As our parish gathers this Sunday, we celebrate the presence of the Body and Blood of Christ, both in our Tabernacle and on this Altar, and how this real presence of Jesus affects our lives and our cultural heritage.
Today, we are celebrating as well a part of our pastoral ministry to educate each other in the religion of our forefathers in a way that will nourish and support the faith that is handed down from God to our families.
Educating ourselves on the realities of faith begins and ends in the family. Worship of God as an expression of gratitude for what we have learned, begins and ends here in the Church, here with the Eucharist as our primary act of thanksgiving for our collaboration in making God’s Kingdom come.
Our parish venerates this Sacrament in which God lies cloaking His Face with what appears to be Bread and Wine, but what has become in essence the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. He is whole and entire and perfect in each piece and in every drop.
Other ecclesial communities who are not blessed with the eyes of faith see only bread and wine on our Altar, but for true believers, we see the actual Body and Blood of Christ. This is what distinguishes us among other Christians and from other religions – Jesus dwells here among us and we recognize, respect and sanctify the place where He dwells.
My dear friends, the affects of this presence are significant for us as a parish and as individuals. Our reception of this sacrament strengthens us with enough grace to fight our daily battle against evil, prejudice, injustice and temptation.
When we receive just one host, we have within us enough grace to completely convert our hearts and to bring to communion other hearts that seek God.
Every Sunday we gather to firstly offer our daily work in union with the real and effectual sacrifice of Jesus on this Altar; being grateful for the opportunity God gives us to live charitably.
At the same time, grateful to us for being laborers in his vineyard, God gives us His Son in Holy Communion; His real Body and Blood made so by the hands of the priest who is Christ his Shepherd and Mentor.
People who miss this opportunity loose a connectedness with God that He desires for us. People who miss Mass slowly turn away from the reality of Jesus in their lives, loosing the joy, forgetting the hope and burying the faith they were given from God Himself. If we want to achieve communion with Christ we need to receive the communion of Christ.
Throughout the ages, Christians have suffered the violence of other human beings in order to have Jesus in their heart and among them in their parishes. Catholics suffer today around the world at the hands of those who wish to destroy God and scourge the Church, so it is important for us to renew this worthy feast because in our suffering for Jesus Whom we love, the Church will be made strong! Together we can thank Him for the chance to defend our faith, this sacrifice, our Holy Communion with God.
As true believers in the real presence of Jesus, let us dedicate ourselves to adore and protect Him here in our sanctuary. Let our parish gathered every Sunday go out today and publically proclaim our faith in this land of the free. May our prayer be that of the sequence in today’s Mass:
“Jesus, with your love befriend us. You refresh us, You defend us. With Your eternal goodness send us forth in the land of life to see!”