The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) | Year B

Posted on mayo 30, 2024 View all Gospel Reflection

Corpus Christi Sunday is about clarifying and being inspired by the Eucharist:

E.g., During the Fraction rite at Mass, before the “Behold the Lamb of God,” I break the large consecrated host and put a particle into the Chalice. However, since the altar microphone is an older model, it must be located on the priest’s side of the altar, so there is a loud snap when the host is broken.  One person said, “At Mass, when the priest breaks the host, would that be against the scriptures that say Christ’s bones were not broken?”

Actually, the phrase, “the breaking of the bread,” was an early liturgical description of the Eucharist; so, clearly the Consecrated host can be broke as many times as needed. Plus, Jesus’ body can be broken without breaking any bones. His body was broken-down for us by his suffering and death. When the consecrated host is broken, the entire Christ is really present in every part of the host that is broken.

Being inspired by the Eucharist by two women:

Juliana of Liège was a medieval religious sister that has long been recognized as the promoter of the Feast of Corpus Christi. Beginning in the year 1210, Juliana, a new nun at age 16, received a reoccurring vision of the moon with a piece missing. It was revealed to her by Christ as an image of the present Church, with the breach in the moon representing the absence of the Feast of Corpus Christi. The fractured moon made whole by the addition of Corpus Christi as a new feast to the liturgical calendar which Juliana was able to do through her bishop contacts and the pope when she became the leader of her community.1

Jackie Mulligan is the CEO and Foundress of Reform Wellness, a Christ-Centered Wellness Ministry consisting of a team of naturopathic doctors, educators, creatives, and religious, who are dedicated to helping one reclaim health in body and soul. They abide by all of the teachings of the Catholic Church, without exception. Bridget Vander Woude (sister of Father Vander Woulde) works there too. I said that Jackie Mulligan is the CEO but she refers to her title not as Chief Executive Officer, but as, Chief Eucharistic Officer, because it was a profound experience of the Eucharist that changed her life and career. Nowadays, she will say that their Priest Chaplain officially holds that title because he can bring about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Another clarification of the Eucharist is that Jesus’ own disciples had trouble accepting that we must eat Jesus’ flesh and drink his blood. His own followers say to him, “This is a hard saying; who can listen it? (John 6:60). Jesus does not ease the difficulty of the disciples accepting his teaching. Rather he says, “Do you take offense at this?”

Some objectors to the Eucharist appeal to Jesus’ words in John 6:63, “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail” so they can argue that Jesus was only speaking symbolically about eating his flesh and drinking his blood. The problem with that objection is John 6:63 is talking about spiritual faith, not fleshly reasoning, needed to believe in the Eucharist. And spiritual does not mean symbolic. For example, John 4:24 says that “God is spirit.” That is not symbolic. Also, no one would say that Eucharist is a hard saying if it were only a symbol. The disciples understood the literal meaning of Jesus’ words, which is why some of them left.

Other objections against the Eucharist choose manipulated translations of some of the Greek words in John, Chapter 6, that, even so, still cannot explain why many of Jesus’s disciples left Jesus over the Eucharistic teaching of Jesus words ‘Eat my flesh and drink my blood” (John 6:54).

The Eucharist in no way contradicts science either. At the words of consecration, the bread and wine are changed into the substance of the body and blood of Jesus by transubstantiation even though the DNA after consecration is still bread and wine. Catholic teaching asserts that bread and wine remain on the empirical level even after consecration, or as we say under the “appearance” of bread and wine or that the “species” of bread and wine remain.  

We believe in the change of substance because God revealed it. It is admittedly strange and different from all other changes that we know about. Consider that St. Thomas Aquinas wrote Eucharistic hymns, like this line: “I devoutly adore you, hidden Deity. Who truly lies beneath these figures.”

In the various Eucharistic miracles around the world, it is the heart tissue of Jesus that replaces the appearance of bread. Heart strengthening for us (Genesis 18:5; Psalm 103:14-15).

1.    Barbara R. Walters, Vincent Corrigan and Peter T. Ricketts: The Feast of Corpus Christi. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006