Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Cycle C

Our readings for Corpus Christi Sunday are here.  Happy Father’s Day 2022!

Following are the poem, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homily from the

  • June 2, 2013, 10AM Mass

_______

The poem Fr Dennis referenced was:

In 2013, D2 shared —

  • In the reading from Genesis, Melchizadek prefigures Jesus and this is his only mention in Hebrew Scripture.  The prefigurement arises in three notable ways:
    • Both offer bread and wine
    • Melchisadek blesses Abram in doing so; Jesus offers his blessing in doing so
    • Melchisadek is a king and priest of the Most High; Jesus is son/descendant of David, king and priest
  • Our Corinthians reading of today is the (historically) oldest written reference of the Eucharist, as the Letter of St Paul to the Corinthians (53 – 54 C.E.) predates any of the written Gospel accounts (~70 C.E. –> 120 C.E.).
  • In our gospel reading (Luke 9:11b-17, the Feeding o’ the 5,000), it shares how we have the Sacraments, and they comprise sacred moments of our lives … but, also, how they also reverberate through them.  E.g., Baptism denotes new life in Christ, yet every birth is thought to be a blessing of new life as a result of the Sacrament consecrating some births.
  • And so, Jesus is God all the time through all the events of a human life, and by his becoming human, he made all these everyday events sacred.
  • Alden Nowlan’s poem captures this sense of everyday events sacred for three friends in Great Things Have Happened

This blog week feels full, so here we go!

I don’t have many memories, if any, of Corpus Christi Sunday from when I was a wee lassie.  Having left the Church in spirit by the time I was 13, that’s not surprising.  However, on my trip to Rome in 2017, as part of an intensive field trip for my Church and Mission course in pastoral studies with Loyola Chicago, a bunch of our class went to the Corpus Christi Mass and Procession (which also happened to be my birthday) with Pope Francis presiding (what a gift!!).

We arrived about one hour early at St John Lateran Church for the papal Corpus Christi Mass.  We were in the second row standing on the grass with a clear view of the outdoor altar, albeit across the road and steps, etc.  It was amazing to have such a large Mass feel so personal spiritually, though being with my Loyola peeps helped lots!  A wonderful liturgy guide was provided and a beautiful choir, shared through an incredible sound system.  There seemed like a bazillion communion ministers (and even then not everyone could receive), but being so close, we did receive.  In my notes, I had written how I can still go to that communion space. 

But, interestingly, what I remember even more now was the procession of all of us, filling the street like blood fills an artery — purposed and full of life, and following the Eucharist to the plaza of Maria Maggiore on the Via Merulana. 

I still have my candle wrapped in wax paper and wax catcher. Almost all of us had one and had it lit, as we walked the street with music from speakers along the way.  It felt like there were more people in the procession than there were at the Mass!  Christ literally walking the streets with us and in us, all in so much Love.  We all end up squishing together in the plaza of Maria Maggiore where Papá met us again.

 “We are one body, one body in Christ, and we do not stand alone.”  🙂

And that’s what it felt like, and Christ’s sacrifice on the cross made more sense for receiving that every day and mystical experience of the Body in motion.

This Friday night our parish is offering prayer in the Stations of the Cross: Through the Lens of Racism as part of the greater community’s (A2 and UM) observance of Juneteenth.  The observance of Juneteenth, the Stations, and the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ feel all the more resonant in such proximity with each other.

Also, Dad’s birthday would have been last weekend, and this weekend, of course, Father’s Day.  The following had been a stanza in a poem I wrote in the early 2010s.  Now … this excerpt is a tighter and better-fitting poem and match to my Dad’s dadditude and an “everyday sacred” moment. A joyful Father’s Day to you and yours.

Evening Mass, When All the Others Were Asleep

by Lorraine Lamey

In tribute to Seamus Heaney’s When All the Others Were Away at Mass and my Dad

My bedroom door was closest to the kitchen.

He rarely woke me in his late night sojourns —

            the shufflings of a legal brief or scrapings of sandwich-making.

But, oh! the milk jug sliding off the refrigerator shelf and

            the tink-ings of the extra-large cookie tin

            filled to the brim with Mom’s holiday sables —

            Jackie Kennedy’s recipe, you know! —

            woke me in overeager joy.

Feigning sleepiness, I fake shuffled to the kitchen table.

Why do I always remember a place already set for me?  I know there wasn’t.

We ate, crunched, dunked, and slurped cookies with cold milk

            in a companionable duet for a half-century or better.

I have not one memory of what we said or didn’t say,

            except that once we downed a half gallon of milk

            and a half gallon of cookies to match,

consuming and consumed by the sugary host and milky cup.

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