This weekend in the liturgical calendar is the celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi. All around the world Catholics will be processing in the streets carrying the cross of Christ, honoring His sacrifice for our sins and salvation. But in our country were few people anymore learn or speak Latin, far too many people haven’t a clue what Corpus Christi means. Even people living in the city of this name are as oblivious to its meaning as many people living in San Francisco or Los Angeles. I’ve even heard people pronounce it Corpus Crispi. So what truth from Scripture does this feast commemorate? This is what we will discuss today on Deep In Scripture.
John, chapter 6:
Overall context of chapter: winnowing down of the crowds.
Criteria: taking Christ at His word.
from the multitude (1-40)
to the Jewish leaders (41-59)
to his disciples (60-66)
to the twelve (67)
to Simon Peter (68-69)
and, unfortunately, also to Judas (70-71)
Throughout the chapter the issue is Jesus Christ as the Bread of Life:
26: Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.
27: Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.”
28: Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”
29: Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
30: So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform?
31: Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, `He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'”
32: Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
33: For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.”
34: They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”
35: Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.
36: But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.
37: All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out.
38: For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me;
39: and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day.
40: For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
41: The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.”
42: They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, `I have come down from heaven’?”
43: Jesus answered them, “Do not murmur among yourselves.
44: No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
45: It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught by God.’ Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.
46: Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father.
47: Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
48: I am the bread of life.
49: Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
50: This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die.
51: I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
52: The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
53: So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you;
54: he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
55: For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56: He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
57: As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me.
58: This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.”