Becoming the Body of Christ

The Feast of Corpus Christi (Body of Christ), also called the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, celebrates the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the elements of the Eucharist.  Instituted by Pope Urban VI and first liturgically celebrated in 1264, the Feast of Corpus Christi is traditionally held on the Thursday after the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity and is a Holy Day of Obligation. This year that would have been June 3. It has been discerned by pastoral authorities in the Roman Latin Church that not enough Catholics will obligate themselves to participate at Mass on a weekday, so the Feast was moved to the following Sunday, June 6.

This says a lot about what many Catholics fail to understand about the Body of Christ, and why this Feast is so important that it remains a Holy Day of Obligation.

What is a Holy Day of Obligation?

A Holy Day of Obligation as defined by the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a precept of the Church and is set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the indispensable minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor (CCC, no. 2041).

When a feast day of the Church is considered a Holy Day of Obligation it means to celebrate it is of high importance in the growth of love of God and neighbor. That the Feast of Corpus Christi, up until recent times, is set apart from the ‘usual’ Sunday Holy Day of Obligation should alert us that this Feast is a really big deal, and we should pay attention with an open and listening heart.

The Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ

To be Catholic is to believe that the Eucharist is not a symbol of, but actually is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is how and when ordinary bread and wine is transubstantiated into the Eucharist by the Holy Spirit through the hands of a Catholic priest. This means Jesus Himself is present to us in the Eucharist and is making good on His Promise:

“I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18).

As a result, communion with Jesus has become, in a way, more intense: “By communicating his Spirit, Christ mystically constitutes as his body those brothers and sisters of his who are called together from every nation.” The comparison of the Church with the body casts light on the intimate bond between Christ and his Church. Not only is she gathered around him; she is united in him, in his body (CCC, no. 788-789).

Making Up The Body of Christ

This means we are called to join Christ with Jesus as the Head and we as the members of His same Body. This is how Divine transformation within the individual and the world manifests itself: The body’s unity does not do away with the diversity of its members: “In the building up of Christ’s Body there is engaged a diversity of members and functions. There is only one Spirit who, according to his own richness and the needs of the ministries, gives his different gifts for the welfare of the Church.” The unity of the Mystical Body produces and stimulates charity among the faithful: “From this it follows that if one member suffers anything, all the members suffer with him, and if one member is honored, all the members together rejoice.” Finally, the unity of the Mystical Body triumphs over all human divisions: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” (CCC, no. 791).

Wow! This amazing understanding should astound us!  It should inspire and encourage us in the reality that being obligated truly is a positive law commanding Catholics to live the faith we profess. It should convict us to not hesitate to put down our ordinary daily obligations when called and get about the business of building up the body of Christ, of which we are all members and through which all human divisions are united.  Like I stated above, it’s a really big deal!


Nan Balfour is a grateful Catholic whose greatest desire is to make our Lord Jesus more loved. She seeks to accomplish this through her vocation to womanhood, marriage, motherhood, and as a writer, speaker and events coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.

What Are You Looking For?

Whether we realize it or not, that is a question that stirs in the heart of every one of us. The dilemma is that many people don’t know what they are looking for or how to bring meaning to their life.

Join Mary Jane Fox for steps to direct your search, which involve growing spiritually and in relationship to Jesus.

Message of Hope
When we draw near to Jesus, we too see once more the light which enables us to look to the future with confidence. We find anew the strength and the courage to set out on the way. – Pope Francis, Liturgy at St. Peter’s, 3-5-16

Visit PilgrimCenterofHope.org/Living for more information.

Healing of the Family

What are the serious issues facing nuclear and extended families today?

Join Fr. Ed Hauf, OMI and Fr. John Francis Bentley, BBD as they talk about the wounds facing families in today’s society. As part of their discussion, they will look at how certain kinds of sin can pass down generationally and affect not just the physical parts but also the psychological and spiritual parts of our being.

Also learn about the programs available to heal family relationships, physical and mental illnesses, and addictions.

Message of Hope
Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.  – Pope St. John XXIII

 

Living Your Baptism

When is the last time you thought about your Baptism? Are you living your Baptism?

Beyond the renewal of our baptismal vows during the Easter Vigil, there are lots of ways we can live out our baptismal promises each and every day.

Join Angela Sealana and Robert Rodriguez as they discuss baptism as the gateway to a life in the Spirit. The program will present practical ways to be reminded of and inspired by our baptism. We will also share some spiritual reflections related to our being sons and daughters of God.

Message of Hope
Baptism is not the work of man but of Christ, and this sacrament is so holy that it would not be defiled, even if the minister were a murderer.
– St. Isidore, Doctor of the Church

Visit PilgrimCenterofHope.org/Living for more information.

The Meaning of Advent

Did you know that Advent signals the start of a new Liturgical Year?

Fr. Ed Hauf, OMI and his guest Dan Duet will talk about how to be more spiritually prepared for the celebration of the Lord’s birth. They will also discuss the origins and traditions of the Advent season, as well as provide suggestions on how to become more focused on our need for the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ – not only during Advent, but throughout the year and throughout our lives.

Message of Hope
Always have hope , cling to God and leave all the rest to Him. He will not let you perish. Your soul is very dear to Him; He wishes to save it.                         – St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Three Steps to A More Thankful Attitude

Is the build up to Thanksgiving and Christmas stressing you out? Do you find it difficult to maintain a spirit of gratitude during the holidays and throughout the year?

This episode of Living Catholicism will focus on three simple ways to remind you of the many blessings, gifts, and good things you have received or experienced during the past year and throughout your lifetime. There is joy, spiritual enrichment, and health benefits that come from showing gratitude and saying “thank you” to God and those around you.

We will also discuss how to remember that “God was there,” even in the ‘not so good moments’ that we experience in life.

About St. Pope Paul VI

On October 14, Pope Paul VI was declared a saint by Pope Francis. Many remember Pope Paul VI for shepherding the Church through the Second Vatican Council and for his enlightening encyclicals, Evangelii Nuntiandi (On Evangelization in the Modern World) and Humanae Vitae (On Human Life).

This episode of Living Catholicism will delve deeper into the accomplishments of Paul VI, and will also introduce you to the man born Giovanni Montini. Plus, discover what you can learn from this newly canonized Saint.

Links to St. Pope Paul VI’s Official Documents

Evangelii Nuntiandi (On Evangelization in the Modern World)

Humanae Vitae (On Human Life)

Guardian Angels

How often do you greet your guardian angel?

Join Mary Jane Fox for a look at these companions on our journey. Discover what (and why) the Church teaches about these spiritual beings, and how you can find help and encouragement in your own guardian angel.

Imitation of Mary

Join Fr. Ed Hauf, OMI and his guest Karen Robertson for this 2-part series, as they explore all the practical ways Mary can help us to better live our Catholicism. Learn more about our Holy Mother’s important role in God’s plan to bring about our salvation and also to continue to nurture, guide, and intercede for us as we seek to fulfill God’s will to proclaim the Good News and bring healing to His people.

Celebrating the Birth of the Virgin Mary

In honor of the birth of the Virgin Mary on September 8, this episode of Living Catholicism will focus on the Immaculate Conception, Mary’s parents Sts. Joachim & Anne, and her sacred life.

Join Deacon Tom Fox and Robert Rodriguez as they explore our Blessed Mother’s life, from her birth, free of original sin, until her Assumption. The program will also take a look at the various devotions to Mary:

  • First Saturdays
  • Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • the Green Scapular of Our Lady
  • The Brown Scapular
  • The Chaplet of Our Lady of Sorrows

Message of Hope:

When the Holy Spirit finds Mary in a soul, He flies to it. He enters therein and communicates Himself to that soul in abundance.  – St. Louis de Montfort