“Where the Body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.” (Lk. 17:37 RSV) This scripture is also found in Matthew 24:28. This scripture is taken from the Revised Standard Version Bible which is the bible translation used for the Catechism of the Catholic Church since the New American Bible uses the word “vultures” instead of “eagles.”
It is a strange scripture because it seems out of place in both gospels. Both chapters are about the end of the world and the signs that will be in the heavens and on the earth. These apocalyptic chapters speak of the great tribulation that is going to come upon the world and all of a sudden, “Wherever the Body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.” (Matt. 24:28 RSV)
At first glance, you are tempted to think that the author made an oversight as it seems to be out of place or sequence; however, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church, says that we must look deeper for the real meaning. He explains, “By this Body the saints commonly understand the Body of Jesus Christ, and by the eagles they understand souls detached from the world, who, like eagles, soar above the things of the earth, and fly up into heaven; after which, in thought and affection, they constantly sigh, and in which they continually dwell. These eagles find their paradise on earth in Jesus in the Holy Sacrament; so that their desire to remain with Him appears incapable of being ever satiated.” St. Jerome commenting on this scripture mentions the eagles strong desire for their prey and food by saying, “How much more eagerly ought we to run and fly to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, as to the most delicious food of our souls.”
In these times we must all gather around the Body of Christ. It is our only hope for there is no doubt that we are in very unique times as never seen before in the history of mankind. Even the weather we are having in Texas is unusual, but for this Corpus Christi Procession we will have four altars to bless the four corners of the earth as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger recommends, “The number four symbolizes the four corners of the earth that is, the whole universe, the world we live in. The blessing was imparted in four directions, with the intention of putting them under the protection of the Eucharistic Lord.” This is also scriptural as you find the four corners mentioned in 1 Chron. 9:24, Is. 11:12, and Rev.7:1.
Accordingly, we also plan to bless the four winds of the earth by proclaiming the four gospels that in, “Uttering it, one is as it were sending out the breath of the Holy Spirit to engage the four winds, pervading them and turning them to good.” (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) This part is also scriptural as it is found in Ezek.37:9, Jer. 49:36, Dan. 7:2, Zech. 2:6, Matt.24:31, Mk.13:27, and Rev. 7:1.
Yes, we recognize that this world and its winds are under the power of “The prince of this world” (Jn.14:30) as St. Paul tells the Ephesians, “The ruler of the power of the air,” (2:2) or “the evil spirits in the heavens” (6:12); however, we are confident that during the Corpus Christi procession, “The ruler of this world will be driven out” (Jn. 12:31) and banished from our land for, “The ruler of this world has been condemned.” (Jn. 16:11)
The Corpus Christi Procession is vital because now more than ever, “The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers,” (2 Cor. 4:4) by pouring a, “Torrent of water out of His mouth,” (Rev. 12:15) which are his “lies.” (Rev. 21:27) Yes, we are headed down a perilous pagan path of no return, and “The Spirit of Truth, which the world cannot accept,” (Jn. 14:17) is what keeps the eagles in flight. In the words of St. Ambrose, “Around this Body are eagles which fly about on the wings of the Spirit.”
St. Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament had great devotion to the Holy Eucharist, and it was “The whole secret of [her]…sanctity.” (1489) She truly soared very high, “When dark clouds cover the sun, like the eagle I will try to brave the billows and make known to others that the sun is not dying out.” (385) Because of her faithfulness during the Corpus Christi procession Jesus told St. Faustina, “These rays of mercy will pass through you, just as they have passed through this Host, and they will go out through all the world.” It is these Eucharistic rays of Mercy that will be our protection against the tsunami of evil and the apocalyptic weather that is sweeping the world. This is the power of the Corpus Christi Procession!
Finally, let us process bravely changing the four winds and the four corners of the earth. Let us soar into the sun like St. Faustina, “When the procession began, I saw Jesus in a brightness greater than the light of the sun. Jesus looked at me with love and said, ‘Heart of My Heart, be filled with joy.'” (1669) He so favored this eagle that on three occasions she calmed great destructive storms as Jesus did in Matthew 8:24. On this day, “A bright light will shine to all parts of the earth,” (Tobit 13:11) so let the eagles gather around the Body of Christ, “For the souls of the righteous are likened to eagles, because they soar high and forsake the lower parts, and are said to live to a great age.” (St. Ambrose)
Corpus Christi Procession – “That They May All Be One” (Part 1)
Corpus Christi Procession – “One Heart and Soul” (Part 2)
Corpus Christi Procession – “That Your Joy May be Complete” (Part 3)
2015 Corpus Christi Procession to Texas State Capitol
WHEN: Sunday, June 7, 2015
STARTS: Saint Mary Cathedral with 9:30 am Mass *
WHO: English & Spanish Corpus Christi Processions
ROUTE: Cathedral – State Capitol – University of Texas
ENDS: University Catholic Center 12:00 noon Mass *
WHAT: Bring your group/organization banner
INFORMATION: www.austindiocese.org (*pick a Mass)