Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
“Take; this is my body.”Mark 14:22
Method: Lectio Divina
Commentary from Loyola Press Sunday Connection
Today, the second Sunday after Pentecost, we celebrate a second solemnity, which marks our return to Ordinary Time in the liturgical calendar. Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. At one time, this day was called Corpus Christi, the Latin words for “the Body of Christ.” In the most recent revision of our liturgical rites, the name for this day is expanded to be a more complete reflection of our Eucharistic theology.
In our reading for today, we read the account of the Last Supper found in the Gospel of Mark. It begins with the instructions that Jesus gave to his disciples to prepare their Passover celebration. It then goes on to give an account of the Last Supper. On this Sunday, however, our Lectionary reading omits the verses between these two passages; in those omitted verses we hear Jesus predict his betrayal by one of his disciples.
The Gospel of Mark describes Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples as a celebration of the Jewish feast of Passover. The Jewish celebration of Passover is a memorial to and a ritual participation in the defining moment of Israel’s history. It celebrates God’s deliverance of his people from slavery in Egypt. The Passover meal includes many ritually important elements, such as unleavened bread, lamb, and bitter herbs. Each food item recalls an aspect of the Exodus event. The instructions for the preparation of this meal are carefully prescribed in the Law of Moses. It is a central obligation of the Jewish faith tradition to celebrate this meal and to give thanks to God for his deliverance and protection.
In the description of the Passover meal found in today’s Gospel, however, Mark omits many elements of the Jewish Passover meal. Instead he describes only those elements he believes to be most essential to the Christian Eucharist: Jesus took bread, blessed the bread, broke the bread, and shared it with his disciples. Similar words and actions follow as Jesus shares the chalice with his disciples. This bread now shared is Jesus’ own body. Those who drink from the chalice are invited to share in a new covenant which will be sealed by Jesus’ own blood. Mark’s Eucharistic theology looks forward to the Kingdom of God that Jesus inaugurates.
The Gospel for today reminds us that the Eucharist is a memorial of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. We believe that Jesus is truly present to us in the elements of bread and wine. Each time we celebrate this sacrament, we prepare for the Kingdom of God. This celebration, as the Second Vatican Council taught us, is the source and summit of the Christian life.
Questions for reflection:
- What word or words in this passage caught your attention?
- What comforted you?
- What challenged you?
- What conversion of mind, heart, and life is the Lord asking of me?
- How do I prepare myself to receive the Eucharist?
- What effects does the Eucharist have in my daily life?
- How can I share God’s love with the world?
Audio Divina and Video Divina
View the video and answer the reflection questions below.
- What emotions does the song evoke?
- What is the connection between the Gospel and this video?
- Who is God’s body?
- What other images would you include in this video? Why?
- Why do some feel as though they are not part of God’s body?
- How do we help others to feel that they are part of the Body of Christ?
Visio Divina of The Ghent Altarpiece
- Pray in quiet with your eyes closed. Bring yourself towards stillness.
- Gaze at the image. Let your eyes rest on the scene. Note your feelings as you examine the whole and parts of the work.
- Read John 6:51-58
- Gaze at the work again. Imagine that you are in the lower central panel of the scene. What do you see from your vantage point? What you hear? smell? sense?
- How do you connect the passage with the painting?
- Read the commentary below. How does these insights enrich your understanding?
- How is the sacred present to you in this experience?
- How does this Visio Divina relate to your life now?
- What insight from this experience do you want to retain? How will you do that?
- Complete the Visio Divina by offering a prayer of thanksgiving.
Commentary on the Ghent Altarpiece, Lamb for Sinners Slain .
Visio Divina for Children
Introduction: Today is the Feast of the Most Body and Blood of Christ. Jesus is with us in the Mass and this is what we celebrate today. One of the ways people celebrated this day was by walking through the neighbourhood as a parish with the priest holding the Eucharist. in this Feast we celebrate that Jesus is with us on the journey of life. We feel Jesus with us at Church in a special way. In this exploration we are looking for ways that Jesus is with us. Let’s begin by joining him in prayer.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, bless our minds and our eyes today so that we may see you in the middle of our lives. Amen.
Image: Gaze at this photograph of St. Mary Immaculate Church in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
- Look at the image of the church. Zoom in to see the different parts of the scene.
- How is it similar to your Church?
- Imagine yourself here. How do you know it is a holy place?
- Take time to pray to Jesus that we may find him in different ways in our lives.
- Do you know the game, “I Spy?” In that game we look for something beginning with a letter or colour. Today, we are looking for the different ways we can see Jesus in this photograph. Write them down or tell someone what you see.
Leader: Share with the children some of the ways Jesus can be seen here.
- The tabernacle where we keep the body of Christ
- The Divine Mercy picture
- The Easter candle
- The statue of the risen Christ
- Crosses such as the processional cross and the cross on the altar
- the statue of the crucified Christ
- In the womb of Mary in the stained glass behind the altar
- The books that hold the Word of God
- The statue of the Mary, child Jesus and the saints.
- The act of kindness of the altar server and parishioner on the left
- The praying couple
Ask the children where they see Jesus present in their homes. Answers could include crucifixes, bibles, sacred art, rituals such as prayers, and acts that remind us of Jesus.
Invite children to look at the stained glass window in the picture. Invite children to make a stained glass window. In each panel of the stained window, students draw different ways in which they see Jesus in their lives at church or at home. Use a template such as this.
Conclude by praying: Loving Jesus, thank you for always being with us. May our prayers draw us closer to You. may you bless all of our days. Amen.
Children’s Liturgy Resources
Children’s Liturgy Resources from Loyola Press
CAFOD Resources for 6 June Children’s liturgy for The Most Holy Trinity (Year B)
The Kids’ Bulletin Body and Blood of Christ explanations and activities