Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

6/22/2014 (1 month ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Jesus Christ is not dead, He is alive. He has been raised. He walks through our streets in this hour as truly as He walked the streets of Galilee. He walks through the streets, through those who bear His name and continue His redemptive mission to a world waiting to be born anew

Corpus Christi is Latin for Body of Christ. It is the name given to the Feast of Body and Blood of Jesus which is given to us in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. On this day, through our readings at Mass, the homily, and our participation in Holy Mass, we are reminded that Jesus Christ gives Himself to us, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. We are also reminded of our missionary call to give Him to others. There is an ancient and beautiful custom in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the Corpus Christi procession. The consecrated Host, the Body of the Lord, is reposed in what is called a monstrance. The term is derived from a Latin phrase meaning to show or reveal.The faithful process the Body of the Lord through the streets surrounding their church buildings. This Eucharistic procession can be a powerful witness to an age which has lost its sense of the sacred. We proclaim by our action that the Lord is truly present, giving Himself to all who call upon him.

Corpus Christi Procession. We have received the Bread of Heaven. Let us choose to become what we consume. These Feasts are not just rituals on a Church calendar. They are actually invitations to encounter the Lord Jesus Christ, and be changed in the encounter. On this Feast of Corpus Christi, let us ask the Lord to come and take up residence within us anew. Then, let us process into the world waiting to be born again and proclaim the Good News.

Corpus Christi Procession. We have received the Bread of Heaven. Let us choose to become what we consume. These Feasts are not just rituals on a Church calendar. They are actually invitations to encounter the Lord Jesus Christ, and be changed in the encounter. On this Feast of Corpus Christi, let us ask the Lord to come and take up residence within us anew. Then, let us process into the world waiting to be born again and proclaim the Good News.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/22/2014 (1 month ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Corpus Christi, Body and Blood of Jesus, Holy Eucharist, Procession, Living faith, holiness, Sacraments, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - Corpus Christi is Latin for Body of Christ. It is the name given to the Feast of Body and Blood of Jesus which is given to us in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist.

On this day, through our readings at Mass, the homily, and our participation in Holy Mass, we are reminded that Jesus Christ gives Himself to us, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. We are also reminded of our missionary call to give Him to others.

There is an ancient and beautiful custom in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the Corpus Christi procession. The consecrated Host, the Body of the Lord, is reposed in what is called a monstrance. The term is derived from a Latin phrase meaning to show or reveal. 

The faithful process the Body of the Lord through the streets surrounding their church buildings. This Eucharistic procession can be a powerful witness to an age which has lost its sense of the sacred.

We proclaim by our action that the Lord is truly present, giving Himself to all who call upon him. The faithful process out of the Church building and go  into the street, singing  songs of worship.

When I was a child, growing up in a Catholic neighborhood of Dorchester, Massachusetts, the procession was woven into the experience of Catholic culture. It fell out of practice in many churches as the practice of the faith waned.

Jesus Christ is not dead, He is alive. He has been raised. He walks through our streets in this hour as truly as He walked the streets of Galilee. He walks through the streets, through those who bear His name and continue His redemptive mission to a world waiting to be born anew. 
 
Over the many years I have served as a Deacon of the Church, I have found that the parishes which practice the procession have experienced tremendous grace.  In one inner city parish I served, I remember the beauty of witnessing the people come out of their homes as we marched through the streets. Many knelt on their porches, as the Lord passed by.

The Corpus Christi procession is one of those practices where we can truly encounter the Lord, if we approach it with living faith. Otherwise it can be reduced to one more ritual which loses its meaning.

I hope it finds new impetus in this age of the New Evangelization, as more and more Catholics are encountering the Lord in a personal, life changing way.  So much of our life in the Church presupposes such an encounter.

Though this Feast has been transferred to Sunday in the United States, the Church in much of the world celebrated it on Thursday. Whenever it is celebrated, it is a richly significant day in Catholic life.

Priests, accompanied by Deacons, lead the faithful in a solemn procession of the Consecrated Holy Eucharist throughout the Streets of the world. We make a prophetic statement. And, to those who witness the event with the eyes of living faith, we offer an encounter with the Risen Lord.

The celebration of this Solemnity goes back to the thirteenth century. Pope Urban IV instituted it in 1264 for the entire Church. He wanted it to be filled with joy and accompanied by hymns and a festive procession.

He asked the great Western Church father, St. Thomas Aquinas, to compose two Offices of prayer. St Thomas did so- along with five hymns - and they have nourished the piety of Christians for centuries.

In one of them St. Thomas noted: "Material food first of all turns itself into the person who eats it, and as a consequence, restores his losses and increases his vital energies. Spiritual food, on the other hand, turns the person who eats it into Itself.

"Thus, the proper effect of this sacrament is the conversion of man into Christ, so that he may no longer live for himself, but that Christ may live in Him. And as a consequence it has the double effect of restoring the spiritual losses caused by sins and defects and of increasing the power of the virtues".
 
On this Feast we proclaim our belief in the Real presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. We also proclaim that same Jesus lives within each one of us who are baptized into His Body, the Church, of which we are members.

In fact, the Lord Himself teaches us that the entire Trinity takes up residence within us. Then, through our life in the Church, which is His Body,  and our participation in the Sacraments, which communicate Divine Life, we can begin to live in the Trinity, right now.

This is the theological mystery  we call communion. It is also one reason why we call the reception of the Eucharist, Holy Communion. The Christian faith and life is about relationship, with the Father, in and through His Son Jesus and in Jesus Christ with one another for the sake of the world.

The world into which we process is a world that God still loves so much that He continues to send His Son (john 3:16)- to save, recreate and transform it from within.  The Corpus Christi procession symbolizes the ongoing redemptive mission of Jesus Christ - and our participation in it, today. 
 
He comes to dwell within us - and we live our lives now in Him. We are invited to become living monstrances, living manifestations of the Lord, showing Him forth to the world, in word and deed. 

We are invited to enthrone the Lord  in our hearts, which is, in biblical language, the center of the person. In the Holy Eucharist we receive the Divine Host whom we carry in procession.

When we process, we proclaim that the Lord continues to come into the world through the Church, through us!

Through our Baptism he has taken up residence within each one of us. We carry Him into the real world just as we carry the monstrance into its streets today. 
Jesus told his disciples "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." 

We who have been given the bread of angels truly do have His Life within us; the very life of the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit - a communion of Divine Persons in the Perfect unity of Perfect love.

The Feast of Corpus Christi follows the great Feast of the Holy Trinity in the Western Catholic Church calendar in order to show this profound connection. Through our continual reception of the Eucharist we are invited to live more fully in the Trinitarian communion- and given the grace to do so!
 
Then we are sent into the world to carry Jesus to others. The Lord wants all men and women to live within the Church. She is the home of the whole human race and a seed of the kingdom. The implications of that invitation are meant to unfold into a life of continual conversion in every believer.

This conversion happens in and through the very stuff of the struggles and travail of our daily lives; through the mistakes, the wrong choices, the failures, and the pain, joined to His Passion, and raised with Him. 

Through it all, the love of God purifies and refines us like the refiners' fire purified the gold that was used to make the many Monstrances we carry into the Streets of the world on this great and glorious Feast of Corpus Christi.

Like Mary, the Mother of the Lord - and the mother of all who follow her Son - we are invited to give our own Fiat, our Yes to the God of love. We enthrone Him in our hearts.

This is the day when I celebrate my ordination to the Diaconate in Christ. Because this event, which changed my entire life and ordered me for service in Christ, occurred on this feast in 1996, I always celebrate the Feast as my ordination anniversary, rather than the calendar date.

I knew then, and have only grown to understand more deeply with each passing year, how significant it was that the Lord who called me allowed me to root my service as a member of the Clergy in the rich and deep meaning of this marvelous Feast.

The mystery it recalls to our hearts and minds and the invitation to intimacy with the Lord which it extends to every one of us. I have fond memories of this beautiful event which stretch back into my early childhood.

It is meant to remind us all of the call to continuing conversion, the universal call to holiness. Each of us who bear the name Christian is to become more like the One whom we love and in whom we live.
 
I often use the image of the Corpus Christi procession to explain the ministry of a deacon to anyone who asks. We are clergy called into the world, as witnesses of Christ the Servant. However, it really pertains to all Christians. Our call to live our faith does not stop at the door of the Church. 

As we march the Monstrance into the cities of the whole world we participate in a profoundly prophetic act. The early Eastern Church Fathers referred to the Church as the "world transfigured" and the "world reconciled."

That reconciliation and transfiguration continues through the Church. Jesus has been raised from the dead and he walks into the world, through His Body, of which we are members. (1 Cor. 12,13)

St. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, reminds us all that our true citizenship is "in heaven." While we live in this current age we participate in bringing heaven to earth and earth to heaven.

Christians live in the Church and go into the world. Our mission is to bring this world back to God in and through Jesus Christ.
 
We have received the Bread of Heaven. Let us choose to become what we consume. These Feasts are not just rituals on a Church calendar. They are actually invitations to encounter the Lord Jesus Christ, and be changed in the encounter. 

On this Feast of Corpus Christi, let us ask the Lord to come and take up residence within us anew. Then, let us process into the world waiting to be born again and proclaim the Good News.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More U.S.

Caught in the act! This brutal video shows a CHP officer beating a woman on the side of the freeway Watch

Image of 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock is suing the California Highway Patrol after she was brutally assaulted by a patrolman on July 1.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A viral video has landed a California Highway Patrol officer in huge trouble after it was posted on YouTube. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The California Highway Patrol has announced that it has suspended officer Daniel Andrew after a video was posted online that ... continue reading


Prophetic, Pro-Life Pope Reminds Us Procured Abortion Cut from Same Evil Root as Human Trafficking Watch

Image of On Saturday, August 16, 2014, during the apostolic visit to Korea, Pope Francis made a loud statement. However, he did not use words. He did not have to. His prophetic action brought to mind a saying attributed to his namesake, Francis of Asisi - I preach the Gospel at all times, but sometimes I use words.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

When Francis began his service from the chair of Peter, much hoopla filled the media about some alleged softening in the opposition of the Catholic Church to what are dismissively referred to as complicated "moral issues" such as abortion. Sadly, even some in the ... continue reading


Supreme Court Stays Redefinition of Marriage in Virginia Watch

Image of The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a U.S. Circuit court ruling, redefining the institution of marriage.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to delay the implementation of an appeals court ruling which struck down the expressed will of the voters of the State of Virginia that marriage is capable only between one man and one woman. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER? U.S. policemen cleared at least 400 TIMES annually for justified homicide Watch

Image of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in addition to more than 40 FBI agents will meet in Ferguson, Missouri, following the death of teenager Michael Brown, an unarmed robbery suspect shot six times by a police officer.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Law enforcement agents, be they police or sheriff's deputies, are frequently called upon to defend civilians. In their line of duty, policemen are required to make hair-trigger decisions in order to protect the lives of the innocent. This at times requires ... continue reading


Is the First Amendment dead? Police in Ferguson threaten to kill reporters Watch

Image of The unidentified officer will be found and it is unclear if he will face discipline for threatening to kill journalists.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Overnight, a police officer in Ferguson, MO threatened to kill a member of the press and was recorded doing so. Now a campaign has started online to identify the officer and remove him from the front lines in Ferguson before he really does act out on his threat. ... continue reading


Pope may visit New York City in 2015 Watch

Image of Pope Francis also said there was a possibility he would add Mexico to his travel plans, specifically to visit the Madonna of Guadalupe shrine Mexico City,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Pope Francis has confirmed that he is planning to come to the U.S. next year, a spokesman says that the pontiff may visit New York City. Pope Francis hopes to address Congress and the United Nations, as well as attend a meeting in Philadelphia. A surprise ... continue reading


On the Memorial of St. Bernard: Lord, Send Us Monks for This New Missionary Age! Watch

Image of Bernard, Monk, Abbot, Doctor of the Church, and Model of the Christian life and vocation. - Monasteries are a seedbed of the great renewals of the Catholic Church. Monks are prophetic seeds of the kingdom who always seem to be around right when we need them the most. We need Monks for the authentic renewal of the Church in this hour. Lord, send your Holy Spirit, send us monks for the renewal of your Church and the work of this new missionary age.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Even though he was regularly summoned to leave the monastery by the needs of Church and State, Bernard was above all a monk, a man of deep prayer, communion and contemplation. It was that sincere devotion which made it possible for him to have wisdom to offer the ... continue reading


So this is where school money goes?! Watch

Image of A new study shows that massive amounts of funding go to non-teacher staff in schools, which has little impact on education quality.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Non-teacher employees make up 50% of public school employees, a number which has grown 130% since 1970, a new study claims. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the Thomas B. Fordham Institute found ... continue reading


Romney weighs in: Obama is doing 'a good deal worse than even I expected' Watch

Image of Mitt Romney called President Obama out over numerous failures in the six years he has been in office during a West Virginia political rally.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney made quite a scene as he attended a West Virginia rally for three Republican Congressional candidates who are up for election in November. Crowds cheered "Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!" as he spoke. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Money is NOT the Root of Evil. Learning to Live Evangelical Simplicity in an Age of Idolatry Watch

Image of Simplicity is not about the quantity of the goods of the earth we possess. It is about our relationship to them. Jesus said - Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:21).

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Learning to live in evangelical Simplicity strips away what impedes love. In finding our proper relationship to the goods of the earth- not rejecting them, craving them, or turning them into an idol- we can learn true freedom. Our eyes are opened and everything begins ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 37:1-14
1 The hand of Yahweh was on me; he carried me away by ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 107:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2 So let them say whom Yahweh redeemed, whom he ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 22:34-40
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Andrew the Scot
August 22: Archdeacon and companion of St. Donatus. Andrew and his sister, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter