away, it causes us to tread water, in other words, our whole being calls us to Gaze and Wonder! This experience has the power to prepare us for the great mystery of the Eucharist. So, let’s get our gear together, and down we go……….

Many times, I have said that we must be curious when we read God’s Word, so that the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, can invite us to the great depths contained in it. For me, God’s Word is like a continuing echo, somewhat like the echoes which we hear in the Mountains, where the words contained in our voice, bounce off the rock walls, and we hear it many times over. When God speaks, His words continue to echo or bounce continually. Whereas when we yell out, ‘Coo ee’ as we do in Australia, the bounce gets softer and softer. Not so with God’s Word; it never gets softer! It’s in perpetual motion and it is strong! It will always fulfil what it was sent to do.

Echo point

In the first Reading from the Old Testament, the place where this happened, according to Scripture, is towards the base of Mt.Sinai/Mt.Horeb in the Sinai Peninsula, in Egypt. Please have another look at the photo that I inserted above the first reading; that is virtually at the base of Mt.Sinai, and the Monastery is that of St. Catherine’s. Here in this reading we have a primitive Liturgy taking place, which externalises the internal reality, initiated by the Lord God in the Covenant. (I will be your God and you will be my people) Hence the Decalogue or Ten Words of God, given to Moses, outlines the Lord God’s Mission Statement for us, which can enable our side of the Covenant to stay intact. As for the Lord God, there is no question about God’s fidelity. The ancient Liturgy portrayed in the First Reading is a way of renewal of the Covenant. Hence, special symbols, and well-chosen words make present the mystery of God’s Covenant love, renewed.

This Liturgical activity contains very deep significance for God’s people.  Firstly the killing of the animals was seen to be a preamble in this Liturgy, thus cleansing the way for LISTENING, RESPONDING AND PARTICIPATION. Somewhat like our Penitential Rite within the Celebration of the Eucharist, prior to the Liturgy of the Word, and Eucharist. Notice the symbolism of the Altar of sacrifice; sacred in its own way of centering the Lord God’s presence. The twelve stones representing the twelve tribes of God’s children. (Israel)

The actual setting and purpose of the people, and Leaders, is very important; here we have the beginnings of a Covenant renewal Liturgy. Let’s go on; the blood had been gathered and placed in a Pannier that is a large metal dish, and positioned on the Altar. What is so special about the blood, you might ask? Well for our ancestors in faith, blood was a symbol and sign of LIFE! For example, during a battle when someone drove a spear into one of the enemy, the blood came out…the life spills away. Also remember when the Hebrews where held captive in Egypt during the ten plagues? It was a sign of liberation and new life, when the blood from the Lambs was painted over the door lintel, the joist or beam over the door way. The Angel of Death would then Passover them….so here we see blood as a symbol of being spared, given new life. On that basis, simply put, it is BLOOD which is the symbol of LIFE…..God’s life!

Getting back to the Liturgical action at the foot of the Holy Mountain of the Lord God, it is important to see that after the ‘Covenant – Commands’ of the Lord God were proclaimed, the community response was, “ We will observe, all that the Lord has decreed; we will obey.”  Now here we have come across a stunning action!  Let’s take it slowly……to observe can mean to study, to examine, to perceive, to scrutinize, to survey etc. But in this case it is all of that plus more, and that comes out in the next word that is a real gem…….’we will obeyThe verb to obey has a very profound meaning for our ancestors in faith. For them it was more than do this or do that; for them it was a special kind of listening with the body, mind and spirit. Nowadays, we would call it holistic listening. This it would seem runs with, and is entwined with ‘gazing’…….i.e reflective looking, and hearing and savouring. So for the people of Israel to obey in this context is also communitarian……we will obey’. It would seem that the community response is beyond doubt linked to others, as well as self. This enabling ‘grace’ manifest itself in, and through, the living out of God’s Decalogue. (Ten Commandments) Covenanted Life in God.

Let’s go back to the significance of ‘the blood’ in this Ritual; notice that half the blood was cast on the altar, and the rest was ceremoniously sprinkled on the community. What do you think that might mean in this Ritual – albeit, Liturgical action? Now, don’t give up too quickly…look back at what we were talking about earlier on…….. Yes, you got it right! The life of the Lord God was truly among His people, offering renewed life through this Covenant Renewal Ceremony. However at all times we must remember that it is the Lord God who initiates, and it is up to us to respond.

Now, let’s take another look at the Second Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews…….this is in fact a commentary on the connection of the first reading with the Gospel. Let’s move on to a deeper understanding of the meaning and significance of bread!

In the Old Testament, it is a common understanding that Bread can also be a symbol for God’s Word, and it’s inherit benevolence, see Exodus 16:4 I am going to rain down bread from Heaven’ (That is the Manna in the desert.) Ezekiel 3: 1-3 is deeply profound, let’s have a look at it.’ He said, ‘Son of man (Ezekiel) eat what is given to you, eat this scroll, then go and speak to the House of Israel’. I opened my mouth; he gave me the scroll to eat and said, ‘Son of man, feed and be satisfied by the scroll I am giving you’. I ate it, and it tasted sweet as honey’.  This is a spectacular reading from the Old Testament which would do us good to keep in mind, as we think about God’s Word at all times. Notice that it tasted like sweet honey; even here there is a profound meaning.

stock-photo-honeycomb-isolated-on-white-41467759

Honey by itself is not something that we scoff down…..no, it has to be tasted, it has to infuse our tastebuds, and generally while this is happening we are ‘caught’ within these moments, as if it were a gazing experience. So the action of savouring, is related to the deliciousness of God’s Word, which causes our taste buds to dance! So, to be in tune with God’s Word, we must let it sink into us, slowly, reflectively within an atmosphere of stillness and gentle curiosity.  Food for thought, eh? When we listen to God’s Word in future, and taking this into account, it cannot be rushed…..’Lord, what are you saying to me through your Holy Word, how can my life be changed?’

Conversely, if we rush listening to someone else while engaged in conversation, or have our minds on other things, we have Buckley’s chance of knowing what they are really telling us, because we are NOT listening! The motif which should be in our minds and hearts is: – Speak Lord, your servant is listening……Not, Listen Lord, your servant is speaking!!!!!!

SymbolBread

Staying with the concept of Bread, I would like to speak about a special custom which used to be ‘common place’ in ancient times, when groups of people would move through the Desert and Mountains, to either trade or buy goods. Usually these journeys took a number of days, very different to us; we just get in the car, and off to Woolworths or the local Shopping Mall. But in the days of our ancestors of faith, they would share their bread with each other at the Camp site, and they would only have in their company, trusted people, for obvious reasons. It would be unthinkable for each person to have their own hamper; sharing the Bread together was a ritual of trust and companionship. From that beautiful word, companionship we can break it up into com, from the Latin cum, meaning ‘with’, and panis from the Latin meaning ‘bread’. So here we have the meaning of companionship……’sharing bread with. There is a wonderful and simple meaningful song which is sometimes used when there is a greater number of Children present at the Celebration of the Eucharist…..Titled:-’We are companions on the journey, breaking bread and sharing life.’ By Carey Landry.

So now, let’s take all the above into account as we listen, savour, and gaze on the Words of today’s Gospel. As Jesus and his disciples make their way to the Cenacle for the Supper, they had to pass over a small stream which flowed from that part of the Temple where the Lambs had been slaughtered, it is good to note that the little stream would not have been clear water, but water mixed with blood…….very symbolic at this time. Now within the Gospel reading, we see Jesus taking the Bread, offering it and handing it out saying…’ This is my Body’. And then with the Cup….’this is the cup of my Blood.The blood of the covenant…’ A very liturgical action which would seem, was used in some way by the early church in the ‘Breaking of Bread’.

So to conclude, this Feast is very important in the Church Calendar, because it not only causes us to PAUSE, but to reflect deeply upon Our Lord’s Communion with us through His Word, the Eucharist and in His people.’

Let’s remember the great words of St. John Chrysostom 407AD in reference to the Eucharist, he said….’you become, what you have partaken of…’

God Bless you and your families and May we never forget each other the next time that we are held in conversation with the Lord, Fr.Kev

INTRODUCING: – Fr.Brian Gleeson, C.P

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It is with great pleasure and a privilege, to have Brian’s Reflection on God’s Word, in the realhomilies website. I have known Brian since I was 17 years of age; that is nearly Old Testament times, and he has not only been a very supportive friend of mine, but also to my late Mum and Dad, ( Harry & Nancy Walsh, and to my sister, Sr.Genevieve RSC. Brian has been gifted with a clear mind, and through his investigative research into Theology and Christology, he is well known throughout the world. On the Pastoral front, Brian is a fantastic Preacher of Christ Crucified, and is a deeply compassionate human being. You will see that what Brian has to say is, logical, to the point and easily read. Brian has a profound insight into the meaning of the Second Vatican Council, and its application for the ongoing renewal of God’s people, the Church. Having held many responsibilities within the Passionist Congregation, he is presently the Superior/Community Leader of the Passionists at St. Paul the Apostle House, Endeavour Hills, an outer suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

At a recent ‘Get together’ of our Passionist Family at Holy Cross Centre, Templestowe, Victoria, Brian offered his reflections to me for you…..the readers of: www. realhomilies.com we will be all the richer in our spirituality and insights in Sacred Scripture, and I have receive with open arms, Brian’s weekly contribution. Thank you Brian.

BrianGleeson_80x80

Fr Brian Gleeson CP. Passionist Community  St.Paul the Apostle Church, Endeavour Hills, Vic bgleesoncp@gmail.com

In all our Catholic churches, the main way we pray together is the Eucharist, the Mass. From start to finish, Jesus Christ is active and alive in us who are parts, indeed limbs and cells, of his risen body. The climax, the high point of our celebration, is when we receive him in Holy Communion. There he gives himself to us in love and nourishes our relationship with him. There he sets us ‘aflame’ with his ‘compelling love’ (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, #10). So, from our intimate sharing with him in communion, we are meant to go back to our homes and neighbourhoods with a new heart, a new spirit, and a new commitment. In other words, Jesus sends us out from his table to nourish others with our body and blood, i.e. with the gift of ourselves, our love, and our lives. He sends us out to bring to others a love like his, one that is unselfish, caring, forgiving, generous and constant.

At the very the end of Mass Jesus has one final word to say to us. Through our priest or deacon he commands us in these or similar words: ‘Go and announce the gospel of the Lord.’ His intention is ‘[that] each [of us] may go out [from his table] to do good works, praising and blessing God’ [General Instruction of the Roman Missal 2002, #90c].

We cannot, in fact, truly share the consecrated bread and wine without also sharing the daily bread of our personal and community resources of one kind or another. Communion with him is essentially defective, and even an empty sham, if we ignore or neglect him in our poor and needy sisters and brothers.

In a nutshell, our Holy Communion with Christ requires us to identify with poor, suffering, troubled and afflicted persons all over the world: Did not Vatican II say: ‘The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well?‘ [‘The Church in the Modern World’, #1] A remarkable statement in the Passionists’ Rule and Constitutions echoes this in a particularly challenging way: “We are aware,’ it says, ‘that the Passion of Christ continues in this world until he comes in glory; therefore we share in the joys and sorrows of our contemporaries as we journey through life towards our Father. We wish to share in the distress of all, especially those who are poor and neglected; we seek to offer them comfort and to relieve the burden of their sorrow’ (#3).

Our whole Mass is a matter of remembering, celebrating and joining in Christ’s wonderful work of liberating and transforming human beings. So our celebration is meant to send us out to liberate oppressed and struggling persons from all that is not of God, from all that crushes or inhibits their dignity as his sons and daughters. This is so true that until Jesus comes back to the earth at the end of time, the strongest sign of his presence and self-giving in the Eucharist is our life-style afterwards. This means a life-style of service, of binding up wounds, of reaching out to persons in need with caring, unselfish, and generous love in all the ways, in fact, in which Jesus himself reached out to others during his days and years on earth.

The Eucharist, then, makes us a people sent out on mission, people who find in the Bread that is Christ and the wine that is Christ our nourishment and strength to reach out to others. A beautiful ecumenical document known as the Lima Statement puts it this way: ‘The Eucharist is precious food for missionaries, bread and wine for pilgrims on their apostolic journey’ [Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, E26].

The truth is that shared prayer and shared life before and after prayer go together. This is particularly true of the Eucharist. For it is there that we remember, celebrate and encounter the presence and person of Jesus Christ, giving himself in love to God the Father, and giving himself in love to human beings.

So, to sum up my message to you on this Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, one of the quite special meanings of the Eucharist, but one that is too often overlooked or neglected, is that it is about ‘going out to make a better world’ (Christiane Brusselmans).

Jesus is Lord with multiple flags sm

OUR FAMILY PRAYER TIME………

This is a great opportunity to gather the Family in Prayer. Having a Prayer Setting really adds to and designates this time as a ‘special’ time together. You might like to have a nice coloured cloth on a coffee table, or on the centre of the Dining Room Table. You will need a candle, Crucifix, Bible …in the opened position, even at the Gospel of the Sunday, and maybe a flower. During Easter tide you might like to place some white and gold material on your devotional altar. You might like to create your own permanent ‘sacred space’ in your home, where the Word of God is open, and a small tee light within a fire proof glass, could awaken in the minds and hearts of your family of the ‘real presence’ of God in His Word.  Prayer time needs to be able to engage as many of our senses as possible. The burning of some fragrant oil also can evoke in the minds of your family, ‘prayer time’. Someone in the family might like to be the leader of the intercessions, then other family members can share the prayers….everyone can be invited to join is spontaneous shared prayer…

Leader: We pray for hearts grateful for this gift of Christ’s Body and Blood and for strength to give ourselves for the sake of others.

  1. That the Church be faithful to who she is as body of Christ. We pray to the Lord: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER
  2. That all people of the world come to unity and peace through self-giving for the sake of others. We pray to the Lord: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER
  3. That those without food and drink receive sufficient nourishment to live healthy and strong lives. We pray to the Lord: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER
  4. That each of us proclaim by just deeds and worthy lives the mystery of Christ’s self-giving. We pray to the Lord: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER
  5. Let’s think back over the past week, and what we have seen on the T.V News, Breaking News on our Mobile Phones and ipads….who are some of the people and situations in our Global village who need our prayers? You might like to share some of these…………., we pray to the Lord: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER

Leader: Gracious God, you have given us abundant food and drink for our journey: hear these prayers that we might enjoy everlasting life with you. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing is taken from the Iona Abbey Sacramentary, Scotland.

Iona Lismore,%20Cameron%20Monument

Iona Abbey is located on the Isle of Iona, just off the Isle of Mull on the West Coast of Scotland. It is one of the oldest and most important religious centres in Western Europe. The abbey was a focal point for the spread of Christianity throughout Scotland and marks the foundation of a monastic community by St. Columba, when Iona was part of the Kingdom of Dál Riata.

  1. The Cross

ALL       WE SHALL TAKE IT.

  1. The bread……………

ALL       WE SHALL BREAK IT.

  1. The pain

ALL       WE SHALL BEAR IT.

  1. The joy………………

ALL       WE SHALL SHARE IT.

  1. The Gospel……………

ALL       WE SHALL LIVE IT.

  1. The love…………

ALL       WE SHALL GIVE IT.

  1. The light……………

ALL       WE SHALL CHERISH IT.

  1. The darkness…………….

ALL       WE SHALL PERISH IT. Amen.

fishmosaic Loves and Fishes

Please pass on our website to those people in your Contact List who would benefit from these reflections. Feel free to share your comments with us personally, and we will publish them for our readers

www.realhomilies.com

Fr.Kevin: kevin.w3@bigpond.com     Fr.Brian:  bgleesoncp@gmail.com

 

 

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One response to “Corpus Christi…..The Body and Blood of Christ. Year B, 2015. A realhomilie from Fr.Kevin Walsh, Sydney, Australia. A reflection on the meaning of the Feast by Fr.Brian Gleeson, C.P, Melbourne, Australia.

  1. kevinwalsh1974

    June 7, 2015 at 12:27 am

    Today’s Feast is most certainly about celebrating the living body of and blood of Christ in His people! If our devotion only rests on the Eucharist in a gold leafed, gem studded Monstrance, we are deluding ourselves and only gazing on half the reality of the Body of Christ. After so called adoration of the Eucharist in the church and then get into our car and curse the driver for our mistakes, we have wasted our time in the church. Good for thought! Moreover, if our relationships become more compassionate, living and forgiving as a result of our Eucharistic Adoration, it would do us well to practice that devotion often.

     

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