Gospel and Readings 6.6.2021

 

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Lectionary: 168

Reading I

When Moses came to the people
and related all the words and ordinances of the LORD,
they all answered with one voice,
“We will do everything that the LORD has told us.”
Moses then wrote down all the words of the LORD and,
rising early the next day,
he erected at the foot of the mountain an altar
and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel.
Then, having sent certain young men of the Israelites
to offer holocausts and sacrifice young bulls
as peace offerings to the LORD,
Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls;
the other half he splashed on the altar.
Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people,
who answered, “All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do.”
Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying,
“This is the blood of the covenant
that the LORD has made with you
in accordance with all these words of his.”

Responsorial Psalm

R. (13)    I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R. I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
R. I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
R. I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading II

Brothers and sisters:
When Christ came as high priest
of the good things that have come to be,
passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle
not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation,
he entered once for all into the sanctuary,
not with the blood of goats and calves
but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.
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.

Sequence

Lauda Sion

Laud, O Zion, your salvation,
Laud with hymns of exultation,
Christ, your king and shepherd true:

Bring him all the praise you know,
He is more than you bestow.
Never can you reach his due.

Special theme for glad thanksgiving
Is the quick’ning and the living
Bread today before you set:

From his hands of old partaken,
As we know, by faith unshaken,
Where the Twelve at supper met.

Full and clear ring out your chanting,
Joy nor sweetest grace be wanting,
From your heart let praises burst:

For today the feast is holden,
When the institution olden
Of that supper was rehearsed.

Here the new law’s new oblation,
By the new king’s revelation,
Ends the form of ancient rite:

Now the new the old effaces,
Truth away the shadow chases,
Light dispels the gloom of night.

What he did at supper seated,
Christ ordained to be repeated,
His memorial ne’er to cease:

And his rule for guidance taking,
Bread and wine we hallow, making
Thus our sacrifice of peace.

This the truth each Christian learns,
Bread into his flesh he turns,
To his precious blood the wine:

Sight has fail’d, nor thought conceives,
But a dauntless faith believes,
Resting on a pow’r divine.

Here beneath these signs are hidden
Priceless things to sense forbidden;
Signs, not things are all we see:

Blood is poured and flesh is broken,
Yet in either wondrous token
Christ entire we know to be.

Whoso of this food partakes,
Does not rend the Lord nor breaks;
Christ is whole to all that taste:

Thousands are, as one, receivers,
One, as thousands of believers,
Eats of him who cannot waste.

Bad and good the feast are sharing,
Of what divers dooms preparing,
Endless death, or endless life.

Life to these, to those damnation,
See how like participation
Is with unlike issues rife.

When the sacrament is broken,
Doubt not, but believe ‘tis spoken,
That each sever’d outward token
doth the very whole contain.

Nought the precious gift divides,
Breaking but the sign betides
Jesus still the same abides,
still unbroken does remain.

 The shorter form of the sequence begins here.

Lo! the angel’s food is given
To the pilgrim who has striven;
see the children’s bread from heaven,
which on dogs may not be spent.

Truth the ancient types fulfilling,
Isaac bound, a victim willing,
Paschal lamb, its lifeblood spilling,
manna to the fathers sent.

Very bread, good shepherd, tend us,
Jesu, of your love befriend us,
You refresh us, you defend us,
Your eternal goodness send us
In the land of life to see.

You who all things can and know,
Who on earth such food bestow,
Grant us with your saints, though lowest,
Where the heav’nly feast you show,
Fellow heirs and guests to be. Amen. Alleluia.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven,
says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
when they sacrificed the Passover lamb,
Jesus’ disciples said to him,
“Where do you want us to go
and prepare for you to eat the Passover?”
He sent two of his disciples and said to them,
“Go into the city and a man will meet you,
carrying a jar of water.
Follow him.
Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house,
‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room
where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”‘
Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready.
Make the preparations for us there.”
The disciples then went off, entered the city,
and found it just as he had told them;
and they prepared the Passover.
While they were eating,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, gave it to them, and said,
“Take it; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them,
and they all drank from it.
He said to them,
“This is my blood of the covenant,
which will be shed for many.
Amen, I say to you,
I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine
until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
Then, after singing a hymn,
they went out to the Mount of Olives

REFLECTION

While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.” Mark 14:22–24

At the holy Mass, as soon as the priest pronounces the words of the consecration, transforming the bread and wine into the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ our Lord, he genuflects, rises, and then says, “The mystery of faith.” What is “the mystery of faith?” Oftentimes, when we say that something is a mystery, we mean that the conclusion is hidden but that there are certain clues to help solve the mystery. And once the mystery is solved, everything is clear and it is no longer a mystery.

“The mystery of faith” is much different. Those words are spoken at Mass immediately after the consecration as a way of drawing the faithful into a holy awe and amazement of what just took place. But this mystery can only produce wonder and awe if the reality of what just took place is understood through the gift of faith. Faith is knowing and believing without perceiving the reality before us with our five senses or through logical deduction. In other words, faith produces true knowledge of a spiritual reality that can only be known, understood and believed through spiritual insight. Therefore, if we attend the Mass and have been gifted with the knowledge of faith, then as soon as the consecration of the bread and wine take place, we will cry out interiorly, “My Lord and my God!” We will know that God the Son is present before us in a veiled way. Our eyes do not perceive, nor do any of our senses reveal to us the great reality before us. We cannot rationally deduce what just took place. Instead, we come to know and believe that the Son of God, the Savior of the World, is now present before us in His fullness, under the veil of mere bread and wine.

In addition to the divine presence of our Lord and our God, the entire Mystery of our Redemption is made present. Saint Pope John Paul II tells us that in this moment there is a “oneness in time” that links the Paschal Mystery, that is, the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus, to every moment that the Eucharist is celebrated and made present through the words of consecration. And that unity between each Mass and the Paschal Mystery “leads us to profound amazement and gratitude” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, #5). Do you sense and experience this profound amazement and gratitude each time you attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Do you realize as you attend the Mass and as the words of consecration are spoken that the entire Mystery of your redemption is made present before you, hidden from your eyes but visible to your soul by faith? Do you understand that it is God the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity Who descends to us to dwell with us in that moment of time in this glorious Sacrament?

Reflect, today, upon the hidden but real Mystery of Faith. Allow yourself to be drawn into a wonder and awe at what you are privileged to attend. Let your faith in the Most Holy Eucharist grow by being open to a deepening of this gift of faith through spiritual insight and belief. Behold this great Gift of the Eucharist with the eyes of faith, and you will be drawn into the wonder and awe that God wants to bestow upon you.

My ever-glorious Eucharistic Lord, I do believe that You are here, made present in our world under the form of bread and wine, every time the Holy Mass is celebrated. Fill me with a deeper faith in this Holy Gift, dear Lord, so that I may be drawn into wonder and awe every time I witness this holy Consecration. Jesus, I trust in You.