Today (Sunday, June 14), the Catholic Church in America will celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (commonly known as Corpus Christi).
In fact, the Solemnity is on the Church’s calendar to be celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. The American bishops, however, have transferred the celebration to Sunday. This feast solemnly commemorates the Institution of the Holy Eucharist.
Here is the Gospel reading for today (Mk 14:1216; 22-26):
And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the passover?” And he sent two of his disciples, and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the householder, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I am to eat the passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” And the disciples set out and went to the city, and found it as he had told them; and they prepared the passover.
And as they were eating, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, * which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
St. Juliana of Liege received a message from Jesus Christ in 1208 instructing her to move the Church to institute the Solemnity of Corpus Christ. In 1264, Pope Urban IV issued a proclamation putting the Solemnity on the universal Church calendar.
Let me provide a few resources for you to learn more about this Blessed Sacrament:
- Evidence from the Bible for the Catholic teaching of Holy Eucharist
- Know Him in the Breaking of the Bread, by Fr. Francis Randolph (from Ignatius Press)
- Eucharistic Miracles: Evidence of the Real Presence, by Ronald Rychlak (from This Rock magazine)
- The Doctrine (and Defense) of the Eucharist, by Carl E. Olson (from Ignatius Press)
- A wealth of information about Holy Eucharist, from the website The Real Presence:
- Introduction to the Eucharist (scroll a little bit for the articles and links)
- The Catholic teaching of the Eucharist is a continuation from the belief of the early Christians
- Sacred Scripture supports the teaching of the Real Presence
- Eucharistic Miracles offer proof for the Real Presence
- Plus much, much more