Annunciation Benedictine, Art Collections St. Lambrecht, Germany 18th Century, unknown artist from Styria
There are many parallels between Christ Unborn and Christ Eucharistic. Here we present just three biblically focused parallels in honor of Corpus Christi Sunday (Corpus Christi means ‘Body of Christ’).
1. The first parallel is between the words the Incarnate Christ spoke to His Father immediately upon entering the world (see Heb. 10.5-10), particularly: “Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired, but a body hast thou prepared for me…Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God…’” Compare this to the “words of consecration” spoken by our Lord at the passover Last Supper; “This is my body which is given for you…”, followed by the words of offering He spoke in the Garden of Gethsemane; “Father….not my will, but thine, be done.” The same human body prepared for Christ, would be offered up by Him on the cross after being truly and sacramentally presented during the Passover by Christ Himself.
2. Understanding that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant, unfolds the second parallel for us; see Rev 11.19 -12.2. Also, recall that both the Old Testament Ark of the Covenant and Mary had both been ‘overshadowed’ by the Holy Spirit. The 3 month visit of (pregnant) Mary to the home of Elizabeth and Zechariah a few miles west of Jerusalem, is actually prefigured in the Old Testament when the original Ark of the Old Covenant (containing Manna from Heaven) is brought by King David to the home of Obededom, located a few miles west of Jerusalem for 3 months (Sam 6.1-13). David dances for joy before the Ark, unborn John the Baptist leaps for joy before pregnant Mary. David says, “How can the Ark of the Lord come to me?” Elizabeth says, “…why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Note: The Manna was the bread which came down from heaven, and Jesus referred to that Manna years later when He proclaimed Himself to be the Bread of Life (Jn 6.31-35).
3. The third parallel occurs in Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph enter Bethlehem with the Unborn Christ Child, to fulfill prophecies concerning the birth of the Messiah. The name “Bethlehem” means “house of bread”. Mary carries within her “the bread of life” – and this Unborn Jesus who is “the Bread of Life”, will be born here for us. He is the “the true bread from heaven” (Jn 6.32) sent into the world for our nourishment and Salvation!
Filed under: Incarnation, Mary, Quotes from Great Christians, The Eucharist, Unborn Jesus
“Now Jesus Christ, God and Man, enters into us and enacts a mystery similar to the one wrought in Mary’s womb….the Eucharist passes into our bodies and, uniting with us, prolongs, extends the Incarnation to each of us separately.
In becoming incarnate in the Virgin Mary, the Word had in view this incarnation in each one of us, this Communion with the individual soul; it was one of the ends for which He came into the world.
Communion is the perfect development, the full unfoldment of the Incarnation, as it is likewise the completion of the sublime sacrifice of Calvary, renewed each morning in the Mass….without Communion the Sacrifice would be incomplete. Thus the Body of Jesus Christ is united with our body, His Soul with our soul, and His Divinity hovers over both.”
St. Peter Julian Eymard Holy Communion
“There was silence in Heaven, as it were for half an hour” (Apoc. viii. I)
“Thus the Holy Spirit moves St. John to write in the Apocalypse. He speaks of time in that state where time is no more. He speaks of silence where :”they cease not day and night” to sing the praises of the Lamb, because He wants to bring within reach of our intelligence a fact-and that fact is, that there was wonder in Heaven, so great that, so to speak, the ordinary course of things was stopped.
The Beloved Disciple does not tell us what it was that caused this silence in Heaven, but it may well have been when “the Angels and Archangels and all the company of Heaven, saw a wonder even greater than they saw when the silent Word leaped down from Heaven (Wisdom xviii. 15) to dwell in the womb of the sinless Virgin.
Could any wonder be greater than this? Yes. All the company of Heaven is looking intently once more, and they see their Creator, their God, the Word made Flesh entering into one of his sinful creatures to be his Food-to feed his spiritual life. And “there is silence in Heaven” as they look upon a sight so stupendous.”
Simple Meditations by Mother St. Paul pages 93-94.
This statue of the “Virgin Mary of Hope Expectant” was on display at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish in Fort Myers July 25 during a Novena for Life Mass. The statue appeared at different parishes throughout the nine-month novena.
I wanted to let you know about a wonderful group called Laity for Life because one of their objectives is to “provide spiritual and moral support for lay Catholics who are active in the pro-life movement”. Other objectives of the group are to ‘train Catholics to be persuasive pro-life speakers and encourage Church financial support for pro-life efforts’.
One way that they are fulfilling this objective is by promoting a Novena of Masses for Life. They have “borrowed and broadened the term ‘Novena’ to refer to the nine months of Our Lady’s pregnancy”.
During 2008 a series of 28 Masses for Life were celebrated throughout the Diocese of Venice in Florida starting on the feast of the Annunciation and thereafter on the 25th of each month until Christmas. Click here to see a schedule of these Masses. A statue of “Virgin Mary of Hope Expectant” was brought to each of these Masses throughout the Diocese. The statue was designed by Antonio Reyes of Ecuador. These Masses for Life bring Catholics together to pray for the unborn and to open their hearts to God for the spiritual strength needed to bring about a new culture of life.
This year they have expanded the Masses for Life to include 48 parishes and 121 Novena Masses following the same schedule from the Annunciation to Christmas. Click here to see the 2009 schedule. Laity for Life wants to promote the Novena of Masses for Life all over the U.S.. If you would be interested in working with Laity for Life on this project you can contact them at :
LAITY for LIFE, Inc.
P.O. Box 111478
Naples FL 34108
VoiceMail : 239.352.6333
You may have never heard of Blessed Juliana of Cornillon (Juliana of Liege), 1192 -1258. She was an Augustinian nun who was the first promoter of a feast day in honor of the Blessed Sacrament. She has been recognized as the person primarily responsible for the introduction of the Corpus Christi feast day during the middle ages. According to Acta Sanctorum, she had a unique and extraordinary devotion. She said the Magnificat (Lk 1:46-55) nine times a day; once for each month that Our Lord spent in the womb of His mother. (The Magnificat was proclaimed by Mary while she was pregnant.) One can not help but see the beautiful connection here in Juliana’s spiritual life between her devotion to the Body of Christ in the womb and the Body of Christ upon the altar.
Which leads us to the second woman: Mary the Mother of Jesus. In his encyclical letter ECCLESIA DE EUCHARISTIA, On the Eucharist in Its Relationship to the Church, John Paul II discusses Mary and the Eucharist:
“In a certain sense Mary lived her Eucharistic faith even before the institution of the Eucharist, by the very fact that she offered her virginal womb for the Incarnation of God’s Word. The Eucharist, while commemorating the passion and resurrection, is also in continuity with the incarnation. At the Annunciation Mary conceived the Son of God in the physical reality of his body and blood, thus anticipating within herself what to some degree happens sacramentally in every believer who receives, under the signs of bread and wine, the Lord’s body and blood.”
“As a result, there is a profound analogy between the Fiat which Mary said in reply to the angel, and the Amen which every believer says when receiving the body of the Lord. Mary was asked to believe that the One whom she conceived “through the Holy Spirit” was “the Son of God” (Lk 1:30-35). In continuity with the Virgin’s faith, in the Eucharistic mystery we are asked to believe that the same Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, becomes present in his full humanity and divinity under the signs of bread and wine.”
“Blessed is she who believed” (Lk 1:45). Mary also anticipated, in the mystery of the incarnation, the Church’s Eucharistic faith. When, at the Visitation, she bore in her womb the Word made flesh, she became in some way a “tabernacle” – the first “tabernacle” in history – in which the Son of God, still invisible to our human gaze, allowed himself to be adored by Elizabeth, radiating his light as it were through the eyes and the voice of Mary. And is not the enraptured gaze of Mary as she contemplated the face of the newborn Christ and cradled him in her arms that unparalleled model of love which should inspire us every time we receive Eucharistic communion?”(#55)
“The Eucharist has been given to us so that our life, like that of Mary, may become completely a Magnificat!” (#58)
August 3rd is the feast day of St. Peter Julian Eymard. Here is a beautiful quote from him on the Incarnation:
“Now Jesus Christ, God and Man, enters into us and enacts a mystery similar to the one wrought in Mary’s womb….the Eucharist passes into our bodies and, uniting with us, prolongs, extends the Incarnation to each of us separately. In becoming incarnate in the Virgin Mary, the Word had in view this incarnation in each one of us, this Communion with the individual soul; it was one of the ends for which He came into the world. Communion is the perfect development, the full unfoldment of the Incarnation, as it is likewise the completion of the sublime sacrifice of Calvary, renewed each morning in the Mass….without Communion the Sacrifice would be incomplete. Thus the Body of Jesus Christ is united with our body, His Soul with our soul, and His Divinity hovers over both.”
St. Peter Julian Eymard
Catholic politicians who vote for abortion
First, check out can. 915 of the Code of Canon Law.
Second, read Archbishop Raymond Burke’s recently published article in the Canon Law journal Periodica de re Canonica, vol. 96 (2007) called, The Discipline Regarding the Denial of Holy Communion to Those Obstinately Persevering in Manifest Grave Sin.
We devoted a post to this topic on May 1, 2008, focusing on the denial of Eucharistic communion to Catholic politicians who, after being instructed by their pastor in the Church’s teaching about the sacredness of human life, persist in promoting abortion. But we wanted to give a little more information and also an update. The article by Archbishop Burke might be legitimately seen as a turning point in the Church’s efforts to discipline those who want to stand defiantly against human life within the womb and also want Catholics to vote for them in every election. These are the deceitful Catholic politicians who want their cake and want to eat it too, or in their case want you to abort your baby and want to kiss your baby on the campaign trail too!
With the aforementioned article Archbishop Burke is leading a nimble Canonical charge against Catholic politicians who want to aggressively promote the culture of death within our society. God bless him! Well, that is exactly what is happening. I subscribe to the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, and on the back page of my May 14, 2008 English Edition, under the “Roman Curia” heading I read the following news: Appointments by Pope Benedict XVI to the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. I see a blank expression on your face! This Pontifical Council is the official body which authentically interprets Canon Law. After naming six cardinals appointed as members the list ends humbly with two Archbishops: “Archbishop John Joseph Myers of Newark, U.S.A. and Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke of Saint Louis, U.S.A.”
While Archbishop Burke is no stranger to the Vatican – years ago he served on the Roman Rota – yet this recent appointment following his publication of a somewhat controversial article on a very controversial subject suggests that the Vatican is on board with Burke and bored with the old approach of “letting sleeping dogs lie” (especially when they are really wolves in sheep’s clothing).
OUR NEXT BLOG WILL FEATURE ARCHBISHOP JOHN J. MYERS