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Feast of Corpus Christi – The Cross is in the Cup

June 5, 2012

Download Feast of Corpus Christi

Reflection Questions

  1. The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) began as a response to increased devotion to the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in the 12th Century. This led to a desire to ‘see’, Jesus in the consecrated elements. In 1220 in Paris the practice of elevating the host began.
  2. A Covenant was a binding agreement and promise between two parties. Moses conducts a ‘sacrifice’ which seals the bond between God and Israel. Blood = life. Life = God. Everyone sprinkled now participates in a relationship and keeps the ‘agreement’: the 10 commandments. Being sprinkled with ‘blood’ was a very significant event. How would you make a life-long bond and commitment today? Can you connect the sprinkling of blood, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, the blood of the covenant in the eucharist?
  3. The New Testament Letter to the Hebrews explores the Book of Numbers and Leviticus and helps us understand Jesus as fulfilling and replacing the role of the High Priest in the Temple. The Feast of the Atonement (at-one-ment described in Lev 16) involved God forgiving sins through the action of blood being rubbed on the Mercy Seat in the most holy of holies, the tabernacle. Life represented by Blood rubs out Death represented by Sin. As well as blood bringing forgiveness, the ashes of a sacrifice were sprinkled onto water and it became ‘waters of purification’ for blessing and making people ‘clean’. Can you see the links to Holy Water as we enter the Church? Our Bodies receiving the blood of Christ in the chalice? The Cross of Jesus is in the Cup? How could you prepare yourself to make this a deeply special experience?
  4. The Jewish Passover involved a special meal with meat of a lamb (sacrifice), bread (remembering both unleavened bread and the quick escape from Egypt and the manna from heaven while in the desert) and cups of wine (the 3rd cup  remembered passing through the red sea from Egypt into the desert). Jesus now changes the words and actions and institutes a new sacred meal. He speaks interpretative words upon the bread and wine to teach us his meaning. He longer looks backward in history, but forward to the next day of his death on the cross. The unrisen bread will now become his body broken on the cross. The 3rd cup of wine will become his blood poured out establishing a new covenant. Do you see the beauty and eternal significance of the celebration of Mass? Do you have any questions to ask that would help you grow in faith and understanding? Who could you ask?
  5. Receiving Jesus in Holy Communion can become ‘easy’ and ‘ordinary’. The Feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus highlights the importance of the Mass in our lives. Do you accept the invitation to be in a ‘covenant’ and intimate relationship with God? Will you seek to maintain union in prayer and action during the week? Will you agree to ‘participate’ in the building of the Kingdom of God of peace and justice? Are you willing to imitate Christ; to live for God and love all people to the extent that your body is broken and your blood poured out? Can you see a deeper invitation as you receive Jesus?
  6. What is one action that you will do to be ‘livingtheword’ this week?

 

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