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Over the next two Sundays, the Church celebrates two important feast days, The Most Holy Trinity on 22nd May and The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ on 29th May.
The Preface of the Most Holy Trinity expresses what the feast is about:
For with your Only Begotten Son and the Holy Spirit
you are one God, one Lord:
not in the unity of a single person,
but in a Trinity of one substance.
For what you have revealed to us of your glory
we believe equally of your Son and of the Holy Spirit,
so that, in the confessing of the true and eternal Godhead,
you might be adored in what is proper to each Person,
their unity in substance, and their equality in majesty.
The feast serves to reaffirm our belief in the mystery of the Holy Trinity and remind us that we adore God who is three-in-one.
Body and Blood of Christ
The most logical day to commemorate the gift of the presence of Christ’s body and blood in the Eucharist would be the day on which the Eucharist was instituted - Holy Thursday - but that day is part of the Easter Triduum and its focus is not on the institution of the Eucharist but on the Passion.
The Thursday after Trinity Sunday – the first ‘free’ Thursday after the Easter season – was chosen for the celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi, as it was originally known. In countries like Australia where it is not a holy day of obligation, the feast is celebrated on the Sunday after Trinity.
The second of the two Prefaces set down for the feast gives us an insight into its real meaning:
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.
When we eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ, we ourselves are transformed more perfectly into the presence of the risen Christ. This is Christ’s gift to us, but it is also a challenge, because it calls us in turn to give our own body and blood to others so that they too might be nourished.
Mary Help of Christians 24th May
Mary Help of Christians was adopted as patron of the new Church of Australia in 1844, at a significant time in this country’s history. The transportation of convicts was coming to an end, the first elections in Australian history had been held in 1843, and issues of land, immigration and education had begun to surface.
In the 21st century we confront many similar social problems and the Church continues to face the call and challenge of witnessing to the values of the gospel. Hence, recourse to our national patron, Mary Help of Christians, is as relevant and necessary today as it has ever been.
The Collect for the Feast asks God, through the intercession of Our Lady, Help of Christians, to grant “wisdom to our leaders and integrity to our citizens, so that, under her protection,
Australia may know harmony, justice and peace”. Amen!