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Feast of Corpus Christi: Join Bishop Strickland for Sunday's Live Mass - 6.14.20

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Bishop Strickland in last Sunday's live Mass.

Bishop Strickland in last Sunday's live Mass.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier
6/12/2020 (3 weeks ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Mass, Sunday Mass, Live Mass, Bishop Strickland, Deacon Keith

Dear Catholic Online Community and Catholic Online School students...

I AM TRULY HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU AN INVITATION TO SUNDAY MASS WITH BISHOP JOSEPH STRICKLAND ON THE FEAST OF CORPUS CHRISTI.

I have other Mass assignments on this Feast, but one of my brother Deacons will assist our Bishop at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler, Texas. I know you look forward to hearing Bishop Strickland preach and, like me, are drawn closer to the Lord when he offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. 

This Sunday we will celebrate the great Feast of "Corpus Christi", Latin for Body of Christ. On this day, through our readings at Mass, the homily, and our participation in Holy Mass, we are reminded that Jesus Christ really, truly gives Himself to us, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in the Eucharist. 

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 consecrated 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. 

In our first reading from the book of Deuteronomy we hear four verses from Chapter eight. In that Chapter, Moses is warning the people of God not to forget that the Lord led them out of slavery in Egypt - then through and out of the desert. Among the many miracles, he fed them with Manna from heaven in that desert. For Christians, we know that this heavenly bread, this Manna, prefigured the great gift of the Holy Eucharist. The Eucharist we receive truly is Bread from Heaven. 

 In our Responsorial Psalm, David picks up on the theme, praising the Lord for feeding his people with the finest wheat, the bread of heaven. And, in the second reading, the Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians of the living bread come down from heaven, Jesus Christ. Jesus gives Himself to us, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, the Eucharist. He comes to take up residence within us.

In the Gospel appointed for this Feast, Jesus speaks these words, "I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world."

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The Bible, the early Church Fathers, the Christian Tradition and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church all teach that the bread & wine consecrated at Holy Mass truly become the Body & Blood, Soul & Divinity of Jesus Christ, the Divine Son of God.  

Jesus still tells us  what He taught the first 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. " The Gospel text explains that many of His disciples responded, "This saying is hard; who can accept it?" . . . As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him." (John 6: 22-71) 

Sadly, many Catholics "no longer accompany Him" today. Today we make our decision to stay with Him and receive this great gift. 

Jesus Christ is present with us here on earth - and with the Father in heaven.  This is the great mystery and the great blessing of the Fathers loving plan for humanity.  His Son did not come to earth only to dwell among us for 33 years. He is alive and continuing His redemptive mission through His Mystical Body, the Church, of which we are all members through Baptism. 

He also came to dwell among us in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

On a personal note, this is also the day when I celebrate my ordination to the Diaconate in Christ 25 years ago. Because this event, which changed my entire life and ordered me for service in Christ, occurred on this feast, 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 to ordained ministry as a member of the Clergy, a Deacon, also allowed me to root my service as a member of the Clergy in the rich and deep meaning of this marvelous Feast. 

Do we really believe that when we receive the consecrated bread and wine in Holy Communion, we receive Jesus Christ, His Body and Blood? We do. What a gift! What a wonderful Feast. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us:

"The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch."


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May the Lord bless you, your families, the Church, and the Nations of the world on this Feast of Corpus Christi.  

Deacon Keith Fournier

Dean of Catholic Online School

Chaplain of Your Catholic Voice Foundation


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