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June 19, 2022

Corpus Christi 2022 English

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Dear Friends in Christ,

Beati qui ad cenam Agni vocati sunt
Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb
Revelation 19:9

At every moment of every day somewhere in the world, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is celebrated. Simple elements of bread and wine are lifted to the heavens at the consecration. Through the mystery of transubstantiation, the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ, who shares His presence, His Real Presence, with us. Before the distribution of Holy Communion the Priest proclaims the words above. As the faithful prepare to receive the Eucharist, our hearts, minds and souls eagerly anticipate the gift of the Blessed Sacrament, celebrating our intimate relationship with Christ. The incredible gift of His Real Presence is an outpouring of love, which we receive and are called to selflessly share as missionary disciples.

At the Last Supper, the Lord shared with His Apostles not only the Passover meal, but wisdom and comfort. Knowing that He was about to embrace the suffering of the cross, Jesus told them: Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. (John 14:1). He provides assurance that in His absence He would have a whole new presence. Two thousand years later, His Presence continues to affirm life, to provide spiritual nourishment, and to point us toward hope for the future. Our world needs a deeper relationship with Christ as we face challenges, divisions and difficulties. There is reassurance of His love, guidance and protection as His departing words in Matthew 28:20 proclaim: And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.

Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. As we honor the blessings that we receive and share in the Eucharistic feast, we are also beginning a special journey together as the Catholic Church in the United States: a three-year Eucharistic Revival. The first year will include formation and understanding on a diocesan level. The second year will encourage a deeper encounter with Christ’s Real Presence on a parish level. Finally, the third year will unite us in the Eucharist on a national level. For more information on the Eucharistic Revival, I encourage you to visit our website, www.diosav.org, and click on the Real Presence icon. There you will find more information and updates on the Eucharistic Revival as well as resources to strengthen your own faith and witness of Christ’s Real Presence.

My brothers and sisters, during the Eucharistic Revival we are being invited to embrace the mystery of the Real Presence of Christ, to approach the Eucharist with awe and wonder. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read:

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life”. The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch. (#1324)

It is my hope that over the next three years as the family of the Diocese of Savannah, we will grow in our respect and reverence for the Real Presence of Christ. I ask you today to recall your own First Communion. Very often, this is one of our first recollections from childhood. Do you remember the anticipation and excitement that you felt? Every time we receive the Eucharist, we are given the opportunity to encounter Christ as if it were our first time, our last time and our only time. I pray that we may grow in our understanding of how God is calling us to the Supper of the Lamb…to honor, receive and share His blessings and His love.

Please know that I remember you, your loved ones and your intentions in my daily prayers. Thank you for praying for me and for all who serve the Church, that our ministry may guide you to holiness, hope and peace. May we meet each day in our prayers and Rejoice in the Real Presence of Christ now and always!

In Christ,

 
Most Reverend Stephen D. Parkes
Bishop of Savannah

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