June 6, 2021

The Most Holy Body and Blood (Corpus Christi)

For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer’s ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God. For this reason, he is mediator of a new covenant: since a death has taken place for deliverance from transgressions under the first covenant, those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:13-15).

Saint Thomas Aquinas chose the readings for the Feast of Corpus Christi. He knew very well the heart of the Eucharist is the celebration. The Eucharist is the new covenant. To understand this, we must know the old covenant. Hence the importance of the reading from Exodus. This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many. Hebrews’ text underscores the relation of the new and the old covenants.

The Israelites promised to keep God’s words and worship and live according to their vow to keep the covenant. Jesus offers an eternal sacrifice; he offers himself body, blood, soul, humanity, and divinity. It is a mystery we contemplate in the Eucharist and will contemplate face to face in heaven.

Saint Peter Julian Eymard writes a gem found in A Thought for Every Day (June 4, p. 70):

This is our strength, and this is our joy, thanks to the Eucharist. Christians celebrate a feast where all, without jealousy or distinction, participate at the same divine table and drink from the same heavenly cup. It is the joyous feast of true brotherhood that we can make last forever, for neither the pure wheat of the elect nor the intoxicating wine of holiness can be exhausted in the hands of the Church which endlessly presents them to us (PG 244.7).

Let Us Pray:

Lord, we pray that we may delight for all eternity in that share in our divine life which is foreshadowed in the present age by our reception of your precious body and blood. (Communion Prayer)


Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Ernest Falardeau, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Ernest Falardeau has dedicated his life and ministry to the promotion of Christian unity. He served for many years as the Ecumenical Officer of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and now resides at Saint Jean Baptiste Church in New York City.