Solemnity of the Body & Blood of Christ (a)
Sunday 22nd June: Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. (a)
Today, St Paul, in talking about our unity in Christ, says we are like the grains of wheat that have been brought together to form one loaf. It is a beautiful image. It reminds us That God gives us the Body and Blood of Jesus himself to be our nourishment on our journey of faith and life. Today we celebrate the wonderful gift of the Eucharist.
In the first reading, from the Book of Deuteronomy, the author exhorts the people to remember that they are God’s people who need to nourish themselves on his word.
The second reading, from St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, reminds us of the unity that should mark the body of Christ which is his Church.
The Gospel, from St. John, reminds us that just, as food and drink are needed to nourish the body, so Christ nourishes us for this life and eternal life with the gift of himself in the Eucharist.
Monday 23rd June: Monday in the 12th week of the year.
We move to the reign of Hosea in the northern kingdom, Israel. Assyria had destroyed the kingdom and all the leading citizens were sent into exile. This was seen as a warning to the southern kingdom, Judah. Israel had fallen because the people had turned from God. If Judah does not change, the same will happen to the people there.
In the Gospel, Jesus reminds that it important not to judge one another. We need to look at our own lives and make sure we remove whatever is holding us back from fully following Christ in all that we do and say.
Tuesday 24th June: Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist.
There are only three birthdays celebrated in the course of the Church’s liturgical year that of Jesus himself, Our Lady and the one we celebrate today – John the Baptist. It highlights how important John the Baptist is seen to be in the life and tradition of the Church. This feast dates from the fourth century and at one time was preceded by a day of fasting. The Preface of the Mass sums up the life and mission of John the Baptist. He was the one, chosen by God, to prepare the way of the Lord.
Wednesday 25thJune: Wednesday in 12th week of the year.
We come to the reign of another king – Josiah. The temple was in the process of being repaired and this inspired him to begin a period of reform, building on what had been started by the previous king, Hezekiah. He reclaimed the worship of the one true God from the worship of the false gods.
The words of Jesus are challenging as always – a good person will produce good fruits. Beware of false prophets whom you will know by their fruits.
Thursday 26th June: Thursday in 12th week of the year.
When Josiah died, the people went back to their old ways. King Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the Babylonians, besieged Jerusalem. The leaders were sent into exile, the temple was desecrated. Zedekiah was put on the throne as a puppet ruler to Nebuchadnezzar.
We are reminded that those who listen to the words of Jesus and take them seriously and try to put them into practice are those who will persevere, like the house built on a rock.
Friday 27th June: Solemnity of the Sacred Heart.
Today the Church celebrates the immense love of God for us, revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. His heart is a symbol of that love.
Saturday 28th June: Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
This feast has its roots in the apostolate of St. John Eudes and apostle of devotion to the hearts of Jesus and Mary. Pius XII dedicated the Church and the whole human race to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on December 8th 1942, the twenty fifth anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima. He placed the feast originally in August but it has now been moved to its present date to be closer to the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
God of power and might,
When we cry out to you in the tempests of life
Reassure us that you care and are with us,
Even when you seem to be absent.
Stay with us through your Son Jesus, he who is Lord
Forever and ever.