Basic Information

Mass Location: St. Mary Magdalen Chapel, 2532 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, CA 93010
Mass Time: Sunday 10 a.m. (check parish website bulletin for special feastdays which may be different)
Confessions: 9:00-9:45 a.m. - see schedule below

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Homily - Feast of Corpus Christi - June 22, 2014

1 Cor. 11:23-29; Jn. 6:56-59

Today, the Feast of Corpus Christi, we will have the procession with the Blessed Sacrament after Mass.  We will proceed out the main doors of the chapel and around the driveway in front, counterclockwise, in the direction of traffic, return to the chapel, and conclude with Benediction.  In former days, all the parishes of a city would come together and have one Corpus Christi procession, signifying our unity in the Sacrament of Unity.  The procession with the Blessed Sacrament into the community signifies our Lord’s entrance into the world to give the gift of redemption, and His presence with us as we bear witness to our faith by our words and actions.

You have heard me say often, “the genius of the Extraordinary Form.”  The readings we have today, both the Epistle and the Gospel, express the two essential elements of the meaning of the Eucharist.  The Epistle gives us the earliest record of the words of institution by our Lord, as the epistles of St. Paul predate the Gospels.  And here, already, St. Paul speaks of the connection of the Eucharist to the cross and resurrection.  It is the night before Jesus dies.  He says, “as often as you do this, you show the death of the Lord.”  The Eucharist is the sacrament of the cross and resurrection of Christ.  He goes on to say we receive the Eucharist worthily because it is the body of the Lord.  We discern the body of the Lord in the Eucharist.  The Eucharist is the real presence of Christ, which the Church, following St. Thomas Aquinas, has formulated for us as body, blood, soul, and divinity.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Gospel of John is one of the latest writings in the New Testament, and he remembers the words of our Lord:  my flesh, crucified, is real food, my blood poured out on the cross is real drink, the Eucharist is the sacrament of the cross and resurrection.  And of His real presence:  he life He shares with the Father, He shares with us, that we may live forever.  He gives us the Eucharist so that His cross and resurrection can be extended into all time and His presence to all people.  This is sanctifying grace, the power of His cross and resurrection and the very life of God.  How blessed we are in this faith of ours.  Some religions see God in the book, others in the law, and others in but a decree to save us, but in our faith, God Himself comes to us in His real presence and dwells within us.

We know this by the Scriptures, we know this by faith, but St. Anselm, has coined a wonderful phrase for us, “faith seeking understanding.”  The only way we can possibly understand meaning of the Eucharist is through the surpassing love of God for us.  We ourselves know that love unites.  When we love someone, we want to be with them, and when we are apart from them, we miss them.  And so it is with God, except that His love is perfect, and so He gives Himself perfectly.  When the time came for Him to give us salvation, He did not stay in heaven, but He became one of us in the incarnation.  And when He gives us the Eucharist, out of love, He gives us the gift of Himself, because where there is love, no lesser gift will do.  The Eucharist is the perfect gift, the gift is the Giver Himself.

We have celebrated the Easter Season, followed by these two great feasts, that of the Most Holy Trinity, and, today, of Corpus Christi.  These feasts shed light on the meaning of the cross and resurrection.  What we have in the Eucharist, Jesus won for us in the Easter mystery, the love of the Father for the Son which raised Him from the dead, the love which He has for us and for which He gave Himself, this love is stronger than death.