Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his 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 and 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. (Mark 14: 12-16, 22-26)

Introductory Prayer: I love you, Lord, for your Eucharist — this great gift of yourself — for, when you had nothing else to give, you left us your own body, to love us to the end in an overwhelming show of love that makes our hearts tremble with love, gratitude and respect.

Petition: My dear Jesus, how many times have I received you coldly or lightly, perhaps even unworthily! Help soften my heart in this meditation that I might find in it motivation for a similar self-giving for the salvation of souls.

1. “Where is My Guest Room?” The celebration of the Passover was a key feast for the Jews. It marked the central event of their salvation history and therefore a feast that should not be skipped nor improvised rather prepared for with care. For us Christians, the Passover is only but a “type” for Christ’s sacrifice, the central event of our salvation foretold and remembered in the Eucharist and consummated in his passion. With what care we should prepare our souls for this feast and for every Eucharistic celebration! Christ calls out to each of us to prepare our soul, his guest room, so that we can receive his grace.

2. “Take This, All of You” Jewish sacrifice would permit families to sacrifice various animals, i.e. bulls, goats, sheep, doves, according to each family’s material wealth. Christ, the unblemished lamb, makes himself victim and sacrifice for all of us, regardless of our material wealth or moral worth.We all have access to him. If his blood were shed for many, it is only because some do not accept his terms or his generous gift of self. “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you.”

3. “Until the Day I Drink It New” Christ concludes the institution of the Eucharist with a farewell to his disciples and an invitation to the future banquet in the Kingdom of God. The Eucharist is truly our viaticum, our source of strength and nourishment that enables us to reach our final destination. Lord, instill in me a desire to receive you and visit you frequently.

Dialogue with Christ: Stay with us, Lord, for night is about to fall. Explain to us the mysteries of your life. Help me to always recognize your presence in the Eucharist.

Resolution: Make a visit to Christ in the Eucharist before or after Mass out of thanksgiving.

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