Eucharist

A Scandalous Teaching – Gospel in Preparation for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

A Scandalous Teaching – Gospel in Preparation for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

While it may strain our ability to understand, it ultimately points us to the promise of the greatest gift ever given to those who would receive it–the very life of God himself–as well the profound humility of the one through whom that promise is fulfilled: that in Christ God would humble himself to death so that He might give his flesh and blood for the life of the world.

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Life-giving Love – Gospel in Preparation for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Life-giving Love – Gospel in Preparation for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

What is the connection between faith/belief (defined in Dei Verbum as the means by which “man freely commits one’s entire self to God”) and the means by which God communicates his entire self to us? And what does it tell us about the life that we are to live in response to that gift?

Anything short of life-giving Love fails as an answer.

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Bread for the Journey – First Reading in Preparation for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Bread for the Journey – First Reading in Preparation for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Now imagine that we are told that every week, every day that food will be provided so that we will never be hungry again. We will, without fail, have the sustenance we need to not only reach our goal but to enjoy the journey as well.

That is the Eucharist: Bread for the Journey of life. The Eucharist is God’s answer, spiritually, to the very prayer he himself taught us to pray: “Give us this day our daily bread.” How does it work? Kathleen said it well on Friday, “He gives himself, the Life and Love that he is. He who is the bread of life emptied himself on the Cross so that we might be filled with him- body, blood, soul, and divinity- in the Eucharist.”

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Participation and Preparation – Gospel in Preparation for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Participation and Preparation – Gospel in Preparation for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi

The catechism teaches that the Eucharist is “the culmination of the worship men offer to Christ and, through him, to the Father in the Holy Spirit.” Take a moment to think about that. The culmination of our worship is to remember, relive and receive the sacrificial self-giving of the God of the universe, the God of all Life, given so that we might be restored to Him and receive His life.

I honestly don’t even know what to do with such a beautiful reality, except pray for the grace to participate ever more fully in that sacrifice by my worship, and in every aspect of my life, so that I might “be made worthy of the promises of Christ.”

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Covenant and Inheritance – Second Reading in Preparation for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Covenant and Inheritance – Second Reading in Preparation for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Surely this is the great theme of the New Testament: that we, in Christ are adopted sons and daughters of God and that all the Father has is ours: “See what love the Father has for us that we should be called the children of God; and so we are!” (I John 3:1)

I think of the prodigal son returning home and the Father saying, “Bring quickly the best robe and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it and let us eat and make merry” and I realize that is only the beginning of what the father intends for his sons and daughters. Best of all He intends the warm and loving and intimate relationship of Father to child which he intends to last an eternity.

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Life for Life – First Reading in Preparation for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Life for Life – First Reading in Preparation for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi

The requirements of the covenant still hold: it is still life for life. God does not simply want our mindless adherence to a set of rules and regulations; he wants all of us, in our obedience, yes, but most of all in the surrender of our wills and hearts—however weak, wounded and marred by sin—in trust of His goodness and steadfast love. And as we unite ourselves to His all-sufficient sacrifice, our own paltry offerings are miraculously made sufficient and we have the hope of receiving the life of the One who is Life.

In the words of St. Paul, “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (2 Cor 9:15)

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Eager to Heal – Gospel in Preparation for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Eager to Heal – Gospel in Preparation for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

God’s heart is not to ostracize the afflicted one, but rather to protect and ultimately to heal and restore”…This is a reality we not only see and proclaim, but actually experience ourselves each Sunday in the Eucharist. We who are in desperate need and with nowhere else to turn, approach the altar crying, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” Is that not the same as the leper, who has cried “Unclean! Unclean!” wherever he went, actually approaching Jesus with hope and saying, “If you wish, you can make me clean”?

Should we not also be confident that, when we do, we also hear him, moved with compassion for us, say again, “I do will it. Be made clean!”

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He Gave Thanks – Second Reading in Preparation for the Third Sunday of Advent

He Gave Thanks – Second Reading in Preparation for the Third Sunday of Advent

To find life right here and now, Paul exhorts us to “give thanks in all circumstances.” Ann Voskamp has shown us a place to begin – start making a list and never stop. Keep a gratitude journal. From the greatest gift to the most common, in all things give thanks. Appropriate to the Christmas season, G.K Chesterton once said, “When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not thankful to God for filling our stockings with legs?” Why, indeed?

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Forward by Faith! – First Reading of the Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Forward by Faith! – First Reading of the Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

As we meditate on this passage given to us in this first reading, we are challenged to take as our own the very hope to which it points, the same hope that inspired and sustained Tindley in the midst of his struggles. Like he, we are called to trust that no matter where we find ourselves, no matter how painful or ominous the situation, “A better day is coming, the morning draweth nigh when girded right with holy might shall overthrow the wrong. When Christ our Lord shall listen to every plaintive sigh and stretch his hand o’er all the land in justice by and by.”

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Come to the Banquet – First Reading for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Come to the Banquet – First Reading for the  Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Still the invitation goes out, “Everyone who is thirsty, come to the waters”. Still the words are spoken, “This Is my body” and “This is my blood”. Still all who receive the bread and wine receive Christ himself. It is no mere symbol. It is no mere remembrance. It is the promised banquet where we receive real mercy, real grace, real pardon and peace, for we receive the real presence of Jesus, who is not only the host, but the banquet itself.

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