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Theology for the common man

Corpus Christi

Sunday, June 23, 2019

The collect prayer for the Mass of Corpus Christi expresses the essence of the meaning of this solemnity today. It tells about the peculiar covenant of God with His people sealed by the sacrament of the Body and Blood of the Son of God. In Eucharist Jesus left to His Church a memorial of His Passion so when each of us who participate in it, revering the sacred mysteries of His Body and Blood could always experience in himself the fruits of His redemption. The solemnity of the Corpus Christi has to remind us always about this great gift which Jesus Christ left doing His work of salvation. For receiving the Eucharist everyone has access to this salvation having firm relationship with God during his lifetime. The first try, although not a perfect reminder of this covenant of God with His people, is a Law of God given to Moses on the Mount Sinai sealed with the blood of the sacrificed animals – a theme of the first reading today. Based on this covenant the Israelites bound themselves, following the rules of the Law in exchange for God’s protection. Of course, the infidelity of Israel, a long time ago has contradicted a fundamental continuation of this covenant. This is why, through the Letter of Hebrew God explains that only the covenant done in the Blood of Christ, the Son of God, will have a true firm salutary power: “For if blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer’s ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleansed our consciences from dead works to worship the living God”. About the institution of this new covenant in the Body and Blood of Christ, is spoken in St. Mark’s gospel. Christ, knowing about His coming from this earth on (a Good) Friday when He offered His life on the cross, a day before He left His sacramental salutary pledge which started to be valid in the moment of His offering: “While they (disciples) were eating, he took bread, said 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 drink from it. He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many’”. This is what the Church has done from the beginning of her existence drawing from the work of salvation of Jesus Christ.