Reflection for the Sunday in the Octave of Corpus Christi 2014

Eucharistic-Adoration

I am not an
object!

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.

In any good relationship we see the other person for who they are – first and foremost a human being. We look beyond appearance, beyond the externals, beyond our personal desires and wants (what we can take from or get from that person) and recognize their value. We treat that person with respect and honor and want to be with them. We want to be with them because they offer their humanity and respect in return for the humanity and respect we offer.

As Christians we easily see the sin of turning others into objects. We also know the problems inherent in pursuing things as solutions to problems or as an end in themselves.

During the 8 days that began Thursday, June 19th we particularly honor and commemorate Jesus’ gift of His body and blood in the Eucharist. Our minds and hearts are called to adore Jesus in this precious gift. However, we must be very careful to keep the reality of Jesus before us.

When the Church was new, the Apostles and all those who knew Jesus, who lived and ministered alongside Him, who were taught by Him, recognized His reality.

In the centuries that followed Christians recognized the reality of Jesus in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. When they recalled Him saying: “Do this in remembrance of Me,” they actually heard: “Do this and be one with Me.” For them, the celebration of the Eucharist every Sunday was an active encounter with the reality of Jesus. These Christians were one with Jesus at every moment of His eternity, His earthly life, and His return in glory. They were with Jesus in the past, present, and future. All this was found in the Eucharist. They saw, felt, and lived the reality of Jesus and the promise He gave: Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. He was with and in them and they knew it. They realized that by participating in the Eucharist and receiving Holy Communion they were with Him and each other forever.

Later, and for many reasons, the people of the Church stopped seeing the Eucharist as an encounter with the reality of Jesus. Certainly the Church never lost faith in Jesus’s real presence in the signs of bread and wine, but the Eucharist became more an object, a memory limited three days in Jesus’ life. The Body and Blood were adored, but as an object. Our obligation is to take this Solemnity and every Sunday as a call to re-encounter the reality of Jesus who remains with us now and forever.


Reflection for Sunday in the Octave of Corpus Christi

TheCovenant-Image1

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Imagine if we were to walk into our very last class, just before graduation, and the professor says: ‘Forget everything you have ever learned, forget everything you know, and be filled with grace.’

Today, and every Sunday (and in reality every day), we are asked to do that, to surrender our intellectualism, our self-assured knowledge, and enter into the mystery of faith. We are asked to turn ourselves over to the Holy Spirit and to allow ourselves to be filled with the grace God offers us so that we can do much good in His name.

Our friends and close compatriots in the Orthodox Church have beautiful liturgies that call to mind both the majesty and mystery of God presence among us. Their tradition, unlike western tradition, does not rely on over thinking the mystery of God, with attempts to analyze and explain every nuance of God’s presence in our lives, but rather to worship and live trusting in the gift of faith handed down through God’s Word and Church Tradition.

We are in the midst of the Octave of Corpus Christi, eight days set aside to reflect on the mystery of the Body and Blood of Jesus in our lives, this wondrous gift that provides the grace through which we become more and more into the image of Christ.

As we have studied over the past few months, the Holy Mass is the occasion in which we encounter the full reality of Jesus among us. That reality is fully present in the Eucharistic action of the priest and the Christian people. In the Eucharistic action of ‘remembrance’ we live fully present at the Last Supper, at the foot of the Cross, the resurrection and ascension, and finally in Christ’s coming again. We are there with Him, present to Him, He is with us, and we are filled with His grace and tremendous love.

Our reception of the Eucharist in Holy Communion continues the mystery of Jesus in our life as Christians. In Communion we are joined as one. I could be receiving Communion on the moon, you here in Schenectady, each receiving the fullness of Jesus, each joined together as one body in Him. We are not separate and apart, alone in our communion, but together as one.

In these special eight days, and every day, let us forget what we think we know and actively be filled with grace, the glorious mystery of what we become in His Body and Blood.


Lord, before this holy Sacrament, we bow low in humble prayer.

The-last-supper

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Jesus, hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, have mercy on us.
Bread of Angels, have mercy on us.
Bread made flesh by the omnipotence of the Word, have mercy on us.
Bread of our souls, have mercy on us.
Food of the elect, have mercy on us.
Refreshment of holy souls, have mercy on us.
Most pure feast, have mercy on us.
Sacrament of piety, have mercy on us.
Sacrament of love, have mercy on us.
Source of all virtue, have mercy on us.
Fountain of grace, have mercy on us.
Mystery of faith, have mercy on us.
Mystery of love, have mercy on us.
Most high and most adorable Sacrament, have mercy on us.
Memorial of that most wonderful Divine love, have mercy on us.
Holy oblation, have mercy on us.
Lamb without spot, have mercy on us.
Fountain of Divine mercy, have mercy on us.
Viaticum of such that die in the Lord, have mercy on us.
Pledge of future glory, have mercy on us.

Be merciful to us, Spare us, O Lord,
Be merciful to us, Hear us, O Lord.

From an unworthy reception of Thy Body and Blood, Deliver us, O Lord.
From every occasion of sin, Deliver us, O Lord.
From being negligent of Thy grace, Deliver us, O Lord.
Through the mystery whereby Thou didst institute this Most Blessed Sacrament, Deliver us, O Lord.
Through Thy Passion and Death, Deliver us, O Lord.
Through Thy glorious Resurrection, Ascension, and descent of the Holy Ghost, Deliver us, O Lord.

We sinners beseech Thee, O God, Hear us, O Lord.
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to preserve and increase our faith, reverence, and devotion toward this admirable Sacrament, We beseech Thee, hear us, O Lord.
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to move us to a frequent reception of the Holy Eucharist, We beseech Thee, hear us, O Lord.
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to impart to us the precious fruits of this most holy Sacrament, We beseech Thee, hear us, O Lord.
That at the hour of death Thou wouldst strengthen us by this heavenly food, We beseech Thee, hear us, O Lord.
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to cll us to the feast of the Lamb, We beseech Thee, hear us, O Lord.
Son of God, We beseech Thee, hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory be…

Thou gavest us Bread from Heaven, O Lord.
Having in it the sweetness of every taste.

Let Us Pray

O God, Who in this wonderful Sacrament
hast left us a memorial of Thy Passion,
grant us, we beseach Thee,
so to venerate the Sacred Mysteries
of Thy Body and Blood,
that we may ever feel within ourselves
the fruit of Thy Redemption,
Who livest and reignest,
forever and ever.
Amen.


On the faithful reception of the Holy Communion by Thomas à Kempis

When the faithful considers his numerous weaknesses and the grievous temptations which assail him, and recalls that Jesus invites and commands him to receive Holy Communion, he is filled with a holy confidence because he knows that he will receive the necessary help from this Celestial Food.

The frequent and daily reception of Holy Communion withdraws one from evil and comforts one in good, lt is food not only for the strong, but also the weak. It is food necessary to recuperate, conserve, increase and fortify the sanctity of our soul.

Knowing the necessity of preparing ourselves well to receive Holy Communion, let us ask Jesus to give us a lively faith, simplicity of heart, peace, zeal, fervor, confidence and especially humility and love of God. If we receive Holy Communion with these dispositions, our mind will be refreshed and illuminated, and our souls will be enriched with many graces and celestial favors.

Every day Jesus descends upon the altar at the words of the priest. All the faithful are, in a certain sense, priest, because they are members of the mystical Body of Christ and they are participators in offering, in union with the priest, with Jesus Christ and the Church,
the Holy Sacrifice of Mass. Let us unite ourselves to this offering and meditate on the necessity to bear our cross as Christ did.

The best preparation for Holy Communion is to elect Jesus as King of our heart. That is, make Him absolute ruler of us and make ourselves obedient to Him in all and never refuse Him anything.


On the faithful reception of the Holy Communion

When the faithful considers his numerous weaknesses and the grievous temptations, which assail him, and recalls that Jesus invites and commands him to receive Holy Communion, he is filled with a holy confidence because he knows that he will receive the necessary help from this Celestial Food.

The frequent and daily reception of Holy Communion withdraws one from evil and comforts one in good. It is food not only for the strong, but also the weak. It is food necessary to recuperate, conserve, increase and fortify the sanctity of our soul.

Knowing the necessity of preparing ourselves well to receive Holy Communion, let us ask Jesus to give us a lively faith, simplicity of heart, peace, zeal, fervor, confidence and especially humility and love of God. If we receive Holy Communion with these dispositions, our mind will be refreshed and illuminated, and our souls will be enriched with many graces and celestial favors.

Every day Jesus descends upon the altar at the words of the priest. All the faithful are, in a certain sense, priest, because they are members of the mystical Body of Christ and they are participators in offering, in union with the priest, with Jesus Christ and the Church, the Holy Sacrifice of Mass. Let us unite ourselves to this offering and meditate on the necessity to bear our cross as Christ did.

The best preparation for Holy Communion is to elect Jesus as King of our heart. That is, make Him absolute ruler of us and make ourselves obedient to Him in all and never refuse Him anything. — Thomas à Kempis


The Solemnity of Corpus Christi/Boże Ciało/The Body of Christ

The Solemnity will be observed on its feast day, Thursday, June 11th. At 7pm in the evening, a eucharistic procession shall be conducted signifying the presence of the Body of Christ in all the four corners of the world. A homily and the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament conclude the liturgy for this day. Please take some time to adore and worship Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament on this special feast day.

Corpus ChristiJust a word about this liturgy to be conducted this coming week: The Church realized around the eighth century that a proper observance of the Lord’s presence to us in the Sacred mystery of the Bread of the Altar needed to be developed.

You remember that the observance of the truth of the Holy Eucharist comes during the Paschal Triduum (Maundy Thursday) in a solemn time in the liturgical year. A separate celebration noting the presence of the Body of Christ around the world (hence, the four altars) was developed and began to be practiced widely around the ninth century. The Thursday following Trinity Sunday was chosen as a celebration properly placed after the close of the Easter season.

The four altars will be placed in each corner of our parish church and processed to each in a simple procession. Special Gospel readings are assigned at each altar. The litany of the Blessed Sacrament is an ancient prayer of the Church.