Corpus Christi Sunday - Liturgical Prayers

Introduction by the Celebrant
A. Take and Eat  The most frequent form of contact with the Church is, for almost all Catholics, the Sunday Mass. It is good to ask ourselves today: Why are we here? What are we doing here? Why must it be the eucharist that brings us together? Because the eucharist is the Lord himself. It assures us, believers, that the Lord is here, that he is present not only in the Blessed Sacrament but in each of us and in our communities. He guarantees to those who believe in him that he is walking with us as our companion in life. Even more, he shows us in the eucharist how to live like him, give ourselves with him; how with him to break ourselves for one another and to give thanks to God, and to each other too. We join Jesus now in his thanks to the Father.

B. An Active Presence  When in a cafeteria you sit at the same table with someone who is just sitting there without a word or a sign of recognition, it is as if he or she is not present. People are present to one another when they interact. We believe in the real presence in the eucharist. The Lord is there for us, speaking to us, loving us, giving himself to us, and I hope that we respond to him. He makes us capable of becoming present to others the way he is there for us. Let us ask him for this living real presence.

Penitential Act

-Lord Jesus, in the eucharist you give yourself to us to eat and share. All thanks and praise to you!
-Jesus Christ, in the eucharist you invite us to become with you food and drink for the life of the world. All thanks and praise to you! Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy. 
-Lord Jesus, in the eucharist you give us the strength to live the way you lived: for God and people. All thanks and praise to you! Lord, have mercy. us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.  

Opening Prayer
God our Father, you fill the hungry with the food they need and you do not let the poor go away with empty hands. Keep speaking to us the Word of your Son as the inspiration and guide of our life. Let Jesus sustain and restore us with his body and refresh us with his drink of joy, that we may share ourselves with each other and become each other's delight. Let his bread of life be the pledge of your unending bliss and happiness. We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts
Our God and Father, as a meal brings a family together and is a sign of unity and solidarity, so too we are gathered in unity around the table of your Son. Let your Son keep us together in friendship, peace and a common concern for love and justice among us and in the whole world. We ask you this through him who gives himself to us and stays with us, Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord forever. R/ Amen.

Homily Prayer:
Lord, often today we see pictures of hungry people,
- mothers with ghostly babies at their breasts,
- children with swollen bellies,
- long lines of people outside social centres.
Like the disciples of Jesus, we might say,
“Why can’t they go back to their villages and farms and find something to eat?”
Now and then the thought comes to us that we should give them something to eat ourselves, but we quickly dismiss that as impractical. We find all kinds of excuses:
- we alone can’t solve this problem;
- we have no more than five loaves and two fish;
- we have to feed our own children first and these people are the Government’s responsibility?
Lord, you taught us today: to make them sit people down in small communities, take their resources and help them solve their problems; take whatever five loaves and two fish you have; raise your eyes to heaven and say the blessing over them;
break the bread and hand it around to be distributed among the crowd. Not only would all eat as much as they want,
but when the remaining scraps are collected, we will fill many baskets.
Lord, it is an extraordinary thing:
if we complain about the little we have, we never have enough;
but if we take what we have, raise our eyes to heaven and say the blessing over it,
we have as much as we want, and even twelve baskets of scraps left over. Thank you, Lord.

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, through Christ our Lord.
For at the Last Supper with his Apostles, establishing for the ages to come the saving memorial of the Cross, he offered himself to you as the unblemished Lamb, the acceptable gift of perfect praise. Nourishing your faithful by this sacred mystery, you make them holy, so that the human race, bounded by one world, may be enlightened by one faith and united by one bond of charity.
And so, we approach the table of this wondrous Sacrament, so that, bathed in the sweetness of your grace, we may pass over to the heavenly realities here foreshadowed.
Therefore, all creatures of heaven and earth sing a new song in adoration, and we, with all the host of Angels, cry out, and without end we acclaim:

Deliver Us
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil and grant us to live in peace and friendship. Through the body and blood of your Son free us from the selfishness of sin and give us the will and courage to bring food and justice to a hungry world, as we work in joyful hope for the coming of your kingdom among us and for the final

Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus our Lord, who gave bread to the hungry. He says to us now: I am the bread of life. It is my flesh for the life of the world. Happy are we to be invited to the table of the Lord. R/

Prayer after Communion
Lord Jesus Christ, you have given us your body and blood, your whole self. Accept our thanks and stay with us to be our strength in the beautiful but demanding task of bringing your love, justice and hope to a divided and cold world. And make us capable of setting the table of ourselves for one another, as you do for us, our Lord and Savior forever. R/ Amen.

In this Eucharist the Lord has shared himself with us not just for our consolation but to possess us and to transform us with his own spirit of commitment to God and to people.

May the Lord give us opportunities and willingness to attend the celebration of the Holy Eucharist as often as possible.
May the Lord inspire us to do something for the many people hungry in any way for food and love, for encouragement,
May the Lord give us the words to encourage those who stay away from the Church to come and join us and find a sense of fulfillment and strength
for something and someone to believe in, can no longer leave us indifferent. May God give us this self-forgetting courage: the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.  Let us go with the Lord and share ourselves with him. R/ Thanks be to God.