Scripture Study for this Sunday's Readings


**Solemnity of Corpus Christi - Cycle B
June 14, 2009 **

First Reading: Exodus 24:3-8

Psalm: 116:12-13,15-18

Second Reading: Hebrews 9:11-15

Gospel Reading: Mark 14:12-16,22-26

**Overview of the Gospel: **

· This Sunday’s Gospel reading takes place in Jerusalem on Holy Thursday, the night Jesus was betrayed. It is on the first day of the Jewish feast of Passover.

· Rather cryptically, Jesus instructs his disciples to prepare for the Passover meal in a certain place in the city. According to tradition, the mother of St. Mark, the writer of this gospel, owned this room. She was also thought to own the Garden of Gethsemane.

· In words identical to those he uses when he multiplied the loaves and fed the 5000 (Mark 6:41, CCC 1335), Jesus accomplishes three things: 1) He changes the Passover bread and wine into his Body and Blood—the same Body and Blood that will be sacrificed for the sins of the world on the Cross. 2) Since a sacrifice requires priests, he establishes the priesthood. His apostles, and their successors the bishops, will comprise that priesthood. 3) He establishes the Holy Eucharist, so that in receiving Communion his people for all time and places may participate in his once-for-all sacrifice until he comes again in glory.

· Thus, just as the Old Covenant was sealed by sacrifice and blood on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 24:3-8), the New Covenant is sealed in Christ’s blood on Calvary (Romans 5:9; Hebrews 9:22), anticipated at the Last Supper, and perpetuated in the Sacrifice of the Mass (John 6:53; CCC 610, 1392-93).

**Questions: **

· Read the other, parallel, accounts of the Last Supper found in the New Testament (Matthew 26:26-28; Luke 22:17-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). What other interesting and enlightening details about the institution of the Eucharist do you find there?

· Why would secrecy be needed as this meal was planned? What risk was involved?

· How does the Last Supper relate to the Passover (see Exodus 12)? To this Sunday’s first reading (Exodus 24:3-8)?

· What new meaning does Jesus give to the unleavened Passover bread (see John 6:51-58)? The wine?

· How much do you think the disciples understood when Jesus spoke about his Body and Blood? What might they have been thinking? How would you have felt had you been there?

· What is your focus when you receive Holy Communion? What should it be?

**Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 1323, 1328, 1339—1344, 1403 **

“In all He did from the Incarnation to the Cross, the end Jesus Christ had in mind was the gift of the Eucharist, his personal and corporal union with each Christian through Communion. He saw in It the means of communicating to us all the treasures of His Passion, all the virtues of His Sacred Humanity, and all the merits of His Life.”

-St. Peter Julian Eymard

Further Study and Discussion:…/2271358/posts



Reading 1
Ex 24:3-8

When Moses came to the people
and related all the words and ordinances of the LORD,
they all answered with one voice,
"We will do everything that the LORD has told us."
Moses then wrote down all the words of the LORD and,
rising early the next day,
he erected at the foot of the mountain an altar
and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel.
Then, having sent certain young men of the Israelites
to offer holocausts and sacrifice young bulls
as peace offerings to the LORD,
Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls;
the other half he splashed on the altar.
Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people,
who answered, "All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do."
Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying,
“This is the blood of the covenant
that the LORD has made with you
in accordance with all these words of his.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18

R. (13) I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.

R. I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.

R. I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.

**R. I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
R. Alleluia. **

**Reading II
Heb 9:11-15 **

Brothers and sisters:
When Christ came as high priest
of the good things that have come to be,
passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle
not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation,
he entered once for all into the sanctuary,
not with the blood of goats and calves
but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.
For if the blood of goats and bulls
and the sprinkling of a heifer’s ashes
can sanctify those who are defiled
so that their flesh is cleansed,
how much more will the blood of Christ,
who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God,
cleanse our consciences from dead works
to worship the living God.

For this reason he is mediator of a new covenant:
since a death has taken place for deliverance
from transgressions under the first covenant,
those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.

Mk 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.
Follow him.
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.

**Source: **


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