Reflection on the Daily Readings for 6/14/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: for Feast of Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus
Christi). cycle b. Exodus 24:3-8. Psalm 116:12-13.15-16.17-18. Hebres
9:11-15 (John 6:51-52) Mark 14:12-16,22-26. Lectionary # 169:
“Corpus Christi” was the traditional name for the present feast of the Most
Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Processions are had during the day to pray
and honor the presence of the Lord in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
These are pageants especially in Europe and some of the traditional
The readings for cycle B emphasize the covenant, the sacrifice, and the
Passover Event that Jesus celebrated with his apostles on the eve of his
death. We see the covenant in Exodus and unite ourselves to the people in
saying “We will do everything that the Lord has told us.” This helps us
recall the words of Jesus at the Last Supper, “Do this in remembrance of
me.” The people repeat the covenantal promise, “All that the Lord has
said, we will heed and do.”
Psalm 116 contains words that make us recall the purpose of the Eucharist,
“How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up and I will call upon the name of the
Lord…My vows to the Lord I will pay in the presence of all his people.”
Covenantal language is apparent in this Psalm.
In the selection from the Epistle to the Hebrews Jesus is the Paschal Lamb
who through his blood offers himself to God as the unblemished Lamb of God.
The elements and symbols of sacrifice are clearly seen in this Epistle
which centers on the priesthood of Jesus and his being the Paschal Lamb of
God who takes away the sins of the world.
The short Alleluia response is from the realism of John: “I am the living
bread from heaven, says the Lord; If anyone eats this bread he will live
forever.” John 6:51-59 contains the most explicit and total gift of Christ
in the realism of his giving his Body and Blood for the salvation of the
world and the promise of everlasting life..
Our Gospel is the earliest description of the Passover of Christ which is
his Last Supper. The Feast of the Passover is linked with the Unleavened
Bread showing the act of Thanksgiving for the harvest given by God to the
fields of wheat and the Paschal Lamb is united to the Precious Blood as its
symbol in the feast that Jesus celebrated on the night before he died.
The poetry and song called Lauda Sion come from St. Thomas Aquinas who
composed this for the Feast of Corpus Christi together with the Pange
Lingua (Sing My Tongue of the Glorious Mystery of Christ’s Body and Blood
under the sacramental signs). The latter is part of the liturgy for Holy
Thursday. Both offer us the mystical touch of poetry the Feast brings out
and are resouirces for fruitful meditation and pondering over in a
contemplative mode. Amen.