Corpus Christi

Jim Daly
Handbook Ch. 8, No. 1
June 11, 2020

Today is the feast of Corpus Christi.

Thomas Aquinas proposed this feast to celebrate the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. In 1264 Pope Urban IV established the feast to be celebrated on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday. We will celebrate it this Sunday.

Our belief in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist distinguishes us from other religions. It is the centerpiece of our faith and worship.

The events described in John Ch. 6 starting about verse 50 make it clear that Jesus is serious about His presence in the Eucharist.

Jesus is addressing His followers. He says,

"I myself am the living bread come down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread he shall live for ever; The bread I give is my flesh, for the life of the world." John 6:51
The people quarreled among themselves, saying,
"How can He give us His flesh to eat?" John 6:52
Jesus continued to press His point. He said,
"My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink." John 6:56
Many of his disciples said,
"This sort of talk is hard to endure! How can anyone take it seriously?" John 6:60
"From this time on many of his disciples broke away and would not remain in His company." John 6:66 (666 is a symbol of evil.)

Jesus did not recant. He did not say that He was only speaking symbolically, even though he lost many followers. He did not change what He said. He said to Peter,

"Do you want to leave me too?"
Peter didn't say that Jesus made a lot of sense. Rather he expressed his faith in Jesus. Peter said,
"Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe that You are God's Holy One." John 6:68-69
We too have to have faith in Jesus if we are to believe He is present in the Eucharist.

Luke 22:19 describes the establishment of the Eucharist at the Last Supper,

Then He took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to them, saying, "This is my body, which will be given for you."
In Matthew 28:20, Jesus says,
"I am with you always, until the end of the age."
Jesus is with us in the Blessed Sacrament. We can visit Him and unload our problems on Him. He will help us.
O Sacrament most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine.