Body and Blood of Christ (C)
June 19, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.








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,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading Gn 14:18-20

In those days, Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine,
and being a priest of God Most High,
he blessed Abram with these words:
"Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
the creator of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who delivered your foes into your hand."
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Responsorial Psalm 110:1,2,3,4  

R. You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.


The LORD said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool."

The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
"Rule in the midst of your enemies."

"Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you."

The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
"You are a priest forever, according to the order of  Melchizedek."

Second Reading 1 Cor 11:23-262

Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me."
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
"This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Sequence Lauda Sion


Laud, O Zion, your salvation,
Laud with hymns of exultation,
 Christ, your king and shepherd true:

Bring him all the praise you know,
He is more than you bestow.
 Never can you reach his due.

Special theme for glad thanksgiving
Is the quick'ning and the living
 Bread today before you set:

From his hands of old partaken,
As we know, by faith unshaken,
 Where the Twelve at supper met.

Full and clear ring out your chanting,
Joy nor sweetest grace be wanting,
 From your heart let praises burst:

For today the feast is holden,
When the institution olden
 Of that supper was rehearsed.

Here the new law's new oblation,
By the new king's revelation,
 Ends the form of ancient rite:

Now the new the old effaces,
Truth away the shadow chases,
 Light dispels the gloom of night.

What he did at supper seated,
Christ ordained to be repeated,
 His memorial ne'er to cease:

And his rule for guidance taking,
Bread and wine we hallow, making
 Thus our sacrifice of peace.

This the truth each Christian learns,
Bread into his flesh he turns,
 To his precious blood the wine:

Sight has fail'd, nor thought conceives,
But a dauntless faith believes,
 Resting on a pow'r divine.

Here beneath these signs are hidden
Priceless things to sense forbidden;
 Signs, not things are all we see:

Blood is poured and flesh is broken,
Yet in either wondrous token
 Christ entire we know to be.

Whoso of this food partakes,
Does not rend the Lord nor breaks;
 Christ is whole to all that taste:
Thousands are, as one, receivers,
One, as thousands of believers,
 Eats of him who cannot waste.

Bad and good the feast are sharing,
Of what divers dooms preparing,
 Endless death, or endless life.

Life to these, to those damnation,
See how like participation
 Is with unlike issues rife.

When the sacrament is broken,
Doubt not, but believe 'tis spoken,
 That each sever'd outward token
 doth the very whole contain.

Nought the precious gift divides,
Breaking but the sign betides
 Jesus still the same abides,
 still unbroken does remain.

 Lo! the angel’s food is given
To the pilgrim who has striven;
   see the children’s bread from heaven,
   which on dogs may not be spent.

 Truth the ancient types fulfilling,
Isaac bound, a victim willing,
   Paschal lamb, its lifeblood spilling,
   manna to the fathers sent.

 Very bread, good shepherd, tend us,
Jesu, of your love befriend us,
   You refresh us, you defend us,
   Your eternal goodness send us
In the land of life to see.

 You who all things can and know,
Who on earth such food bestow,
   Grant us with your saints, though lowest,
   Where the heav’nly feast you show,
Fellow heirs and guests to be. Amen. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 6:51


Gospel Lk 9:11b-17

Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God,
and he healed those who needed to be cured.
As the day was drawing to a close,
the Twelve approached him and said,
"Dismiss the crowd
so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms
and find lodging and provisions;
for we are in a deserted place here."
He said to them, "Give them some food yourselves."
They replied, "Five loaves and two fish are all we have,
unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people."
Now the men there numbered about five thousand.
Then he said to his disciples,
"Have them sit down in groups of about fifty."
They did so and made them all sit down.
Then taking the five loaves and the two fish,
and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing over them, broke them,
and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
They all ate and were satisfied.
And when the leftover fragments were picked up,
they filled twelve wicker baskets.

Reflection Questions

  1. How do you tithe?
  2. What would a “Eucharistic revival” look like to you?
  3. How and to whom do you “give them some food yourself?”

Catena Nova

They are wholly mistaken who reject God’s plan for His creation, deny the salvation of the flesh and scoff at the idea of its regeneration, asserting that it cannot put on an imperishable nature. If the flesh is not saved, then the Lord did not redeem us with His Blood, the Chalice of the Eucharist is not a share in His Blood and the Bread which we break is not a share in His Body (1Cor 10,16). For… the human substance, which the Word of God truly became, redeems us with His Blood… Since we are His members (1Cor 6,15) and are nourished by His creation… He declared, that the Chalice of His creation is His own Blood, from which He augments our own blood and He affirmed, that the Bread of His creation is His own Body from which He gives growth to our being. So, when the mixed chalice and the baked loaf receive the word of God and when the Eucharistic elements become the Body and Blood of Christ, which brings growth and sustenance to our bodily frame, how can it be maintained that our flesh is incapable of receiving God’s gift of eternal life? For our flesh feeds on the Lord’s Body and Blood and is His member. So Saint Paul writes: “We are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones” (Eph 5,30; Gn 2,23). He is not speaking about some spiritual and invisible person…: he is speaking of the anatomy of a real person, consisting of flesh, nerves and bones. It is this that is nourished by His Chalice, the Chalice of His Blood and gains growth from the Bread which is His Body… In the same way, our bodies are nourished by being buried in the earth and… rise again in due season, when the word of God confers resurrection upon them “for the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2,11). (St. Irenaeus of Lyons)

What you see here on the Lord’s table, my dear brethren, is bread and wine.  But once the word is pronounced over them, this bread and this wine become the body and the blood of the divine word.  He is the very Lord who “in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.” (John 1:1)  Owing to his mercy, the Lord did not disdain the nature created by him in his own image, but, as you know, “the word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”  (John 1:14)  The same word assumed human nature; in other words, he took a human soul and body, became man, yet ever remained God.  And since the word suffered on our behalf, he left us his body and blood in this sacrament, in which he also included us.  For we, too, have been incorporated into his body, and through his mercy we are the very thing that we receive.  Bear in mind what this creature, wheat, was formerly when it still grew in the field; how the Earth caused it to germinate, how the rains nurtured it, how it ripened in kernels; and how afterward the laborers carried it to the threshing floor, treaded it, winnowed it, stored it in the granary, brought it out again to be milled, then added water to it and baked it, until at last it emerged as bread.  Bear in mind what happened in your own case, imagining a time when you did not yet exist, but then you were created and brought to the threshing floor of the Lord, threshed by hardworking oxen, that is to say, by the heralds of the Gospel....  Now ponder on what you have received.  And as it dawns on you what unity there is in the sacrament which has been instituted, be impressed with the unity that ought to prevail among yourselves, causing you to love one another, to remain steadfast in one faith, in one hope, and in mutual charity.... In this sacrament you are united with us — we are joined together, we drink together, because we share life together. (St. Augustine of Hippo)

His body, has been given to you
under the appearance of bread
and His blood, under the appearance of wine,
so that, when you have partaken
of the body and blood of Christ,
you might be one body and one blood with Him.
So shall we become Christ-bearers [“Christophers”].
His body and blood are diffused
through all our members – see, then,
how we become participants in the divine nature!  (St. Cyril of Jerusalem)

Our spiritual journey has brought to us the highest and most life-giving mystery. The Lord has set before us a gift that words can’t even describe rightly. We are meeting together for a life-giving and sacred meal. It brings us to the fulness of our heavenly calling....What is being given us are the unfailing delights of a heavenly banquet. At this dinner the Heavenly Giver is present in person. The divine gifts are placed before you. The sacred meal is ready. A life-giving wine has been prepared. The King of Glory summons us and the Son of God receives us. God, the Incarnate Word, invites us. The personal and subsistent Wisdom of God, having built a house, a temple not made by human hands, is giving us his own life-giving blood in the form of wine and his own body in the form of bread. What a wonderous mystery. How marvelous the arrangements made by our God! How unsearchable the divine mystery! The Creator offers himself for the joy of his creatures. The one who is life itself gives himself to human beings as food and drink for everlasting life. “Come, eat my bread and drink the wine I have prepared for you!” These are his words. I have prepared myself to be your food and drink, if you indeed long for me. I, says the Lord Christ, am the Word and Image of the Father, and I share flesh and blood with you so you may be saved. Taste and see how good the Lord is! What better reason could we have to give thanks? (Theophilus of Alexandria)

The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love.
It signifies Love,
It produces love.
The Eucharist is the consummation
of the whole spiritual life.(St. Thomas Aquinas)

Throughout his ministry, our Lord emphasized the idea of feeding as something intimately connected with his love and care for souls.  The mystery of the Eucharist does not stand alone.  It is the crest of a great wave; a total sacramental disclosure of the dealings of the transcendent God with men....The feedings of practical compassion; we feel that in them something of deep significance is done, one of the mysteries of eternal life a little bit unveiled.  So too in the supper at Emmaus, when the bread is broken the Holy One is known.  It is peculiar to Christianity, indeed part of the mystery of the Incarnation, that it constantly shows us this coming of God through and in homely and fugitive things and events; and puts the need and dependence of the creature at the very heart of prayer. (Evelyn Underhill)

The silent adoration of the Lord by the single believer who kneels in front of the holy shrine on our altars, the presentation of the sacrament in the monstrance by which the mystery is “exposed” to our eyes, rightly understood, need not necessarily lead away from the significance of the sacrament.  On the contrary, in this way too the food proclaims the eternal life of our dying Lord; and venerated precisely in this way, it calls us to partake of it.  When the mystery of Christ always and everywhere encompasses our being (whether or not we heed it), why should this secret of our being not be allowed to become visible so that our eye may fall on the food of the church, in which one eats life or judgment? We are always (to the extent that only the spirit of Christ lives in us and moves us) in spiritual communication with Christ (or we could be), whether we kneel in church or walk the dusty streets of everyday life.  But this spiritual communication is also our task.  The enduring sacrament reminds us to take up this task.  In it the word of God, which calls us to abide in Christ and in his love (and offers the strength for it) becomes ever clearer and unmistakable.  “Extra-sacramental” Eucharistic piety always remains united, with its source, with the celebration of the sacrificial banquet.  It remains rich in content and it is sound when it remembers this relation to the sacrifice of the Mass. From this point of view one is able to understand what Catholic Christendom does on the feast of Corpus Christi or at a Eucharistic congress. Such a day is not a day of demonstration against the belief of other Christians.  If one viewed it thus (on one side or the other), one would be misinterpreting the meaning of this sacrament which is the bond of unity and love and should become this more and more.  This celebration therefore cannot have such a meaning if only for the reason that the custom of the feast of Corpus Christi goes back to a time when there was no schism in western Christianity.  The feast has its roots in the ancient field processions.  In them man walks along the Earthly dimensions of his life, carrying the “Holy” (the relics of the church included the “Holy of Holies) into his whole world. (Karl Rahner)


Feeding Time

            Beginning today, and for the next three years, the bishops of the United States are launching what they call a “Eucharistic Revival.”  Its mission is,To renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.” Their hope is to (re)-awaken Catholics to belief in the Real Presence of the Lord in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood.  The precipitous decline in Mass attendance, partly due to the pandemic, partly to other reasons, has spurred this initiative along with a perceived loss of Eucharistic faith.  For example, in the Diocese of Rochester where I live Mass attendance (depending on how you count “Catholics”) has sunk to 9% and there were no ordinations to the priesthood this year.  While the first ten YouTube “Masses” I searched for from last Sunday registered a total of 300,000 views.  Yes, you read that correctly.  

            At the same time, the number of priests in the US over the last half-century has shrunk from 59 to 35 thousand – a 40% decline – while their average age is 70ish such that only 2/3 of diocesans are still in active ministry.  Twenty percent of parishes are without a resident pastor, not to mention the untold number of closed or merged parishes.  If it weren’t for generous retirees and foreign priests , mostly from Africa, the situation would be exponentially worse.  By the way, during the same period, the number of adults who are now “former Catholics” has grown from 3.5 to 39.5 million people, a hundredfold increase. 

            Although one might argue that the decline in active Catholics who attend Mass and the number of available priests go hand in hand, making the downsizing of the American church really a matter of “rightsizing,” I don’t think this is what the bishops mean by “revival.”  And even if the reduction in available Masses and priests to celebrate them might at the moment be in tandem, it seems inevitable that a Eucharistic famine will sweep the church in this, and other Western hemisphere countries, much as it already has in other parts of the world.  “Revival” just doesn’t sound to me quite the right word when the Eucharist itself is disappearing.  Yet, Jesus says, Give them some food yourselves (G).    

            Alas, this isn’t the only impending famine to report.  Alarm bells are going off due to the Russian blockade of Black Sea ports with vital grain needed to feed millions of people throughout the world.  A recent report of the United Nations Security Council makes clear that Russia and Ukraine together produce 30% of the world’s wheat.  Ukraine alone provides food for 400 million people in the Middle East and Africa.  Countries already suffering from acute hunger include Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.  There are, moreover, 44 million people in 38 countries already at emergency levels of hunger due to shortages of grain and fertilizer caused by the war – all of which is exacerbated by warming temperatures and pandemic-driven supply problems.  The situation threatens to tip tens of millions of people over the edge into food insecurity; the resultant malnutrition, mass hunger and famine will likely last for years.  The Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, has rightly noted that, “When war is waged, people go hungry....There is enough food for everyone in the world.... In our world of plenty, I will never accept the death from hunger of a single child, woman or man” (May 19, 2022; cf.  Or, as Jesus says, Give them some food yourselves (G).    

            Famine, of course, has long been a weapon of war.  Like the ones imposed by the tyrants of the last century: Stalin’s Terror Famine of the Ukraine, Mao’s Great Chinese Famine, Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge Famine in Thailand, the famine in Biafra used as a weapon of war by Nigerian forces and -- I hate to say it -- American complicity in the famine that struck Bangladesh in 1974 during the Nixon administration, one of the worst of the 20th Century.  We are now about to add Putin’s name to this infamous list with potential victims slated to exceed the others.  All of these famines avoidable, all of them because governments failed to do, as Jesus says, Give them some food yourselves. 

            True, the disciples were speechless at the thought of it.  They told him, “No, you dismiss the crowd so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms and find lodging and provisions for we are here in a deserted place here.  But the preacher from Nazareth was undeterred.  He told them, “No, you give them some food yourselves.  Which they did.  And before long, they all ate and were satisfied.  And when the leftover fragments were picked up, they filled twelve wicker baskets (G).

            Now what they – and all too often we – fail to understand is God is a God of abundance, never stingy and never withholding.  Indeed, we can expect leftovers!  So when Jesus instructed his disciples to feed the crowds themselves, he knew full well how Providence is capable of multiplying human efforts – but never without those efforts.  God provides even when we prefer to wring our hands feeling quite helpless or overwhelmed. 

            All of which we see week after week in the Sign of the Eucharist.  We present our paltry bread and wine – not much more than the five loaves and two fish (I) that nevertheless fed thousands, the one miracle foreshadowing the other where our bread and wine are “multiplied,” and become the Body and Blood of Christ, where the Lord gives himself to all: Thousands are, as one, receivers, One, as thousands of believers, Eats of him who cannot waste (Sequence).

            But let’s not forget that famine – whether spiritual or material – is always artificial.  For there are ways and means to make sure there is plenty for all.  That includes making sure everyone can be fed at the Lord’s Table and our own.  And when we find such ways and means,  a revival just might occur. 


Intercessions (Joe Milner; Sunday Web Site)

For the Church: that we will live as a Eucharistic people, giving and sharing ourselves, as Christ continually does for us, so that all may have life.

For our fuller participation in the New Covenant: that each sharing in the Eucharist may deepen our baptismal identity as beloved daughters and sons of God and our communion in Christ.

For all who hunger for deeper meaning and truth: that our witness may help them find Christ who will fulfill the longings of their hearts.

For all who lack food and nourishment: that we may hear Christ’s challenge to “give them food” and open our hearts more fully to all who are in need.

For a greater spirit of openness and hospitality: that we may welcome all whom God sends our way and share with them the gifts that God has shared with us.

For government leaders: that God will give them a new vision of how to address violence, firearms, and the use of force in our society.

For peace: that God will protect all who are caught in warfare or violence, bring an end to armed conflicts, and give strength to all who are working for peace.

For all fathers and those who have shown us a father’s love: that God will grant them peace and health, and help them give good example and a source of encouragement to their children.

For all who have died, particularly our fathers: that God will welcome to the eternal banquet and fill them with life and peace.

You have blessed all generations,
O God most high,
in Jesus, our compassionate Saviour,
for through him you invite us to your kingdom,
welcome us to your table,
and provide us with nourishment in abundance.
Teach us to imitate your unfailing kindness
and to build up Christ’s body, the Church,
by generously handing on to others
the gifts we have received from your bounty.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. (ICEL; 1998)

Offertory Motet (Thomas Tallis)


O sacrum convivium! in quo Christus sumitur: recolitur memoria passionis eius: mens impletur gratia: et futurae gloriae nobis pignus datur.

O sacred banquet! in which Christ is received, the memory of his Passion is renewed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory to us is given.

Communion Antiphon


Closing Hymn

Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness,
leave the gloomy haunts of sadness;
come into the daylight's splendour,
there with joy thy praises render
unto him whose grace unbounded
hath this wondrous banquet founded:
high o'er all the heavens he reigneth,
yet to dwell with thee he deigneth.

Now I sink before thee lowly,
filled with joy most deep and holy,
as with trembling awe and wonder
on thy mighty works I ponder:
how, by mystery surrounded,
depth no mortal ever sounded,
none may dare to pierce unbidden
secrets that with thee are hidden.

Sun, who all my life dost brighten,
light, who dost my soul enlighten,
joy, the sweetest heart e'er knoweth,
fount, whence all my being floweth,
at thy feet I cry, my Maker,
let me be a fit partaker
of this blessed food from heaven,
for our good, thy glory, given.

Jesus, Bread of Life, I pray thee,
let me gladly here obey thee;
never to my hurt invited,
be thy love with love requited:
from this banquet let me measure,
Lord, how vast and deep its treasure;
through the gifts thou here dost give me,
as thy guest in heaven receive me.