Skip to content

John Paul II's Homily on Feast of Corpus Christi

"Source and Summit of Our Being and Action"

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 11, 2004 - Here is the homily John Paul II delivered today during the Mass for the feast of Corpus Christi, which took place in the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

* * *

1. "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes" (1 Corinthians 11:26).

With these words St. Paul reminds the Christians of Corinth that the "Lord's supper" is not only a convivial gathering, but also -- and above all -- the memorial of the redeeming sacrifice of Christ. Whoever takes part -- the Apostle explains -- unites himself to the mystery of the death of the Lord, in fact, becomes his "herald."

There is, therefore, a very close relation between "celebrating the Eucharist" and proclaiming Christ. To enter into communion with him in the Pasch memorial means, at the same time, to become missionaries of the event that the ritual realizes. In a certain sense, it means to render it contemporary at all times, until the Lord returns.

2. Dear brothers and sisters, let us relive this wonderful reality of today's solemnity of Corpus Domini, in which the Church not only celebrates the Eucharist, but carries it solemnly in procession, proclaiming publicly that the sacrifice of Christ is for the salvation of the whole world.

Grateful for this immense gift, the Church draws close to the Most Holy Sacrament because it is the source and summit of our being and action. "Ecclesia de Eucharistia vivit!" The Church lives from the Eucharist and knows that this truth does not only express a daily experience of faith, but encloses in a synthetic manner the nucleus of the mystery that she herself is (see encyclical letter "Ecclesia de Eucharistia," 1).

3. Ever since, with Pentecost, the People of the New Covenant "began their pilgrim journey toward the heavenly homeland, the Divine Sacrament has continued to articulate their days, filling them with confident hope" (ibid.). Thinking specifically about this, I wished to dedicate to the Eucharist the first encyclical of the new millennium and I am now happy to announce a special Year of the Eucharist. It will begin with the World Eucharistic Congress, planned from October 10-17 in Guadalajara (Mexico), and will end with the next ordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will be held in the Vatican from October 2-29, 2005, and whose theme will be "The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church."

Through the Eucharist, the ecclesial community is built as a new Jerusalem, principle of unity in Christ between different peoples and nations.

4. "You give them something to eat" (Luke 9:13).

The Gospel page we heard a short while ago gives an effective image of the profound connection existing between the Eucharist and this universal mission of the Church. Christ, "the living bread which came down from heaven" (John 6:51; see Gospel Acclamation), is the only one who can satisfy man's hunger at all times and in all parts of the earth.

However, he does not want to do it alone and so, as in the multiplication of the loaves, involves the disciples: "And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd" (Luke 9:16). This miraculous sign is a figure of the greater mystery of love that is renewed every day in the holy Mass: Through the ordained ministers, Christ gives his Body and Blood for the life of humanity. And all those who nourish themselves worthily at his table, become living instruments of his presence of love, mercy and peace.

5. "'Lauda, Sion, Salvatorem!' -- Sion, praise the Savior, your guide and shepherd, with hymns and canticles."

With profound emotion we feel this invitation to praise and joy resound in our hearts. At the end of the holy Mass we will carry the Divine Sacrament in procession to the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Contemplating Mary, we will understand better the transforming force that the Eucharist possesses. Listening to her, we will find in the Eucharistic mystery the courage and strength to follow Christ the Good Shepherd and to serve him in our brothers.


Catholic Online CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000



Pope, Homily, Corpus, Christi

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

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

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.