In Remembrance of Me
Jesus instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Priesthood at the same time on Holy Thursday. It has been a Christian doctrine from the beginning of the Church that Jesus commanded his followers to celebrate his paschal mystery after his departure until his return. In this way, he always remains with us until the end. At the last supper, Jesus took bread, gave thanks, and broke it. In like manner, he took the cup and said, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me" (1 Cor. 11:25-26). We keep the memory of his self-oblation when the priest, at Mass, and in remembrance of him, consecrate the bread and wine. A priest, like Melchizedek (Gen. 14: 18-20) and in the person of Jesus, the true High Priest, confects the bread and wine. And in the words of consecration, the words of Jesus himself, and by the power of the Holy Spirit expressed in the epiclesis, he makes Jesus Christ truly present on the altar for our nourishment. Not only are we nourished spiritually from the abundance of his body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Eucharist, but we are also presented with the opportunity for worship and adoration of Jesus Christ.
On the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, we extend and elaborate on the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist through public acts of worship, what we commonly call the Corpus Christi procession. When Pope Urban IV instituted the feast throughout the universal church in 1264 based on long-held tradition in the church of the real presence, he wanted to encourage public worship of Jesus in the Eucharist. Hence, devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is a testimony of our faith and love for Jesus as he once again walks through our towns and cities.
By participating in the Corpus Christi procession, we bear public witness not only to our faith in the real presence but also to our love and adoration for Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament One of the ways of participating fruitfully in the feast of Corpus Christi is to pray and sing joyfully with the procession from the church on the hill through the center of the town to the historic church I suggest we sing and recite the text of prayers St. Thomas Aquinas composed for Mass and the Divine Office, Pange Lingua (Tantum Ergo), Sacris Solemniis (Panis Angelicus), and Verbum Supernum (O Salutaris) It is also highly recommended we sing or recite the sequence for Corpus Christi mass, Lauda Sion Salvatorem (Ecce Panis Angelorum) If possible, we can also add to the procession hymns, Adoro Te Devote and O Sacrum Convivium All these hymns have deep theological meanings that throw light on Jesus carried in the monstrance and borne in procession through E-town in the manner in which Jesus of Nazareth passed through the city of Jerusalem (see Lk 9: 11-17) In remembrance of Jesus, in the reality of his presence with us, body and blood, soul and divinity, let us walk joyfully with him in adoration, praise, and thanksgiving.
I will be going away to Nigeria on a three-week vacation from Tuesday. I ask for your prayers while I am away, and I hope to be back to continue walking the faith journey with you. Thanks for all your prayers and support. In my absence, Msgr. Bob Lawrence will celebrate the weekend liturgies, while Fr. Sam Dubois will celebrate the weekdays' masses. Please welcome these priests in our St. Peter tradition of joy.
May Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, His Most Sacred Heart, and Immaculate Heart of Mary be your love, hope, and joy.
Fr. Bernard, OP