This weekend the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. The feast originated in France in the mid- 13th century and at the time was called Corpus Christi. Pope Urban IV extended the feast to the whole Church in 1264. Until Vatican Council II, the feast kept that name and was celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. In several parts of the world it was a holy day of obligation. After Vatican II, the feast was renamed The Body and Blood of Christ and eventually the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. As Catholic Christians, we believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Here are some excerpts from the Compendium to the Catechism of the Catholic Church which states our beliefs regarding the Eucharist: Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist in a unique and incomparable way. He is present in a true, real and substantial way, with his Body and his Blood, with his Soul and his Divinity.….in a sacramental way, that is, under the Eucharistic species of bread and wine, Christ whole and entire, God and Man. (#282) Transubstantiation means the change of the whole substance of bread into the substance of the Body of Christ and of the whole substance of wine into the substance of his Blood. This change is brought about in the Eucharistic prayer through the efficacy of the word of Christ and by the action of the Holy Spirit. However, the outward characteristics of bread and wine, that is the “Eucharistic species,” remain unaltered. (#283) The breaking of the bread does not divide Christ. He is present whole and entire in each of the Eucharistic species and in each of their parts. (#284) The presence of Christ continues in the Eucharist as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. (#285) In the United States, this Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is celebrated on the Sunday following Trinity Sunday. Today we are called to focus on two manifestations of the Body of Christ: first and foremost, Christ’s presence in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, and secondly, his presence in the Church, the Body of Christ. At every Mass, we experience the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist which we treat with the deepest reverence. We do this in the way we speak of Eucharist, the way we distribute it during the Communion Procession, the reverence we show in genuflecting before the tabernacle where Eucharist is reserved for the sick and for adoration. Sometimes, we are less aware and respectful of the presence of Christ in his Church. We do not always treat others with the utmost reverence, and therefore do not give Christ due respect. This week, let us reflect upon the ways in which we reverence Christ in the Eucharist and the ways in which we reverence the Body of Christ, his Church.
Today we honor our parish graduates. Special Congratulations to: Laikyn Curtis, Melinda Dupuis, Matthew Gembrowski, Peter Gembrowski, Emily Mann, Andrew McAnelly, Parker Pratt, and Hannah Roesner! We are grateful for your presence among us and the gifts you share with our parish community. May the Lord bless your future endeavors as you take this next big step in life and on your journey of faith.
Please mark the following dates on your calendar. They are the dates of our parish and patronal feasts which we will celebrate with evening Mass followed by “goodies” and refreshments.
Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
Tuesday, June 24 – 6:30 PM Mass
Saint John the Baptist Church Site
Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
Monday, September 21 – 6:30 PM Mass
Saint Matthew Church Site
Solemnity of Saint John Paul II, Pope
Our Parish Feast
Thursday, October 22 – 6:30 PM Mass
Saint John Paul II Parish Church
Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
Thursday, November 12 – 6:30 PM
Saint Josaphat Church Site
Don’t forget your CSA pledge! We are slowly meeting our assessment. We still need to hear from many of you. Remember: we can make it together. To those who have made a pledge thus far, I thank you for your generosity.
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ