The following call to worship was delivered by Fr. Bart Landry, CSP, on Corpus Christi Sunday, June 19, 2022 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in downtown Sacramento:
Today, we celebrate the solemn feast of Corpus Christi. It is three feasts in one: the feast of the Eucharistic sacrifice, the feast of the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the feast of the Real Presence of Jesus in this Sacrament. Corpus Christi is a doctrinal feast established for three purposes: 1) to give God collective thanks for Christ’s abiding presence with us in the Eucharist and to honor Him there; 2) to instruct the people in the Mystery, Faith and devotion surrounding the Eucharist, and 3) to teach us to appreciate and make use of the great gift of the Holy Eucharist, both as a Sacrament and as a sacrifice.
Pope Francis states that “to celebrate the Eucharist, we need first to recognize our thirst for God, to sense our need for him, to long for his presence and love, to realize that we cannot go it alone, but need the Food and Drink of eternal life to sustain us on our journey”, a journey of freedom. On this feast of Corpus Christi, we commemorate the body and blood of Christ. Our readings highlight the physical and spiritual feasting that we encounter in the Eucharist. This religious feast coincides with Father’s Day, and Juneteenth which can inspire new ways of thinking about this solemn occasion.
As with our Eucharistic Lord; Godly Fathers love, lead, provide, impart wisdom, provide correction and demonstrate forgiveness to their families.
Juneteenth stands to remind our nation that though the African American experience includes the brutal chains of slavery, emancipation did come, and it broke those physical shackles free. Just as the Eucharistic Lord free us from the shackles of sin. Juneteenth give us a deep sense of hope that helps us to remember that America belongs to all of us. As brothers and sisters, we are called to make it a livable home with equality, equity, and justice for all.
Although Juneteenth and Corpus Christi are largely joyful celebrations, they share physical suffering and loss of life. Millions of Africans who were enslaved, robbed of their bodies and blood, never saw the freedom that we celebrate today. Similarly, Jesus’ suffering on the cross, offering of body and blood, was needed in order that we might celebrate Corpus Christi today.
As we participate in the various celebrations of the day, we are reminded to focus on our community and world around us, drawing inspiration from Christ’s sacrifice and emulating his ministry throughout our lives. The REAL PRESENCE OF CHRIST FOR REAL LIFE CHALLENGES.