Gospel Reflection: Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Reading 2

Heb 9:11-15

Brothers and sisters:
When Christ came as high priest
of the good things that have come to be,
passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle
not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation,
he entered once for all into the sanctuary,
not with the blood of goats and calves
but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.
For if the blood of goats and bulls
and the sprinkling of a heifer's ashes
can sanctify those who are defiled
so that their flesh is cleansed,
how much more will the blood of Christ,
who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God,
cleanse our consciences from dead works
to worship the living God.

For this reason he is mediator of a new covenant:
since a death has taken place for deliverance
from transgressions under the first covenant,
those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.


Mk 14:12-16, 22-26

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
when they sacrificed the Passover lamb,
Jesus’ disciples said to him,
"Where do you want us to go
and prepare for you to eat the Passover?"
He sent two of his disciples and said to them,
"Go into the city and a man will meet you,
carrying a jar of water.
Follow him.
Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house,
'The Teacher says, "Where is my guest room
where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?"'
Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready.
Make the preparations for us there."
The disciples then went off, entered the city,
and found it just as he had told them;
and they prepared the Passover.

While they were eating,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, gave it to them, and said,
"Take it; this is my body."
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them,
and they all drank from it.
He said to them,
"This is my blood of the covenant,
which will be shed for many.
Amen, I say to you,
I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine
until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
Then, after singing a hymn,
they went out to the Mount of Olives.


The Letter to the Hebrews describes Christ as the “high priest” Who offered His own Blood for our redemption, poured out to “cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.” The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, also known as Corpus Christi, reminds us that Christ Himself left us the Memorial of this very Sacrifice in the Holy Mass, celebrated day after day by priests throughout the world. We are able to worship Our Lord’s Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, share true communion with the Person of Jesus Christ, and experience the redemption He won for us. What a true gift the Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood are.

This weekend, our Diocese receives five newly ordained priests to carry forth this sacred work. Father Brelinsky, Father Eidle, Father Nguyen, Father Ramirez, and Father Scheidel, by virtue of their Ordination, will share in the Priesthood of Jesus Christ, celebrating the Sacraments of the Church, preaching the Word of God, and serving parish families across our Diocese. It is fitting that these new priests will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in thanksgiving for the gift of the Priesthood on this Solemnity. The Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, truly present in the Most Holy Eucharist, will be the source of all they do in ministry for our family of faith.

The Holy Eucharist is not only the source of all priestly ministry, but it is also the center of the Church’s life. Without the priest, the Church does not have the Holy Eucharist. Without the priest, our tabernacles would be empty boxes and our altars would be perpetually bare. But with the priest, we always will have the Real Presence of Christ. With the priest, the Sacraments of the Church will continue to nourish, sustain, and strengthen our souls.

This beautiful Solemnity is a moment for us to recognize and celebrate the gift of the Holy Eucharist in our lives. I ask you to pray in thanksgiving for our priests in the Diocese of Allentown and for our seminarians who are discerning a Vocation to the Priesthood. I also ask you to pray fervently before the Most Blessed Sacrament for more men to follow in their footsteps. Our family of faith in Allentown needs spiritual fathers who will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, preach the truth in a sometimes chaotic world, and be ready to lay down their lives for the flock of Christ. We need men who desire to live virtuous and holy lives, centered in the Holy Eucharist, and who will lead others to do the same.

To the young men reading these words: would you consider this noble calling in life? Imagine celebrating daily the saving Sacrifice of Christ in the Holy Mass. Imagine being this kind of spiritual father. Please be assured of my prayers for you before Our Lord, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

+ Bishop Schlert


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