WITH ST. MARY'S
SOLEMNITY OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST
The Eucharist is God's loving sacrifice for us.
CORPUS CHRISTI SUNDAY
Beginning this weekend, on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the United States will begin to celebrate a Eucharistic Revival, which will last for two years before it culminates in the National Eucharistic Rally. The first year will be celebrated on the local diocesan level. Our own local celebration for the Diocese of Salt Lake City will culminate on this solemnity next Summer, when the entire diocese gathers together for our Eucharistic Rally. The purpose of this Eucharistic Revival is so that we may return to a proper understanding of that which our entire religion is oriented towards: the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
READ THIS SUNDAY'S MESSAGE
The Eucharist is the center of our Faith in Catholicism, both literally and spiritually. Everything we believe and everything we do is oriented back towards the Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ given to us in the sacrifice of the Mass. On a more literal level, when someone enters a Catholic church for the first time, you might ask them what immediately captures their attention as the center of the structure. There might be a few answers depending on the specific church: it could be the altar, the tabernacle, or even the crucifix. However, all three of these exist for the same purpose as the center of Catholic worship. The altar is where the Body and Blood of Christ is offered for us, the Tabernacle is where it is kept and where Christ’s physical presence remains, and the Crucifix visualizes what the Eucharist actually is. As we prepare to enter into the Eucharistic Revival, we must remember this every time we go to Mass. Mass is, first and foremost, a sacrifice. We are not merely gathering for a “breaking of bread” or a “gathering at the table”. The altar is not a table (altars require a sacrifice) and the Sacrament is not bread and wine (it is the literal body and blood of Jesus). We are literally approaching the foot of the cross, when Christ offered himself for us. How would you behave if you were at the foot of the cross? Would you worship your savior in gratitude like Mary and John? Would you look from a distance out of shame for your sins like Peter? Would you not even show up like the rest of the Apostles? Behave yourself during Mass just as you would have at Calvary, because we are witnesses and participants of the same event in the Eucharist.
Family activity to do at home: The most important days of the Church are our solemnities. These are days in which we should focus more closely on the mysteries of our Faith. Because today is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, we should focus ourselves on the reason why we go to Mass every Sunday: for the Eucharist. To make this day even more special, cultures and countries throughout the world have developed customs and celebrations to honor the Blessed Sacrament. Today is a great time to teach your children about the historical adoration of the Eucharist, both liturgically and culturally. Finally, after learning about how others may have celebrated the Eucharist, bring your family and join in our Eucharistic procession around the church at the 10:30 AM Mass this Sunday!