Pastor's Message - Jesus' Eucharistic Teaching
Aug 8, 2018
Saint Francis of Assisi Church
August 8, 2018
Brothers and Sisters,
For five (5) Sundays, the Church proclaims the Gospel from Chapter 6 of Saint John -- July 29 through August 26. This is Jesus' "Eucharistic Teaching". Over these five Sundays, my preaching message is on the four (4) basic elements of the Eucharist instituted by Jesus Christ: The Eucharist as a meal -- food for the soul; the Eucharist as the Real Presence of Jesus Christ; the Eucharist as His Sacrifice; and today, the Eucharist as the primary Sacrament.
As food for the soul, Jesus tells us: "I am the Bread of Life." Jesus Christ continues to feed us with "true life" by giving us His Body and Blood in the Blessed Sacrament.
As Real Presence, the Most Blessed sacrament is Present in the Tabernacle of every Catholic Church for Adoration and to feed the sick. We enter the Catholic Church in silence and with great respect, considering ourselves unworthy to appear before the Lord's Real Presence. We first take Holy Water and make the Sign of the Cross carefully and slowly mindful of our Baptism in Christ and His Church. As soon as we are before God in the Blessed Sacrament, we devoutly genuflect. Once inside a pew, we kneel down and adore Christ's Real Presence in this Blessed Sacrament. This is the precious opportunity to confide all our needs to Christ Jesus along with our prayer for others.
Last Sunday at Mass, I preached on the most important element of the Eucharist -- Mass as the Holy Sacrifice of the Cross. Christ instituted the Eucharist after the Last Supper to perpetuate His Sacrifice throughout history for our Salvation.
The Documents of the Second Vatican Council (SC #47) teach us that Christ instituted the Eucharist TO PERPETUATE (to make permanent/to continue) His Sacrifice on the Cross. It is the one eternal Sacrifice of the New Covenant. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (article #1323 and #1366) states that the Mass is the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of the Cross for us in our time. The great Theologian Saint Thomas Aquinas and the Patristic Fathers of the Church wrote extensively about the Mass as the Holy Sacrifice of the Cross. And in the Didache, the first century document of the teachings of the first Apostles, we learn that Christ’s Real Presence continues in the Mass.
Today I highlight the Eucharist as Sacrament. In the Gospel, Jesus reveals God’s Eternal Plan to send His Son, Jesus the Christ, to sacrifice His Life on the Cross so that we might partake of this same real Holy Sacrifice and to receive the gift of the Sacrifice. We partake of Jesus’ Sacrifice by receiving the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The Sacrament of Holy Communion is a GIFT of God touching us with His Divine Life. Communion is not a right, it is a gift. The Sacrament is effective in our growth only for those who believe in the Real Presence and enter into the Sacrifice of Christ at the Consecration at Mass.
Pastor’s Questions for the Week
Have we forgotten to make the proper adoration when we enter the Catholic Church and come before the Blessed Sacrament? Have we been responsible for being worthy to receive Holy Communion by going to regular Confession? Are we focused intensely at the moment of Consecration and when we receive Holy Communion?
Sincerely in the Lord,
Father Richard York