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The Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord (Year B)
Take a moment to still yourself. Take a deep breath and ask God for a renewed sense of presence with you in this moment.
Lord Jesus Christ, obedient always to your Father’s will, throughout the world the Church renews your offering from the rising of the sun to its setting: unite in one body those who share the one bread.
Lord Jesus Christ, you stand at our door and knock: come to us, fill our hearts with your truth and stay with us.
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Mark 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.
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.
Today Jesus tells us that he is the living bread which has come down from heaven. That anyone who eats this bread will live forever.
He goes on to say that the bread he gives is his flesh, and that whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood lives in him and he lives in them.
What do you think this means? We can’t eat Jesus can we?
Every time we come to Mass, the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Jesus. And we come to share in it, even if we only have a blessing, welcoming Jesus into our lives.
With older children who have made their First Holy Communion, you could talk more about the significance of the Eucharist at this point. For younger ones, we have chosen to focus more on the importance of bread around the world.
Why do you think Jesus chose to talk about bread?
Bread is a very important food. It is a basic food eaten by people all over the world. It is an everyday food that all Jesus’ listeners would have recognised and understood.
When was the last time you had some bread? How often do you eat bread? Every day, once a week or just on special occasions?
How many different types of bread can you name? (eg. brown, white, baguette, pitta, naan, chapati, tortilla, rolls etc). How many different types of bread have you tried?
Bread is very important in the lives of many people around the world today. In fact, it can be life-changing.
In a village called Puentecitos in El Salvador a group of women run a bakery where they make rolls and other nice things.
One of the women, Sibia, says that making and selling bread has changed her life. “It has made a big change because for the first time we have some savings,” she says. Sibia and her friends are using this extra money to buy more ingredients for making their bread. They have also set up a savings group which Sibia leads so that they have more money for things they will need in the future.
The ingredients are getting more expensive but the women have not put the prices of their rolls up. Sibia says this is because people who are poor cannot afford it.
The women know that everyone needs food, so if their customers have no money, they will let them ‘pay’ with a small possession that they are happy to give away instead of paying with money.
We pray for all the people who make sure that we have bread to eat every day. The people who grow the ingredients, who make the flour. We pray for Sibia and for all people who make bread around the world. The people who sell the bread and who buy it for us to eat. Let’s also pray especially for people who are struggling to get enough food to eat at this time.
Adapted from: https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Children-s-liturgy
The following reflection is from Fr Marcus Francis
I think this feast needs to be seen together with the feast of the Word of God which occurs on the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.
The Blessed Sacrament does not exist in a vacuum. It exists in relationship with the other presences of Christ in the Mass: people, Word, priest and Blessed Sacrament. When we adore the Blessed Sacrament outside of the Mass we prolong that moment in the Mass when the priest elevates the consecrated Host and the chalice containing the Precious Blood. We acknowledge that Christ is present to us in this mystery in an enduring and substantial way. We contemplate not bread or wine but rather Emmanuel – God with us. It is not only the crucified Lord but the whole of our Lord, glorified in the resurrection, who is made present to us under the form of bread and wine.
To this end not only the consecrated Host is holy but also the priest, the Word and the people. Parishioners are encouraged to adore the Blessed Sacrament as well as honour Christ in all the other ways that he is present to us. This means to love one another and forgive each other for our faults: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Pt 2: 9-10)
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Christ Jesus, Bread of Life, feed us with your love and wisdom and show us how we can help others, so that all people may have enough to eat. Amen.
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