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Daring to Do All We Can: Homily of Fr. Landry for Corpus Christi

PHILADELPHIA, June 2 — On the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, pilgrims from the Seton Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage celebrated the feast in a packed Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul.

Archbishop Nelson Pérez asked pilgrims Dominic Carstens and Amayrani Higueldo to proclaim the first and second readings, respectively, and chaplain Father Roger Landry to preach.

Father Landry preached on the second verse of the Corpus Christi sequence from Saint Thomas Aquinas that immediately precedes the Alleluia and the Gospel: Quantum potes, tantum aude, "Dare to do all you can."

Father Landry said that "we're called to pull out all the stops, to push ourselves way beyond our comfort zones, because all our thanks will be far short of what the incredible self-gift of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist deserves." He added that St. Thomas' phrase ought to be the "motto of Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the plan of the Eucharistic Revival, and the spirituality of every fully formed Catholic."

He said such daring explains the Eucharistic procession that would be taking after Mass not only at the Cathedral but in so many parishes across the country; the decision of SS. Peter and Paul, the Cathedral's patrons, to leave everything to follow the Lord; why Philadelhpia bishop St. John Neumann risked so much to build up a culture of adoration through the 40-hour devotions in 1853; why St. Katherine Drexel founded the Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament; why Philadelphia built "the greatest Catholic school system in the history of the world"; why Philadelphia hosted the international Eucharistic Congress in 1976; why the U.S. bishops proposed the Eucharistic Revival and are preparing a huge Eucharistic Congress; and why the National Eucharistic pilgrims have sacrificed a great deal "to sign up for this Eucharistic adventure to accompany Jesus in the Holy Eucharist through cities and towns all across our country."

Corpus Christi is a day, he continued, "on which God gives us the grace to make resolutions to dare to do not just something, but to do something big and beautiful, out of love for God."

He traced the theme of daring to do all we can through the readings the Church gives us for the Solemnity (Year B) and underlined that "every day is meant to be a celebration of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus," since every day Christ gives himself to us as our "supersubstantial Bread" in response to our petition in the Our Father.

Father Landry finished the homily by mentioning that the three-year-plus Eucharistic Revival coincides with a triennium celebrating St. Thomas Aquinas: the 700th anniversary of his canonization last July 18; the 750th anniversary of his death on March 7 this year; and the 800th anniversary of his birth next year. St. Thomas' insights encapsulated in the five great Eucharistic hymns composed for the first celebration of Corpus Christi 760 years ago and used every Corpus Christi since teach us a great deal, he said, about how Jesus wants to accompany us on our pilgrimage through life.

In the Lauda Sion sequence, St. Thomas has us pray, “Behold, the Bread of Angels has become the food of pilgrims, the true bread of the beloved sons and daughters of God.” The Eucharist has become, said Landry, "our food, our viaticum, with us each day of our earthly journey." The reference to the Bread of Angels leads us to another of St. Thomas' hymns, Landry stated, the "Panis Angelicus," which finishes: “Following your footsteps, lead us to where you have inclined us to go, to the light where you dwell!”

Landry stated, "That’s what whole earthly pilgrimage is about, following Christ the Light into eternal life. That’s what our Eucharistic procession today is about. That’s what the whole four-part National Eucharistic Pilgrimage is meant to help the Church remember. And that’s the goal and the path of the Christian life, as we dare to do all we can."

To listen to an audio version of Father Landry's homily or to read the text of it, please click here.

To watch the homily, please click below (the homily begins at 41:47):


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