The solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, more commonly known as Corpus Christi, is a wonderful way of gathering together the themes of Easter. The Eucharist has been described as summing up everything we do and profess as Christians.
1st Reading: Exodus 24:3-8
The importance of blood, shed for the good of others. Israelites give this gift to God from their own flocks and herds – an offering of life to God, the Lord of life.
2nd Reading: Hebrews 9:11-15
Unlike the multiple sacrifices in the past, the sacrifice of Jesus is a once-and-for-all sacrifice.
Gospel: Mark 14:12-16. 22-26
Mark’s account of the Last Supper and the institution of Eucharist: an action whereby Jesus’ gift of himself is made available in every age.
Antiphon to the Psalm:
I will take the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.
Entrance Antiphon: Psalm 80: 17
He fed them with the finest wheat and satisfied them with honey from the rock.
O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament have left us a memorial of your Passion, grant us, we pray, so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption. Who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
First reading: Exodus 24:3-8
Moses went and told the people all the commands of the Lord and all the ordinances. In answer, all the people said with one voice, ‘We will observe all the commands that the Lord has decreed.’ Moses put all the commands of the Lord into writing, and early next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain, with twelve standing-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he directed certain young Israelites to offer holocausts and to immolate bullocks to the Lord as communion sacrifices. Half of the blood Moses took up and put into basins, the other half he cast on the altar. And taking the Book of the Covenant he read it to the listening people, and they said, ‘We will observe all that the Lord has decreed; we will obey.’ Then Moses took the blood and cast it towards the people. This’ he said ‘is the blood of the Covenant that the Lord has made with you, containing all these rules.’
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 115(116):12-13,15-18
Response: I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me? The cup of salvation I will raise; I will call on the Lord’s name. R.
O precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful. Your servant, Lord, your servant am I; you have loosened my bonds. R.
A thanksgiving sacrifice I make; I will call on the Lord’s name. My vows to the Lord I will fulfil before all his people. R.
Second reading: Hebrews 9:11-15
Now Christ has come, as the high priest of all the blessings which were to come. He has passed through the greater, the more perfect tent, which is better than the one made by men’s hands because it is not of this created order; and he has entered the sanctuary once and for all, taking with him not the blood of goats and bull calves, but his own blood, having won an eternal redemption for us. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer are sprinkled on those who have incurred defilement and they restore the holiness of their outward lives; how much more effectively the blood of Christ, who offered himself as the perfect sacrifice to God through the eternal Spirit, can purify our inner self from dead actions so that we do our service to the living God. He brings a new covenant, as the mediator, only so that the people who were called to an eternal inheritance may actually receive what was promised: his death took place to cancel the sins that infringed the earlier covenant.
Gospel Acclamation: John 6:51-52
Alleluia, alleluia! I am the living bread from heaven, says the Lord; whoever eats this bread will live for ever. Alleluia!
Gospel Reading: Mark 14:12-16,22-26
On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, his disciples said to Jesus, ‘Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city and you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him, and say to the owner of the house which he enters, “The Master says: Where is my dining room in which I can eat the Passover with my disciples?” He will show you a large upper room furnished with couches, all prepared. Make the preparations for us there.’ The disciples set out and went to the city and found everything as he had told them, and prepared the Passover. And as they were eating he took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them. ‘Take it,’ he said ‘this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them, ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many. I tell you solemnly, I shall not drink any more wine until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.’
After psalms had been sung they left for the Mount of Olives.
Prayer over the Offerings:
Grant your Church, O Lord, we pray, the gifts of unity and peace, whose signs are to be seen in mystery in the offerings we here present. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Communion Antiphon: John 6: 57
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him, says the Lord.
Prayer after Communion:
Grant, O Lord, we pray, that we may delight for all eternity in that share in your divine life, which is foreshadowed in the present age by our reception of your precious Body and Blood. Who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.
plenary council prayer
Come, Holy Spirit of Pentecost. Come, Holy Spirit of the great South Land. O God, bless and unite all your people in Australia and guide us on the pilgrim way of the Plenary Council. Give us the grace to see your face in one another and to recognise Jesus, our companion on the road. Give us the courage to tell our stories and to speak boldly of your truth. Give us ears to listen humbly to each other and a discerning heart to hear what you are saying. Lead your Church into a hope-filled future, that we may live the joy of the Gospel. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, bread for the journey from age to age. Amen.
Our Lady Help of Christians, pray for us.
Saint Mary MacKillop, pray for us.
A Prayer in a Time of a Pandemic
Holy God, you are our comfort and strength in times of Crisis, Pandemic and Uncertainty. Surround us now with your grace and peace through this global pandemic of COVID 19. By your Spirit, help those for whom the effects of this pandemic have been severe and even tragic. Sustain those who are working hard through it. Grant your wisdom to those governing and guiding us to a sense of normality. Fill us all with courage and hope of better days ahead. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our rock and redeemer. Amen.