READINGS for 2006-06-18
Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
?Where do you want to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?? ? Mark 14:12
During the First Passover in the Exodus account, God gave very specific instructions on how to prepare the Passover meals: the kind of lamb, how it was to be cooked, how to dispose of the left-over and how the blood of the lamb would be marked on the doorposts.
Grant me an obedient heat, Lord!
It is the blood that carries the life essence of a being for the Jews. This is why they offered blood at the altar for the forgiveness of sins. They realized the terrible nature of sin demanded a great price and so they offered the life essence of the animals sacrificed. Incidentally, this is also why they never ate blood because of the life essence of anything belonged to God.
3 When Moses came to the people and related all the words and ordinances of the LORD, they all answered with one voice, ?We will do everything that the LORD has told us.? 4 Moses then wrote down all the words of the LORD and, rising early the next day, he erected at the foot of the mountain an altar and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 Then, having sent certain young men of the Israelites to offer holocausts and sacrifice young bulls as peace offerings to the LORD, 6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls; the other half he splashed on the altar. 7 Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people, who answered, ?All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do.? 8 Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying, ?This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words of his.?
P S A L M
Psalm 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18
R: I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
12 How shall I make a return to the LORD for all the good he has done for me? 13 The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the LORD. (R) 15 Precious in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones. 16 I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your handmaid; you have loosed my bonds. (R) 17 To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the name of the LORD. 18 My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people. (R)
The author of the Letter to the Hebrews asks us to compare the offering of the blood of goats and bulls with the offering of the blood of the Son of God! The comparison is almost ridiculous as anyone can see that the latter is infinitely greater and, in actuality, can bring forgiveness to our sins; the former cannot. It is like the difference between fools gold (iron pyrites) and real gold. Let us pray that we will never forget the price that was paid for the forgiveness of our sins.
11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that have come to be, passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation, 12 he entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer?s ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God. 15 For this reason he is mediator of a new covenant: since a death has taken place for deliverance from transgressions under the first covenant, those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.
G O S P E L
Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
In the Passover in Egypt it was the blood of an animal smeared on the doorpost of the house that told the angel of death which houses to leave alone when killing the first born of every household. Now it is Jesus? blood, shed on the cross and applied to us at baptism that frees us from our sins. it is the ultimate application of God?s love for us. As we celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, let us be grateful that we have a God ready to make a sacrifice such as Jesus made.
12 On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, ?Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?? 13 He sent two of his disciples and said to them, ?Go into the city and a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water. Follow him. 14 Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ?The Teacher says, ?Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples??? 15 Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.? 16 The disciples then went off, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover. 22 While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, ?Take it; this is my body.? 23 Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 He said to them, ?This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many. 25 Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.? 26 Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
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The feast of the Corpus Christi was made a universal feast for the entire Latin Church by Pope Urban IV in 1264. One feature of the celebration since its inception is the Eucharistic procession in which all the men in the locality participated.
Padre Pio?s Prayer After Communion: ?Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have you present so that I do not forget you. Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need your strength that I may not fall so often. Stay with me, Lord, for you are my life, and without You, I am without fervor? Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close, and life passes; death, judgment and eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need you? I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows? Stay with me, Jesus. Let me recognize you as your disciples did at the breaking of the bread, so that Eucharistic Communion will be the light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart? Amen.?
Sts. Mark and Marcellian, martyrs, pray for us.
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