— The Lord’s Day —

Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

“While they were eating, He took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My Body.”” (Mark 14:22)

Origen of Alexandria (part 2 of Pope Benedict’s reflections on Origen) comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

“That bread which God the Word confesses to be his own body is the Word that nourishes souls, the Word proceeding from God, the very bread that comes from the living bread which is set out upon our table of which was written: “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” That drink which God the Word confesses to be his blood is the Word that gives refreshment and exhilarates the heart. This drink is the fruit of the true vine, the blood of that grape cast in the winepress of the passion. So also the bread is the word of Christ made from that corn which, falling onto the good ground, brought forth much fruit. He was not speaking of the visible bread alone which he was holding in his hands as he called it his body. It is the word in the mystery of which that bread was to be broken. Nor did he call that visible drink as such his blood, but the word in the mystery of which that drink was to be poured out. For to what else could the body and blood of the Lord refer other than the atoning Word that nourishes and gladdens the heart? Why did he not say, “This is my bread of the New Testament” just as he said, “This is my blood of the New Testament?” Because the bread is the word of righteousness, by the eating of which souls are nourished. The drink is the word of knowledge of Christ according to the mystery of his birth and passion.” (Commentary Matthew, 85)

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 lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen