Father Nathan Homily | June 14, 2020
“we, though many, are one body,”
‘Corpus Christi’ | Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
There are two, lasting and precious gifts given to us to the church by Jesus — the Holy Eucharist as our spiritual food and drink on Holy Thursday and Jesus’ Mother Mary as our mother on Good Friday.
This feast which is also called ‘Corpus Christi’ is the celebration of the abiding presence of the loving God as Emmanuel – God-with-us – in order to give collective thanks to our Lord for living with us in the Eucharist. This feast gives us an occasion to learn more about the importance and value of his “Real Presence,” so that we may appreciate the Sacrament better and receive maximum benefit from receiving Jesus in Holy Communion.
The Mass and the Office for the feast were edited or composed by St. Thomas Aquinas upon the request of Pope Urban IV in the year 1264. It is unquestionably a classic piece of liturgical work, wholly in accord with the best liturgical traditions. . . It is a perfect work of art.
St. Thomas Aquinas talks about this way…
“How inestimable a dignity, beloved brethren, divine bounty has bestowed upon us Christians from the treasury of its infinite goodness! For there neither is nor ever has been a people to whom the gods were so nigh as our Lord and God is nigh unto us.
“Desirous that we be made partakers of His divinity, the only-begotten Son of God has taken to Himself our nature so that having become man, He would be enabled to make men gods. Whatever He assumed of our nature He wrought unto our salvation. For on the altar of the Cross He immolated to the Father His own Body as victim for our reconciliation and shed His blood both for our ransom and for our regeneration. Moreover, in order that a remembrance of so great benefits may always be with us, He has left us His Body as food and His Blood as drink under appearances of bread and wine.
“O banquet most precious! O banquet most admirable! O banquet overflowing with every spiritual delicacy! Can anything be more excellent than this repast, in which not the flesh of goats and heifers, as of old, but Christ the true God is given us for nourishment? What more wondrous than this holy sacrament! In it bread and wine are changed substantially, and under the appearance of a little bread and wine is had Christ Jesus, God and perfect Man. In this sacrament sins are purged away, virtues are increased, the soul is satiated with an abundance of every spiritual gift. No other sacrament is so beneficial. Since it was instituted unto the salvation of all, it is offered by Holy Church for the living and for the dead, that all may share in its treasures.
“My dearly beloved, is it not beyond human power to express the ineffable delicacy of this sacrament in which spiritual sweetness is tasted in its very source, in which is brought to mind the remembrance of that all-excelling charity which Christ showed in His sacred passion? Surely it was to impress more profoundly upon the hearts of the faithful the immensity of this charity that our loving Savior instituted this sacrament at the last supper when having celebrated the Pasch with His disciples. He was about to leave the world and return to the Father. It was to serve as an unending remembrance of His passion, as the fulfillment of ancient types — this the greatest of His miracles. To those who sorrow over His departure, He has given a unique solace.”
Take this loaf of bread. It’s a wonderful thing. Indeed, it’s a kind of miracle. It’s a gift of God. But like most of God’s gifts it doesn’t fall ready-made into our hands.
Many agents contributed to the marking of this bread; the soil, the sun, the rain, the work and intelligence of people. It comes to us not from one hand but from many hands, the hands of the farmer, the hands of a miller, the hands of a baker, and the hands of a merchant and of course we must not forget God’s part in it. Though it is people who bring forth the bread, it is to God that we give thanks. Without God none of this would be possible.
All this beautifully expressed in the prayer we say over the bread at the offertory of the mass
“Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: the wine we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life. It will become our spiritual drink.”
Gathered together we form the body of Christ
Many grains of wheat went into this bread. These grains were once scattered over the fields. But eventually, they were brought together and grounded into flour. And from the flour, this loaf resulted. St. Paul uses a loaf of bread as a symbol of our unity in Christ. Once we were separated from one another, but now we have been gathered together to form the body of Christ, the church. This is an even greater miracle than a loaf of bread. As the body, we become living witnesses of God’s desire to bring all people and nations together into one family. During the week we are scattered all over this area, maybe even further apart. But here we are brought together. Here we are the body of Christ made visible.
Here we lay down our differences and become one family.
Here we are in from the cold and experience the warmth of community. Love is the atmosphere we breathe here. We must try to rise above all the things that prevent us from experiencing our unity, coldness, and differences.
United in the Eucharist
Eucharist is the sign and source of our unity. We form a single body because we all share in the one loaf. We cannot be truly in communion with Jesus without being in communion with one another.
Carry the Spirit if Christ to The World
It would be so pathetic and bad on us that when we forget this we leave the church and forget all of these elements. We no longer recognize the ties that exist between us. When we depart from here we must take into the world some of the warmth we have experience here.
As we celebrate this feast, let us appreciate the “Real Presence” of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, by receiving him with true repentance for our sins, due preparation, and reverence. Let us be Christ-bearers and conveyers: By receiving Holy Communion, we become Christ-bearers as Mary was, with the duty of conveying Christ to others, at home, and in the workplace, through love, mercy, forgiveness and humble and sacrificial service.
Let us offer our gratitude for the blessings we have received from our Lord for all the blessings that he showered down upon us.
O Sacrament most Holy,
O Sacrament Divine,
All praise and all thanksgiving,
Be every moment Thine.
Have a Blessed Week,
A Word About Staying Safe and Well During the Time of Covid-19.
Coronavirus is a pandemic situation.
Please note the pandemic is an everchanging situation and advice and information changes rapidly. This information is no substitute for professional medical advice and is the current guideline. As the situation evolves this advice will likely evoke as well.
Here are 10 basic role and duties World Health Organization (WHO) would like people to know about the outbreak:
1. People should wash their hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with an alcohol-based solution.
2. Disinfect surfaces like kitchens and work desks regularly.
3. Seek information on the situation from reliable sources, like a local or national public health agency, WHO or a local health care professional.
4. Anyone with a fever or cough should avoid traveling. If sickness starts while on a flight, inform the crew immediately.
5. Cough or sneeze into a sleeve or tissue. Throw the tissue away and wash hands.
6. People over the age of 60, or anyone with an underlying health condition, have a higher risk of contracting a severe case of the disease. Those people might need to take extra precautions to avoid crowded places and sick people.
7. If someone feels sick, they should stay home and contact a doctor or local health professional about the symptoms.
8. If any person feels sick stay home and seek medical advice.
9. A person should seek care immediately if they develop shortness of breath.
10. WHO said it is “normal and understandable to feel anxious, especially if you live in a country or community that has been affected.” People should find out what they can do in their communities and discuss how to stay safe with people in their workplace, school, or place of worship.
We continue to work to find ways to keep our community healthy and safe during this time of the pandemic. Please know that your health and safety are our # 1 concern as we find ways to return to worship.
Continue to pray daily to the Holy Spirit for guidance and hope.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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My dearest people who are all close to my heart!
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