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Why we celebrate Corpus Christi

by Joy Nanton, advocate for Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration

I am the living bread that has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world” (Jn 6:51).

What is the purpose of celebrating the Solemnity of Corpus Christi? This feast is celebrated to remind us of how much Jesus loves and cares for us in this Blessed Sacrament of His love.

In the 13th century, He appeared to St Juliana de Cornillon, during Eucharistic Adoration and showed her a moon with a dark spot on it. The moon represented the liturgical calendar and the dark spot represented a feast day He wanted instituted.

He told her that as the Church progressed in time, it would decline in faith in His real presence. In 1264, Pope Urban 1V made the Feast of The Body of Christ (Corpus Christi) a holy day of obligation for the Universal Church.

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi is to honour His real presence in the Blessed Sacrament. It is the only time in the whole liturgical year that Jesus is exposed in a monstrance to the whole world, in a Eucharistic procession, covered by a canopy. The canopy is a symbol of authority and royalty.

The Council of Trent clearly states that the Eucharist is the entire living and glorified Christ— body, blood, soul and divinity, under the appearances of bread and wine. It is the very foundation of all Christ-life and worship.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart, celebrated within the octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi is devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, as Our Lord told St Margaret Mary in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. “I thirst with such a terrible thirst to be loved by you in the Blessed Sacrament.”

The Blessed Sacrament is the Sacred Heart of Jesus burning with love for each one of us. Jesus also said to St Margaret Mary, “Make reparation for the ingratitude of men, spend an hour in prayer to appease divine justice, to implore mercy for sinners, to honour Me, to console Me for my bitter agony when abandoned by My Apostles, when they did not watch one hour with Me.”

Brother and sister Catholics, do we truly believe that Jesus is present in the Eucharist? Do we believe that all healing and all solutions to today’s crises in the Church and in the world come from the Eucharist, because Jesus is the Eucharist?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church  #2096 states, “Adoration is the Supreme Act of Religion” and #2097, “to adore God is to acknowledge, in respect and absolute submission the nothingness of the creature who would not exist but for God. To adore God is to praise and exalt Him and to humble oneself, as Mary did in the Magnificat….The worship of the One God sets man free from turning in on himself, from the slavery of sin and the idolatry of the world.”

St Margaret Mary states, “My greatest happiness is to be before the Blessed Sacrament, where my heart is, as it were, in its center.”

“Let us beseech the Lord to reawaken in us the joy at His Presence that we may once more adore Him. Without Adoration, there is no transformation of the world.”—Pope Benedict XVI.

Blessed Mother, pray for us to be drawn to the Eucharistic Heart of your Son in the Blessed Sacrament.

May the Joy of The Risen Lord bring you hope in HIS GREAT LOVE!