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Cath·o·hól·ic

‘Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?’

June 22, 2017

98. Jesus lived in full harmony with creation, and others were amazed: “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?” (Mt 8:27).

His appearance was not that of an ascetic set apart from the world, nor of an enemy to the pleasant things of life. Of himself he said: “The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard!’” (Mt 11:19).

He was far removed from philosophies which despised the body, matter and the things of the world. Such unhealthy dualisms, nonetheless, left a mark on certain Christian thinkers in the course of history and disfigured the Gospel. Jesus worked with his hands, in daily contact with the matter created by God, to which he gave form by his craftsmanship. It is striking that most of his life was dedicated to this task in a simple life which awakened no admiration at all: “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?” (Mk 6:3).

In this way he sanctified human labor and endowed it with a special significance for our development. As St. John Paul II taught, “by enduring the toil of work in union with Christ crucified for us, man in a way collaborates with the Son of God for the redemption of humanity” (Laborem Exercens).

Source : Laudato Si'

Father Roberto Cid

St. Patrick Church

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

The Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ. In the consecrated host, all of the humanity of the Lord and his divinity are truly and substantially present. When we receive the consecrated host in Holy Communion, we receive the Body and Blood of Christ.

Naturally, the Lord is present everywhere because He is God, but in the Eucharist, we encounter Him in a way that is the closest on earth to the way we hope to see Him when through His mercy, we are admitted to the communion of saints in heaven.

The Eucharist is a great mystery of love. It was instituted by the Lord at the Last Supper because of his desire to stay in our midst until the end of times. Every Catholic Church where the Eucharist is reserved is an enclave of heaven, an outpost of the Kingdom of God, where the Lord is waiting for us in the tabernacle as a prisoner of love.

Because the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of the Lord, Christ himself, we worship the Blessed Sacrament. In our parish, we have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every Thursday in the chapel and the Church is open throughout the day so that anybody who wishes to make a visit to the Lord may go in even if it is for a few minutes of prayer and intimate dialogue with Christ.

The Eucharist is the greatest treasure the Church has. Its contemplation ought to fill us with wonder and amazement.

Sadly, it sometimes happens that we lose sight of the great mystery of the Eucharist and we take Christ’s presence for granted. We are so overwhelmed by the noise and chatter of our age, that it is difficult for us to enjoy silence. Sometimes we Christians behave in the church as if we were in a concert hall attending a performance, or we approach to receive the Eucharist without the recollection that is proper to the encounter that is about to take place, without the awe and wonder that is proper in the face of the great gift that we are about to receive. It is also the case that some even receive the Eucharist unworthily, without the proper disposition of the soul.

For quite some time now, the Pope and the bishops have been trying to instill in us a renewed sense of awe and reverence before the great mystery of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

In his Apostolic Exhortation, Sacramentum Caritatis, The Sacrament of Love, Pope Benedict recalled the teachings of the Second Vatican Council which “rightly emphasized the active, full and fruitful participation of the entire People of God in the Eucharistic celebration. Certainly, the renewal carried out in these past decades has made considerable progress towards fulfilling the wishes of the Council Fathers. Yet we must not overlook the fact that some misunderstanding has occasionally arisen concerning the precise meaning of this participation. It should be made clear that the word “participation” does not refer to mere external activity during the celebration. In fact, the active participation called for by the Council must be understood in more substantial terms, on the basis of a greater awareness of the mystery being celebrated and its relationship to daily life. The conciliar Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium encouraged the faithful to take part in the Eucharistic liturgy not “as strangers or silent spectators,” but as participants “in the sacred action, conscious of what they are doing, actively and devoutly”. This exhortation has lost none of its force. The Council went on to say that the faithful “should be instructed by God’s word, and nourished at the table of the Lord’s Body. They should give thanks to God. Offering the immaculate Victim, not only through the hands of the priest but also together with him, they should learn to make an offering of themselves. Through Christ, the Mediator, they should be drawn day by day into ever more perfect union with God and each other…”

In their consideration of the active participation of the faithful in the liturgy, the Synod Fathers also discussed the personal conditions required for fruitful participation on the part of individuals. One of these is certainly the spirit of constant conversion which must mark the lives of all the faithful. Active participation in the Eucharistic liturgy can hardly be expected if one approaches it superficially, without an examination of his or her life. This inner disposition can be fostered, for example, by recollection and silence for at least a few moments before the beginning of the liturgy, by fasting and, when necessary, by sacramental confession. A heart reconciled to God makes genuine participation possible. The faithful need to be reminded that there can be no active participation in the sacred mysteries without an accompanying effort to participate actively in the life of the Church as a whole, including a missionary commitment to bring Christ’s love into the life of society.

Clearly, full participation in the Eucharist takes place when the faithful approach the altar in person to receive communion. Yet true as this is, care must be taken lest they conclude that the mere fact of their being present in church during the liturgy gives them a right or even an obligation to approach the table of the Eucharist. Even in cases where it is not possible to receive sacramental communion, participation at Mass remains necessary, important, meaningful and fruitful. In such circumstances, it is beneficial to cultivate a desire for full union with Christ through the practice of spiritual communion, praised by Pope John Paul II and recommended by saints who were masters of the spiritual life.

Pope Francis has repeatedly stated that the Eucharist is not a prize but a medicine, a remedy for our infirmities. Only if we are aware of the wounds of sin, reconciled with God and his Church and eager to be healed will we receive the Eucharist worthily and benefit from its salutary effect. The realization of our sinfulness and the immensity of the love of God, create in us a desire to be transformed by the healing power of Christ, truly present in the Eucharist, and approach the Most Blessed Sacrament with awe, wonder, amazement, reverence, and gratitude.

Father Roberto Cid
Pastor

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