The feast of Corpus Christi – the Body of Christ – commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist on Sunday, June 18th.
Jesus said to the Jewish crowds: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (Taken from this Sunday’s Gospel Reading, John 6:51)
“When the name of Christ is invoked over the bread and wine, the Creator Spirit leads us towards a way of feeling, living and acting as part of a global community of life. These signs are intrinsically rich in ecological meaning. They point us to the whole of creation. They locate us within a sacramental approach to the whole of life.” (“Eucharist and Ecology” by Denis Edwards. WORSHIP, Vol. 82, #3; May 2008)
In honor of this solemnity, Catholic Rural Life offers a prayer:
A Prayer for the Wheat
Dear Lord, in many broad fields of this vast country of ours, the wheat is growing now. Some is still young and green, some is headed out, and all, before very long, will be golden ripe.
Most of it, dear Lord Jesus, will go to feed the hungry. In countless loaves of bread and in cereals, it will find its way to tables in city and country almost all over the world.
Some of it will be used at another table. It will be ground into fine flour and used to make the hosts, the altar-breads for Holy Mass. Priests will take it into their anointed hands and pronounce over it the words of consecration, and it will cease to be ordinary bread, and will become the Bread of angels. It will look as it did before, but we know and believe that it will be the Body and Blood, the Soul and Divinity of You, Lord Jesus Christ, there really present, under the appearances of bread.
O Jesus, bless the broad, rich fields of wheat in our whole land. Protect them from hail and beating rains, from blight and rust, from windstorms and drought. Let them be full and rich, so that the hungry may be fed, and may praise You and thank You as You deserve. And may all the Holy Masses that will be said with hosts made of this wheat hasten the day when at last there will be enough reapers working in Your harvest, which is ripe and ready now, waiting only to be gathered home. Amen.