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Feast of Corpus Christi 2008

 
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Fr.Paul Weinberger
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Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 199
Location: Greenville, Texas

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 9:05 pm    Post subject: Feast of Corpus Christi 2008 Reply with quote

Feast of Corpus Christi 2008
Homily by:
Father Paul Weinberger
Saint William the Confessor Catholic Church
Greenville, Texas
May 25, 2008

Jesus said, “My Flesh is true food and My Blood is true drink.”

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

Amen

The picture, which graces the cover of the bulletin today is just a couple of days old. It is from Rome and is the Holy Father at the end of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Thursday evening, the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, which is the Feast of Corpus Christi. As you can read at the bottom of the photo, the Feast is transferred to the following Sunday here in the USA. Why Thursday? It is because of Holy Thursday night, the occasion of the Last Supper when Our Lord instituted the Eucharist, Holy Communion, the Blessed Sacrament, Corpus Christi, which is the Body of Christ. These are the different ways to say the same thing.

At the end of Mass, the Holy Father placed the Sacred Host into the Monstrance. This little piece of matter, which was just a piece of bread moments before and now still appears by all the accidents to still be a piece of bread but is now the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Christ has drawn this little piece of bread, this piece of matter, so insignificant, to Himself so that it is the Risen Christ.

Displayed before you, you see God’s providence, which is a pastor’s dream.These Easter lilies didn’t cost us a dime. They are from last year and if they had bloomed a few days earlier they wouldn’t be here; if they’d bloomed a few days later they wouldn’t be here. But this is Divine Providence and so is this. Father turns and points at Jesus on the Crucifix Just as God was able to feed the Israelites forty years in the desert by bread from heaven, so He provides bread from heaven for us in the Eucharist, in the Corpus Christi.

Now after placing the Sacred Host in the Monstrance, the Holy Father knelt. You can see him there kneeling. There is the column and on top of the column is the vessel and the vessel that contains the Sacred Host is called the Monstrance because it demonstrates. You can see how similar the words are. The monstrance demonstrates and shows to everyone the Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ. This took place right outside the Pope’s Cathedral in Rome and the Holy Father went in procession with thousands from that Church to a Church nearby, the preeminent Church dedicated to our Lady, St. Mary Major. It is not a long walk but it is a formal procession with the Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ, so that more could adore Christ and hopefully increase their faith in Him.

We are Catholic Christians and there are others that are Christians but not Catholic Christians, who when they read this Gospel come up with different answers that, somehow the bread is only a symbol of the Body of Christ. We as Catholics however believe what Jesus said.

My flesh is true food; My blood is true drink. I AM the living Bread that came down from Heaven.

All of this has to do with Easter as much as Good Friday pictured there has to do with Easter pictured below, because every time and at every Mass the bread and wine are changed into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ it is through power of the Holy Spirit and the Risen Body of Christ is now made present. He is there in the Tabernacle and will soon descend to this Altar. Heaven and earth will meet in just minutes and His risen Body, His glorified and resurrected Body is what we receive in Holy Communion.

It is always life giving when received in a worthy manner. Catholics who are not aware of any mortal sins and receive Holy Communion will always experience the life giving effects of Christ. In essence, just as you might go out to your pecan tree in the late fall looking for the fruits of that tree…the ones the squirrels didn’t get, right? Here pictured on the cover of the bulletin, this is the fruit of the Mass, which hung upon the tree of the cross, which is now made present for you and for me through the power of the Holy Spirit. It sounds too good to be true and as Catholics we have always believed it is true.

I have provided for you in the bulletin the homily of Pope Benedict XVI, on the Feast of Corpus Christi, Thursday, May 22, 2008. The line below the title of the page is very important.

Please note “Corpus Domini” is a Latin phrase, which means “the Body of the Lord.”

The pope uses this Latin phrase in place of Corpus Christi. They are interchangeable, Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ and Corpus Domini, the Body of Jesus.

The text of the Holy Father’s homily can be found HERE

Notice that the homily is not “War and Peace” and not even a magazine, it is not that long. I want to concentrate on the lines,

Quote:
We find in this the third constitutive element of Corpus Domini: to kneel in adoration in front of the Lord.


Keep that in mind; that line and the paragraph beneath it are going to be the focus of the rest of this homily.

Quote:
We find in this the third constitutive element of Corpus Domini: to kneel in adoration in front of the Lord.


That is what is depicted on the cover of the bulletin; the pope is kneeling in front of the Lord. Kneeling is a posture, which lends itself when in the presence of God. St. Francis went a step further than kneeling. Whenever St. Francis entered a Catholic Church in which the Eucharist was reserved, this is what he always did and I am not exaggerating. St. Francis always did this…

Father lays his hand flat as though it were a body falling down.

He didn’t put his arms out to break his fall and he didn’t have all this padding either. These clothes make me look so different. [Laughter] Anyway, St. Francis just fell and this is called prostration. At Mother Angelica’s some of the Knights of the Eucharist and the sisters do that at every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We aren’t going to do that here. I recommend doing it at home if you wish, where you can pick up the pieces. Ok? Just be sure you are near a phone where you can call 911. We can’t do that here because it would cause chaos. But, if you have noticed on Good Friday, here at St. Williams’, the priest and deacon prostrate. Now, when I prostrate on that floor I very gently kneel down and very gently lower myself to the floor; I am very tender. I don’t do it like St. Francis did. But in the presence of the Living God, that was his response and he did it again and again and again. Kneeling however is very appropriate; it is just a step below prostration.

Kneeling has received a bad wrap over the last forty years. Maybe you have had this experience traveling around the country. You go into a Catholic Church and once you are in the pew you reach down and as your hand moves around you find that there is nothing down there. You wonder where the kneeler is and of course someone from the parish with a knowing smile walks over and they announce to you that they don’t have kneelers. It is as if they are on the cutting edge of something. Yes, and something that is not good.

”How dare you kneel in the presence of the Living God; get up!”

No, that is not a good thing. In fact, Thursday, which was Corpus Christi, when the Holy Father offered Mass there in Rome in the evening outside the Cathedral of St. John Lateran something happened, which if you saw the Mass on TV you may have missed this. The Holy Father gave Holy Communion to 48 people, who had been selected before Mass. Most of them were women religious. This was obvious because they had their beautiful habits on. It is kind of like you putting on your wedding ring, you announce to the world that you are taken. The sisters who wear their religious habits do the same thing. There is nothing stealth about their religious life, it is for everybody to see, and hold them accountable.

So, 48 different men and women came up to receive Holy Communion from the pope, which is customary and has happened with previous popes. As they came up to receive Holy Communion to receive from the pope they knelt down and received Holy Communion…every one of them. Wow! Yes, you see that people have started spreading lies about the posture of kneeling and about adoration also.

“Kneeling and adoration? We don’t do that anymore.”

The answer to that is,

“Yea, and you can sure tell the difference can’t you?”

It is as if somehow the year 2008 makes you much smarter than at the time of Christ. Oh please, spare me! You understand, and if you don’t understand please do after this, that anyone approaching Holy Communion can kneel or stand. It is up to the individual. For those people who want to tell me that one way is better than the other I tell them to get away from me. I don’t want to hear it. The same for receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, which is the traditional way of receiving, but you have the option of receiving Holy Communion in the hand. If you want to say that one way is better than the other then that is your opinion but you can’t prove it by the Church. What the Holy Father is doing is bringing something back that never left…kneeling and adoration.

If you look at the end of the pope’s homily, the second paragraph from the end he says,

Quote:
Adoration is a prayer that prolongs Eucharistic celebration and communion, :


Adoration prolongs the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Quote:
…during which the soul continues to nourish itself:


That is what Jesus is telling us in this Gospel today. He is food for the soul. It is not just a sunset or your bank statement and not even lower gas prices, right? Jesus is food for our soul. Accept no imitation.

Quote:
It feeds on love, on truth, on peace. It feeds on hope, because he before whom we bow, does not judge us, does not crush us, but frees and transforms us.


Now if you would, go to page six in your bulletin and you should see something that is familiar. Every week you see this prayer, which is a powerful prayer after Communion written by Pope Benedict in the year 2000 when he was Cardinal Ratzinger. You can find this in his book, “Spirit of the Liturgy” at the bottom of page # 88 and the beginning of page # 89. As I read these lines remember how similar they are to the lines I just read from his homily.

Quote:
Jesus, my Living Lord, I know that You have just entered my Soul - my Heart. Thank You! I surrender myself to You! Please raise me up AND transform me! Amen.


Notice resurrected, risen, living Lord? Not dead! In his homily the pope said that only He can free us and transform us. The Lord wants to feed us. As it so beautifully says in Psalm 23,

The Lord is my Shepherd; He leads me to green pastures.

This is in anticipation of the day when Our Lord would give us His own Body to feed on. Jesus is present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Perhaps you saw the Mass on the Feast of Corpus Christi in Rome. The Sacred Host was distributed but the Precious Blood was not. Do you know that the Church has always taught and still teaches that, anyone who receives the Sacred Host receives all of Jesus and not half, part, or two thirds, but all of Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. For some reason if someone had to receive only the Precious Blood it is the same thing. At the Mass on Thursday in Rome and when the pope came to America it was the same way and yet so many people have been fooled or tricked into thinking that Jesus is somehow divided. Not at all!

We have to see that this Gospel and this Feast Day of Corpus Christi is the Feast of the Gift from God, the Divine Providence. God has provided us with His own Son. As Jesus says early in the Gospel,

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.

God the Father gives us the Gift that He wants to receive in return. The only thing that God wants from you or me is what He gives to us. We offer a million other things to Him but there is only one thing that He wants back, kind of like what that prayer says in the Divine Mercy chaplet.

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

How beautifully stated. The only thing He wants from us is what He has given to us, His Son, Jesus. And in the process of receiving Him and giving Him back to the Father we are freed, transformed and invigorated, receiving life.

Jesus said, “My Flesh is true food and My Blood is true drink.”

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

Amen


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