Being Truly a Eucharistic People – Sunday Synopsis

Justine John Dyikuk

Justine John Dyikuk

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi Sunday), Year C – June 19, 2022 

Readings: Gen. 14-18-20; Responsorial Psalm Ps 110:1.2.3.4 (R.4cda); 1 Cor. 11:23-26 & Gospel Luke 9:11b-17. 

The first reading recounts how Melchizedek, the King of Salem and Priest of the Most High God brought bread and wine and pronounced blessing upon them. In thanksgiving to God, Abram gave Melchizedek a tithe of everything. In the second reading, St. Paul tells the Corinthians that what he is passing unto them is what he received from the Lord namely that before he was crucified, Jesus took bread, gave thanks to God, broke it and gave it to his disciples. The gospel relates how Jesus miraculously fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fish. Corpus Christi Sunday challenges us to be truly a Eucharistic people who care for the needs of the vulnerable members of our society as well as the environment.

Introduction

Beloved in the Lord, today the Church celebrates Corpus Christi Sunday – the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.  It is believed that the celebration of the Body and Blood of Christ was introduced into the Church’s calendar in 1264 after an Augustinian Nun, Juliana of Liège saw the vision of a glistening full moon. In her vision, the moon was perfect but there were some hollow dark spots on it which represented the absence of a feast of the Eucharist. It was this vision which influenced the celebration of Corpus Christi. We shall now scan through the readings for pastoral lessons.

Background & Summary of the Readings

The first reading (Gen. 14-18-20) recounts how Melchizedek, the King of Salem and priest of the Most High God brought bread and wine and pronounced blessing upon them. He also blessed Abram and thanked God for granting him victory. In thanksgiving to God, Abram gave Melchizedek a tithe of everything.

In the second reading (1 Cor. 11:23-26), St. Paul tells the Corinthians that what he is passing unto them is what he received from the Lord namely that before he was crucified, Jesus took bread, gave thanks to God, broke it and said: “This is my body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me.” In the same way, he took the chalice and said: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.” He further commanded them to do this as a memorial of the Lord’s death until he comes in glory.

The gospel (Luke 9:11b-17) relates how Jesus miraculously fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fish. He first spoke to the crowd about the kingdom of God and cured many that were ill. But when evening came, the disciples were worried and told Jesus to send the people away to find food and lodging but he told urged them to provide food for the people themselves. They retorted that they had only five loaves and two fish until they went out to buy food for all the people. At that, he ordered the disciples to get the people sit in parties of fifties. After that, he took the five loaves and two fish, raised his eyes to heaven, said the blessing, broke them and handed them to the disciples to be distributed to the crowd who ate as much as they wanted. When the disciples gathered what was left, they filled twelve baskets.

Pastoral Lessons

  1. Be a Eucharistic People: The offering a tithe of everything Abram owned including bread and wine to Melchizedek, the first reading reminds us about the matter of the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist which eventually becomes the body and blood of Christ and that the perfect place for offering thanks to God is during the sacrifice of the Holy Mass.

 

  1. Keep the Memorial/Tradition: By telling the Corinthians in the second reading that what he is passing unto them is what he received from the Lord, St. Paul reminds us that we must not toy with the patrimony of sacred liturgy which is over 2021 years through theatrical shows while urging us to keep the injunction of celebrating the Eucharist as a memorial of the Lord’s death until he comes again by attending daily masses for our spiritual nourishment.

 

  1. Take to Catechises, Care for the Sick: Since the gospel text revealed that Jesus preached to the crowds about the kingdom of God and cured those among them who were in need of healing, Pastors of souls are challenged to seriously embrace the teaching of catechesis and pastoral care of the sick even as we imitate the apostles who freely gave their five loaves and two fish through sharing earthly resources with like the aged, Internally Displaced Persons, widows, orphans et al.

 

  1. Care for the Earth: The picking of leftovers draws our attention as a Eucharistic people to be responsible for the environment through ensuring a robust synergy and solidarity towards waste management and overall care of the earth.

 

  1. Embrace Catholic Action: Catholic Action which Pope Pius XI’s coined in 1927 calls the laity to participate in the apostolate of the hierarchy by building a more autonomous society through living out the values of the Eucharist, sustaining various activities in the secular society based on the principles of Catholic Social Teaching and living the gospel of life through promotion of human dignity and caring for God’s creation.

 

Summary Lines

  1. The first reading recounts how Melchizedek, the King of Salem and priest of the Most High God brought bread and wine and pronounced blessing upon them.

 

  1. In thanksgiving to God, Abram gave Melchizedek a tithe of everything.

 

  1. In the second reading, St. Paul tells the Corinthians that what he is passing unto them is what he received from the Lord namely that before he was crucified, Jesus took bread, gave thanks to God, broke it and gave it to the apostles.

 

  1. The gospel relates how Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fish.

 

  1. He took the five loaves and two fish, raised his eyes to heaven, said the blessing, broke them and handed them to the disciples to be distributed to the crowd who ate as much as they wanted.

 

Conclusion

Today, as part of being truly a Eucharistic people, Catholics are challenged to be involved in public action and advocacy through building or supporting catholic institutions such as schools, hospitals, orphanages to mention just a few. They are equally charged to increase their reverence for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. By the same token, they are urged to receive the Body and Blood of Christ more reverently. On this occasion, yet-to-be communicants are encouraged to trace the missing link in their lives and be reunited to Christ and his Church. Nothing compares to enjoying full communion with Christ and his Church. May Jesus, who is truly present in the Blessed Eucharist, help us to endure the difficulties of this life so as to enjoy the one bread and one chalice as a united family in heaven. Amen!

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