Gospel Reflection: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Malvern Minute

 

JUNE 7, 2015

Alleluia, Alleluia.

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

Alleluia, Alleluia.

The Gospel of Saint Mark 14: 12-16, 22-26I am the living bread

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 thePassover?”

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.

The Gospel of the Lord

REFLECTION

For a human being to claim that he/she could transfer their person into an inanimate object like bread and wine would blow the minds of anybody, but for the Divine Son of God to make this claim demands the attention of every Christian, and indeed the whole human community.

Throughout the Bible, the all powerful God used created objects, spirits and humans to convey His presence, namely the splendor of creation, angels, and prophets.  But, Jesus was proclaiming something even greater.  Jesus is stating the incredible fact that the one who eats the Eucharistic Bread and drinks the Eucharistic Wine truly receives His Body and Blood and encounters the true and real presence of the Risen Jesus Christ.

In other words, since the Eucharist is a Holy Communion with the living God, the source of all life, one who receives the Eucharist has life within him/her, and indeed, eternal life because God is giving Himself.   Consequently, those who knowingly and willfully abstain from the Eucharist provided through Holy Mass isolate themselves from life and eternal life itself!

Through this Passover Bread and Wine, we pass-over, are transformed into the Body of Christ (His Church), the living presence of the Risen Lord!!   What a gift we have in the Eucharist, what a blessing of consolation and strength!

In today’s Mass, there is provided a beautiful poem/sequence which the Church makes use of as her Hymn of Praise to God for so great a gift as the Holy Eucharist.  The following is that sequence which was composed by Saint Thomas Aquinas about the year 1264 for the Mass of Corpus Christi, today’s feast – WORTHY OF MEDITATION.

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.

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.

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com

 

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