8 June 2020

“The Real Presence”

What great news!  Starting next weekend, we will be taking our first steps in celebrating the Mass together and receiving the Body of Christ.  As we anticipate next weekend, and, we pray, continued progress toward celebrating without restrictions, we should spend time in prayer reminding ourselves WHO, not what, we receive at Mass.

According to Pew Research, only 31% of U.S. Catholics believe the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus, and not just a symbol.  Hmmmm.  Seems a bit low.  Another poll of Catholics who attend Mass regularly by the Catholic Leadership Institute found 72% “personally believe the Eucharist is really the body and blood of Jesus Christ.”  Makes sense.  If you believe in the true presence, you’ll be there every week, and every day if you could!  Whatever numbers you accept, they are less than 100%, and less than acceptable for us as a Church.

As members of St. Katharine Drexel Parish, named for the American Saint who founded the Sisters of … The Blessed Sacrament, we should be clear and evangelize our brothers and sisters on the real presence.  Spending time in prayer, too, builds anticipation and gratefulness for the Blessed Sacrament.

For this week, consider how ordinary bread is consecrated to be the Body of Christ.  It is through the words, “Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my body, which will be given up for you.”  But whose words?  The words of Jesus, the Son of God.

Where else do we encounter the Word of God.  The Gospel of John tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.”  Recall in prayer what the Word of God did in the beginning.  The Word spoke, and day and night were made.  The Word spoke, and earth and sea were made.  The Word spoke, and every creature was made.  If you believe and profess Jesus is the Son of God, the Son of the Trinity, God made flesh to dwell among us as the Incarnation, then you must accept that when Jesus speaks, it is the voice of the Father, for, “The Father and I are one.”  The very Word present in the creation of day and night, land and sea, and every creature, is the very same Word that says, “This is my Body.”  And it is.

In each and every Mass, Christ humbles Himself again, for us, the little community of St. Katharine Drexel.  He humbles Himself and comes to us not in a manger, but in the hands of Fr. Keith, our pastor.  Christ, the Word of God, takes bread, and speaks, “This is my Body,” that He might be one with us, Emmanuel, God with us.  And He is.

Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. 54 Whoever eats[s] my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.”

(John 6:53-55)

Deacon Jeff

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