Sunday, May 25, 2008

Corpus Christi

Today, Catholics in the United States celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (a.k.a. "Corpus Christi"). It is a day set aside in the liturgical year for study and meditation on our belief in the real presence of the body and blood of Jesus Christ in the bread and wine used during Communion.

The Gospel at Mass today shows Jesus explaining how redemption comes from this Communion with him. The language of the passage is startling.

From John Chapter 6:

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:

"I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"

Jesus said to them:

"Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever."

The image above is from A Concord Pastor.

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