Sunday, June 6
The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – Solemnity
Roman Ordinary calendar
Book of Exodus 24,3-8.
When Moses came to the people and related all the words and ordinances of the LORD, they all answered with one voice, “We will do everything that the LORD has told us.”
Moses then wrote down all the words of the LORD and, rising early the next day, he erected at the foot of the mountain an altar and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel.
Then, having sent certain young men of the Israelites to offer holocausts and sacrifice young bulls as peace offerings to the LORD,
Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls; the other half he splashed on the altar.
Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people, who answered, “All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do.”
Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words of his.”
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.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
I am your servant; the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
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.
Letter to the Hebrews 9,11-15.
Brothers and sisters: when Christ came as high priest of the good things that have come to be, passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation,
he entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.
For if the 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, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.
For this reason he is mediator of a new covenant: since a death has taken place for deliverance from transgressions under the first covenant, those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 14,12-16.22-26.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?”
He sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city and a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water. Follow him.
Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”‘
Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.”
The disciples then went off, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and 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 drank from it.
He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.
Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407)
priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church
24th homily on the 1st letter to the Corinthians, 2 ; PG 61, 199
“This is my blood (…), which will be shed for many”
The lovers of this world display their generosity by giving money, clothes and various gifts, but not one of them gives his own blood. Christ gives his. In this way he demonstrates the tenderness he feels for us and his ardent love. Under the Old Law (…) God consented to receive the blood of sacrifices but this was just to prevent his people from offering it to false gods and, already, this was proof of a very great love. But Christ transformed this rite (…); there is no longer the same sacrificial victim; it is himself he offers in sacrifice.
“The bread that we break, is it not a communion in the body of Christ?” (1 Cor 10:16)(…) What is this bread? The body of Christ. What becomes of those who communicate in it? The body of Christ: not a large number of bodies but just one body. Just as this bread, made up of so many wheat grains, makes only one loaf into which the grains disappear – for even though the grains remain in it yet it is impossible to distinguish them in such a closely compacted mass – so all of us, together with Christ, make up a single whole (…). Now, if we all share in the same bread and are united to the same Christ, why don’t we show the same love to each other? Why don’t we become one in this case too?
This is what was seen at the beginning: “The community of believers was of one heart and mind” (Acts 4:32) (…) Christ came in search of you who were far away from him to unite himself to you, but you, don’t you want to become one with your brother? (…) You violently separate yourself from him after winning from the Lord so great a proof of his love – and life! For he did not only give his body but, just as our flesh, drawn from the earth, had lost its life and died through sin, so he has introduced, so to speak, another substance like a leaven: this is his body, the body sharing the same nature as ours but free from sin and abounding in life. And he has given it to all of us so that, fed with this banquet of this new food (…) we might enter immortal life.