Celebrate Sunday Mass - Corpus Christi Sunday - 6.6.21

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6/6/2021 (3 years ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Corpus Christi Sunday -- June 6, 2021

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


In our first reading, we have the wonderful account from the Book of Exodus of Moses telling the People of God the Lords words and ordinances ---and they responded, " All the words which the Lord has spoken, we will do" A wonderful response. Then, the covenant was sealed with blood. The people were sprinkled with the blood and Moses proclaimed, "This is the blood of the covenant which Yahweh has made with you, entailing all these stipulations."

Our Psalm response from Psalm 116 affirms "I shall offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of Yahweh. I shall fulfil my vows to Yahweh, witnessed by all his people."

Sadly, as we know, the people of God, Israel, did not fulfill their vows and this account points us to the future merciful action of God the Father who, centuries later, sent His only Son, Jesus, who would seal the New Covenant by offering Himself and sealing that New and Eternal Covenant with His own blood.

Our second reading from the New Testament Letter to the Hebrews explains this fulfillment in these words:

"But now Christ has come, as the high priest of all the blessings which were to come. He has passed through the greater, the more perfect tent, not made by human hands, that is, not of this created order; and he has entered the sanctuary once and for all, taking with him not the blood of goats and bull calves, but his own blood, having won an eternal redemption. 

"The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkled on those who have incurred defilement, may restore their bodily purity. How much more will the blood of Christ, who offered himself, blameless as he was, to God through the eternal Spirit, purify our conscience from dead actions so that we can worship the living God. This makes him the mediator of a new covenant, so that, now that a death has occurred to redeem the sins committed under an earlier covenant, those who have been called to an eternal inheritance may receive the promise."

In the Gospel appointed for Holy Mass on this day this theme of the fulfillment of the Old Covenant with the New Covenant continues. Jesus institutes the Holy Mass and offers us in the Eucharistic Sacrifice His Very Body and Blood. We read the very words of consecration still used at every Holy Mass. 

"And as they were eating, he took bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them. 'Take it,' he said, 'this is my body.'

"Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he handed it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them, 'This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, poured out for many."

All the Old Testament finds its fulfillment in the New. The New Covenant is eternal. We are now the People of God, the New Israel, and Christ, the Passover Lamb has sealed this covenant with His own Blood.

This is the day when I celebrate my ordination to the Diaconate in Christ. It is the 25th Anniversary of my ordination to the Order of Deacons in the Catholic Church. 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. 
What an honor it is to serve as a member of the Clergy of the Catholic Church. And, what a serious responsibility it is as well. Please pray for me on this day, as I do for you. 

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. 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.

In the Lord and for His Church,  
Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School
Chaplain of Your Catholic Voice Foundation

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