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The Feast of CORPUS CHRISTI

posted Jun 8, 2014, 9:06 AM by Risen Christ   [ updated Jun 8, 2014, 9:21 AM ]
God's real presence among us
Corpus Christi -- or the "Body of Christ" -- is one of the key events celebrated in the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church.   The feast day was created by Pope Urban IV in the year 1264 following the vision of St. Juliana of Leige (in Belgium), who had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.  In her vision, this Augustinian nun had seen a full moon with a stripe crossed diametrically over it.  It was revealed to her that the stripe represented the absence of a liturgical feast to commemorate the love of Christ in the holy Eucharist.

The holy Eucharist itself has its origins in Maundy Thursday.  At the last supper, Jesus, anticipating his terrible death on the cross, broke bread and shared it with his disciples telling them to take and eat it for it is his body which will be given up for the forgiveness of sin.  In a similar way, he took the chalice and told his disciples to drink from it because it contains his blood which will be shed for the redemption of mankind.

The Catholic Church upholds that we do not have to wait till we die to be with God since Jesus, who is God, is already present with us in the flesh in the Holy Eucharist.  Indeed as we consume Jesus in the Eucharistic host, we should with John the Baptist say, "He must increase, but I must decrease."