Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Words from Fr Ed (From June 26th, 2011 Bulletin

Corpus Christi
The Body and Blood of Christ

…unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood,
you have no life in you…
- Jn 6:53

No wonder we require Catholics to attend Mass each week. Is there a week of your life where you don’t want “life in you”? This is the bread of angels, full of eternal life and imparting it to us who receive it. You know the saying, “You are what you eat.” How true when we think of the Eucharist. But have we become what we receive?

“Love begets love.” It is the movement of Love, enfleshed in the Body of Christ that we receive in Holy Communion, to give birth to Love within us. This is a guaranteed intention on the part of Christ. He cannot but be Himself. “God is love.” But He does not force Himself. When we receive Him into our mouths, do we receive Him as well into our hearts and minds? Are our wills and intellects ready to receive all that He has for us? Remember this glorious truth, “Body, blood, soul and divinity.” All are present in the Blessed Sacrament.

When we receive Christ in Holy Communion we also receive His Soul and Divinity. Every time! We do not receive 1% one week and another 1% the next week. We receive all of Him every time. He gives Himself fully, without reserve, out of love for each one of us personally. And yet He does not coerce or force Himself where He is not welcome. I see some in Communion line who are distracted, careless, even making a show of boredom. How cold and indifferent to the saving Presence of God.

Of course Jesus says, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” But what can we do to improve people’s awareness of Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist? One sure way is to prepare yourself and your family for Mass. The best way to do this is to read the readings beforehand, even the morning or time before the Mass you normally attend. Or perhaps at the dinner table the night before. Is that too difficult? Children learn from their parents, especially through their example.

A second way to become more conscious of Jesus’ Presence in the Eucharist is to visit the tabernacle (located in the Chapel) before and/or after the Mass. I know it is in an obscure location, which we plan to change soon. The Church documents on the liturgy say that the Tabernacle should be located in a place “prominent to the assembly”. How many of you have visited our tabernacle where the True Presence of Christ resides constantly? This is not to say that He does not reside in you or elsewhere. He does. But the Tabernacle, where we reserve the Eucharist for the sake of Viaticum, regular Communion to shut-ins, and private prayer, is the preeminent place on earth where we can always find Jesus. The thought and erroneous teaching that the Tabernacle somehow distracts from the Mass or Jesus’ Presence within the individual believer has led many astray, and is proven false by the lives and experience of the Saints. How Blessed Mother Teresa loved to spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. She considered the daily time of Adoration the greatest gift her community could possibly receive.

I can say with confidence that those who spend time with the Blessed Sacrament become aware of His Real Presence there and are inspired by it. Drawing close to the fire we are warmed. Some told St. Teresa of Avila that they would have been very faithful in following Christ if they had but lived during His time. She disagrees, saying that one would treat Christ during His life on earth the very same way we now treat the Blessed Sacrament here present in all the Churches around the world. As St. Francis prayed, “We adore you O Christ and we praise you, here and in all the churches around the world.”

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