Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Treasuring the Gift of the Eucharist (Corpus Christi homily)

 On this Feast of Corpus Christi, 

I want to talk about some practical things, 

particularly as we try to resume what was normal 

before this last, very abnormal year.

First, I want to thank you for the way take reverence seriously, 

not only during Mass, but before and after. 

I’ve been in churches where this has been lost,

where people are visiting and talking as they would anywhere else.

Nothing wrong with visiting – but it destroys prayerfulness.

This is a good time to talk about how we receive Holy Communion. 

You know that there are two options: 

receiving on the tongue, or in the hand. 

It’s no secret that I have encouraged you to receive on the tongue; 

but during the Covid crisis, 

a lot of people were uncomfortable with that. I understand that.

So what follows isn’t meant to override that concern, 

but to talk a little about the best way to receive the Holy Eucharist, 

whether you do it in the hand, or on the tongue.

Let me say that sometimes people come to Holy Communion 

with only one hand free, often because you’re holding a child.

In those cases, I’ll whisper, “I’ll put it on your tongue.” 

And this is the reason: it really isn’t reverent 

to try to juggle the Holy Eucharist with one hand, 

particularly when you are carrying a child.

Also, if you are receiving in the hand, please lift your hands high. 

That’s both very reverent: lifting Jesus up! It’s also practical.

If you are receiving on the tongue, this is going to sound funny, but:

You really do have to put out your tongue –

I’m not a dentist, I really don’t want to go IN there!

And whichever way you receive, it’s important to remain still.

Many of our younger parishioners are kind of rushing.

Parents, maybe you can help them remember these things?

I’ve told this story before, but it’s too good not to repeat it.

Father Randall Roberts was an United States Air Force chaplain 

in Saudi Arabia where, he explains, 

“any public Christian activity is punishable by imprisonment.” 

When he was going to offer Mass for American soldiers 

who were stationed in Saudi, soldiers would spread the word.

Because of the laws against any sort of Christianity,

Father Roberts had to celebrate Mass in a “remote area”

In this case, an abandoned recreation shack 

encircled by a chain-link fence.

Now, it happens there are many millions of foreign workers 

in Saudi Arabia – and a large number of them are Christians.

One of these foreign workers walked by; 

and when he realized Mass was underway, 

he “pressed himself against the other side of the fence.”

Here’s what Father Roberts saw:

He appeared to be straining his whole body – or at least his heart – 

through the chain-link fence, like water through a filter…

The sheer ecstasy in his face from being present 

at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass – though not able to move closer – 

is an image that will be indelibly etched in my heart until I die.

I wasn’t there, but now, I will never forget that image.

And I hope you won’t, either.

What a gift we’ve been given!

May God give us the gift of loving the Mass, and the Holy Eucharist, 

like that poor man, and the many millions like him, 

who are starving for what is so easy and available for us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Catholic Faith

I am not against any religion or people.I am affirming the Catholic Faith in Rome according to Vatican Council II interpreted rationally.
The Council in Ad Gentes 7 says all need faith and baptism for salvation (John 3:5, Mark 16:16) and LG 8, LG 14, LG 16, UR 3, NA 2, GS 22 etc in Vatican Council II (VC2) refer to hypothetical cases, for me.They are not objective and known non Catholics in 1965-2021 saved outside the Church.So practically we cannot know of any one saved outside the Church, without faith and the baptism of water.
Most people assume that LG 8, LG 14, LG 16, UR 3, NA 2, GS 22 etc refer to known non Catholics saved outside the Church in 1965-2021 and so they become exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus(EENS) and the Athanasius Creed which says outside the Church there is no salvation.This is a false premise.There are no such visible cases.If any one was saved outside the Church it would only be known to God.So there are two interpretations of VC2, one rational and the other irrational, one without the false premise and the other with it.Mine is the rational version.The popes since Paul VI have been irrational.They made an objective error.
So the norm for salvation for Catholics and non Catholics according to the Catholic Church is faith and the baptism of water (AG 7,EENS, Syllabus of Errors of Pope Pius IX, Athanasius Creed, Catechism of the Catholic Church (24Q,27Q), Catechism of the Catholic Church (845,846,1257).
So I am only affirming my Catholic Faith and not against any religion or any one.Jesus says to love and serve others and not judge and condemn.
As long as a non Catholic is alive on earth there is hope.The Holy Spirit has taught the Church over the centuries, that God the Father wants all people to be united in the Catholic Church (CCC 845).The Catholic Church is like the Ark of Noah that saves in the flood (CCC 845).All are oriented to the Catholic Church for salvation and are called to be members ( CDF,Notification on Fr. J.Dupuis sj,2001).
Being saved with the baptism of desire or invincible ignorance are ‘zero cases’ in our reality said the American Catholic apologist, John Martignoni.They are not exceptions to the dogma EENS confirmed Archbishop Thomas E. Gullickson, former Nuncio to Switzerland.This is also the common sense view of Fr. Stefano Visintin osb, former Dean of Theology and Rector of the Benedictine, University of St. Anselm, Rome.
So for me VC2 is dogmatic. It has a continuity with the past Magisterium of the Church on outside the Church there being no salvation.
All must believe in the Jewish Messiah,predicted by the Jewish prophets.He made an eternal Covenant, with his Death and Resurection, for the salvation of all who believe and trust in Him, in the Catholic Church, the only Church he founded and which is His Mystical Body, outside of which/whom there is no salvation.
The Catholic Church is ‘the pearl of great price’,it is the treasure a man finds in the field and gives all to possess it.