SOLEMNITY OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHIRST - JUNE 7, 2015 – CYCLE B
Today is the tenth Sunday in ordinary time and the second after Pentecost. Every year the liturgy invites us to celebrate in this Sunday the solemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord. We are invited to enter into the adorable mystery of the Lord, which we already have celebrated on Holy Thursday.
Let us allow the wisdom of past centuries to lead us, let us remove the sandals from our feet, as Moses was asked, this is a sacred ground, the Body of our Lord is sacred ground.
The background theme of today’s celebration is the “covenant” that God makes with his people, through the mediation of Moses in the Old Testament, and through the mediation of Jesus in the New Testament.FIRST READING – Exodus 24:3-8
Ø Starting with chapter 19 the book of Exodus speaks of the covenant, of the law. In today’s Reading Moses transmits the words that God has said and the people answer that they will do everything that the Lord has said to them.
Ø Moses erects and altar, sacrifices several animals and offers half of the blood to God and with the other half he sprinkles the people, thus sealing the covenant with God’s people.
Ø A especial relationship is established between God and his people. Usually covenants are between equals, but in this case both parts of the contract are very different and not equals.
Ø What a wonderful mystery of our God, the only God who is! He creates us in his image, he forgives us over and over again, and he makes a covenant with us.
Ø The terms of this covenant are the ten words of love said by God on Mount Sinai, the decalogue. Words said for our wellbeing, words that describe what we need to do to become the real image of God which is our identity. The commandments are said for our wellbeing and our happiness.
Ø The people accepts the terms of the covenant, but later on they will forget, as it happens also to us, and God will call his people over and over again to come back, and he continues to do the same with each one of us, with each community.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM – Ps 116: 12-13. 15-16. 17-18
I WILL TAKE THE CUP OF SALATION, AND CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD.
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 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 bond.
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.
v This is a psalm of thanksgiving and praise.
v A psalm that reminds us of the New Covenant “I will lift up the cup of salvation…” the cup of the covenant.
v Yes the Lord has losen my bonds, he has broken the chains, he has given my freedom back by giving me his ten words, ten commandments to guide me during my life and take me to my fulfillment, to be the image of my Creator.
v I will fulfill my vows… I will be faithful to the covenant and I will follow his then words of love during my life.
SECOND READING Hebrews 9:11-15
ü The author of this letter describes Jesus as the high priest of the new covenant.
ü The high priest used to enter once a year into the sancta sanctorum (holy of holies), the sanctuary to offer the blood of redemption, pre-figured in the blood of the animals that had been sacrificed.
ü Jesus enters with the true blood of the covenant and of redemption, his own blood, his own life offered in love.
ü Thus Christ is the mediator, the only mediator, of the New and Eternal Covenant.
GOSPEL Mk 14:12-16; 22-26
Mark relates to us the enigmatic way in which Jesus explains to his disciples the place where they are going to celebrate the Passover meal, the last supper. Why? Maybe he does not want Judas to know beforehand, maybe he wants them to trust him and proceed.
The supper has to be prepared with care: the place, the table, the food….
Jesus has waited with eagerness to celebrate this meal with his disciples. During the celebration of this meal Jesus does something unspected, uncomprehensible, never heard before; he gives himself to us to be our companion and our food for the way, under the signs of bread and wine. Bread which is food and wine that, as we read some place in Scripture, gives joy to the heart.
His blood, is the blood of the new and eternal covenant.
Blood that will be poured out for many. The scholars say that in the Hebrew language many means all.
A few days after my profession, my prelate commanded me in virtue of holy obedience, to organize the original points of the order which I wrote in the year 1848, commanding me to write them more extensively as God our Lord had revealed to me to be His Most Holy Will. I was deeply affected by this command, but there was no means to find an excuse. And he told me to do it soon, that when he would come back from the Holy Visit, he would work to send them to Rome. At this same time that I was writing the Rule and Constitution of the Order, the Confessor commanded me to write the essential points of the general reform of the whole church. .María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters 228-229
These were the helpers who accompanied me in my apostolic labors amid the thorns and thistles of my diocese. I owe God endless thanks for providing me such good companions. The conduct of all of them was above reproach. They never caused me a moment's pain; on the contrary, they were all a great comfort to me. All had good dispositions and solid virtue, and they were so detached from worldly cares that they never once spoke or thought of self-interest or honors. Their only concern was for God's greater glory and the conversion of souls.
I had something to learn from all of them because they gave me such a good example in all virtues, especially humility, obedience, fervor, and a constant readiness to work. They gladly set themselves to do whatever I asked, whether it was my commonest request--to go on missions--or something like taking charge of a parish or deanery. It was all the same to them, no matter what I asked them. They never asked for or refused anything or any task whatever..Antonio María Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters 606-607.