Corpus Christi

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever

John 6:51

Begin with a few moments of quiet.

The intention is to open yourself to the presence of God within you and among those gathered.

This is a 5 minute facilitated meditation on opening ourselves to the presence of God within, particularly in the context of our current confinement

Alternatively use this method of entering quiet:

Invite all present to sit comfortably.

When sitting comfortably, take three deep breaths, as you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.

Now return to breathing normally and make the sign of the cross:

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Invite each person present to take a few moments to reflect on:
Where in the past week did I encounter God in my life?
Where in the past week did I inhibit God in my life?

Allow time in quiet for this and then, after a few moments, invite those present to share on this, if they are comfortable to do so.
If you like to have some quiet music playing during this click below.

Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt

Introduce the Gospel

As we move beyond the season of Eastertide, we enter into ‘ordinary time’. In these days, we do not know what ordinary is anymore, ordinary will evolve over time. Our Gospel passages will take on a whole new meaning as we move through these ordinary days.

On this Sunday we celebrate Corpus Christi – the Body of Christ

Jesus himself practised open table fellowship, to express God’s unconditional love and acceptance. Before he died, he spoke words over the bread and wine, words which disclosed the meaning of his death and resurrection.

When St Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the Lord’s Supper, he had to remind them that the sacrament is meant to be a communion among all who celebrate it and is meant to have a practical affect in our lives. As Benedict XVI wrote:

A Eucharist which does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is essentially fragmented (God is Love).

Read the GospelJohn 6:51-58
Read the Gospel aloud, even if you are on your own.

Jesus said to the crowd:
‘I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.
Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever;
and the bread that I shall give is my flesh,
for the life of the world.’

Then the Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said. Jesus replied:

‘I tell you most solemnly,
if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you will not have life in you.
Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood
has eternal life,
and I shall raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food
and my blood is real drink.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me
and I live in him.
As I, who am sent by the living Father,
myself draw life from the Father,
so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
This is the bread come down from heaven;
not like the bread our ancestors ate:
they are dead,
but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’

Reflect on the Gospel

Sit quietly now for a few moments and allow the images created by hearing the Gospel to emerge. Use the quietening music again if you wish

Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt

Using some or all of the following questions, today and or on different occasions over the coming week reflect on this Gospel passage.

  1. Jesus tells us that to have life we need more than physical nourishment.
    How have you been aware of deeper hungers? What has met that deeper longing in you?
  2. Jesus tells us that it is not just something he gives us which will give us life, but himself in his life, death and resurrection.
    How has your faith in the person of Jesus fed you?
  3. Jesus speaks about ‘drawing life’ from him. In day to day living what are the practices which support your faith and help you to draw life from Jesus?
  4. The Eucharist is one of the ways in which we draw life from Jesus. Recall with gratitude how the Eucharist has been a source of nourishment and life for you.
  5. Perhaps you can also think of human examples of people drawing life from one another. From whom have you drawn life? Who has been able to draw life from you?

Finish this part with a Prayer

O God of pilgrims, you accompany us always on the road of life. You fed the people of Israel in the desert. Today, you feed your people through Jesus Christ, our living bread of life.
May this food so satisfy us that we may always hunger for that true life found in you alone. Amen.

Prayer of the Faithful

In the Mass, the prayer of the faithful are the people’s response to their reflection on the Scripture readings. The following have been prepared by parishioners for our Masses on this weekend.

Lord help us to recognise you in the breaking of the bread and in each other as we turn to you in confidence and pray

For Your Church:
that through our sharing in the Eucharist, we may be transformed more and more into the Body of Christ. Lord hear us

For greater faith:
That as we listen to the words of today’s Gospel and the teachings of St Paul, we may experience renewed faith in the miraculous nature of the Eucharist and a deeper appreciation of the wonderful gift that it is. Lord hear us

For all who cannot receive the Eucharist,
especially now during the pandemic, that You will strengthen them and make Your presence known to them through others. Lord hear us

For our community and our country, as the restrictions are eased:
that our leaders will make fair decisions and that people will behave responsibly to protect the most vulnerable and prevent a resurgence of the virus. Lord hear us

For an easing of racial tensions, and an end to racial injustice:
that You who can turn all things to the good will bring good out of recent sad events in the US and bring healing to communities throughout the world. Lord hear us

For all who are ill and those care for them:
that You will send healing to the sick, and protect those who care for them, and inspire those researching treatments and vaccines. Lord hear us

For our own intentions: name those intentions you specifically want to mention 
Lord hear us

For all who have died  ………. name those people you specifically want to remember 
Lord hear us

We pray: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be upon us all. Amen.

Close the time of Prayer with the Our Father

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Take a moment now to bring to mind those you want to share peace with, family, friends, those where your relationship is broken.

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,
graciously grant peace in our days,
that, by the help of your mercy,
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

Additional Resources

Fr. Kieran O’Mahony offers a scriptural analysis on the Readings in Written or on Video

A Reflection on Eucharist by R. Voight

He was old,
and sweaty,
pushing his homemade cart down the alley,
stopping now and then to poke around in somebody’s garbage.
I wanted to tell him about EUCHARIST
But the look in his eyes,
the despair on his face,
the hopelessness of somebody else’s life in his cart,
Told me to forget it,
So I smiled, said “Hi” — and gave him EUCHARIST.

She was cute,
nice build,
a little too much paint,
Wobbly on her feet as she slid from her barstool,
and on the make.
“No, thanks, not tonight,” — and I gave her EUCHARIST.

She lived alone,
her husband dead,
her family gone,
And she talked at you,
not to you.
endless words,
spewed out.
So I listened — and gave her EUCHARIST.

Downtown is nice,
Lights change from red to green,
and back again,
Flashing blues,
and oranges.
I gulped them in Said,
“Thank you, God” and made them EUCHARIST.

I laughed at myself,
And told myself,
“You, with all your sin,
and all your selfishness,
I forgive you,
I accept you,
I love you.”
It’s nice, and so necessary to give yourself EUCHARIST.

My God, when will we ever learn —
You cannot talk EUCHARIST —
you cannot Philosophize about it.

You don’t dogmatize EUCHARIST.
Sometimes you laugh it,
sometimes you cry it,
often you sing it.
Sometimes it’s wild peace,
then crying hurt,
often humiliating,
never deserved.

You see EUCHARIST in another’s eyes,
give it in another’s hand held tight,
Squeeze it in an embrace.
You pause EUCHARIST in the middle of a busy day,
speak it in another’s ear,
Listen to it from a person who wants to talk.

For EUCHARIST is as simple as being on time
And as profound as sympathy.
I give you my supper,
I give you my sustenance,
I give you my life,
I give you me.
I give you EUCHARIST.