Sunday, October 3, 2010

Something on my mind...

From the Holy Gospel according to John, chapter 6:

51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."

52 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?"

53 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 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.

56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.

...

60 Then many of his disciples who were listening said, "This saying is hard; who can accept it?"

61 Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, "Does this shock you?

62 What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?

63 It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

64 But there are some of you who do not believe." Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.

65 And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father."

66 As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.

67 Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?"

68 Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

69 We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."

Pay close attention to verse 66: "As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him." This is in direct response to his claim that his flesh is true food, and his blood true drink. He did not temper this statement, at all. He truly meant what he said, "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."

The Sacrifice of the Mass is not a "re-enactment" of the sacrifice on Calvary. It is in fact a Participation in the one sacrifice. Mystically, we take part in the sacrifice of the cross. We watch as the bread and wine become His Body and Blood, lifted upon the cross as his Mother watches with pierced heart, shedding his blood into the chalice of our salvation. We witness his glorious resurrection in triumph as we are told to "Ecce Homo - Behold the Man."

I was told today that 45% of Catholics don't know about the True Presence. While we may point the finger of blame at bad catechesis, or the 70's, even if we are right, that does nothing to heal the wound.

Next time you go to Mass, when Father says, in the person of Christ, "This is my body," see your God, broken on a cross, crowned with thorns, dead for your sins. When he says, in the person of Christ, "This is my blood," see the life of your God spilled upon a dry and thirsty world, shed as a fountain of life for those who will drink.

When he says to you, "Ecce Homo - Behold the Man," see your God, glorious in his salvific love. See Him shining like the sun, the lamb who was slain, I AM.

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds, hide me.
Separated from Thee let me never be.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
At the hour of death, call me.
To come to Thee, bid me,
That I may praise Thee in the company
Of Thy Saints, for all eternity.
Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent reflection. You touch on the key point in the Catholic Mass: participation in the Paschal Mystery. Namely, that the Eucharist encompasses not only the Last Supper and Good Friday, but also Easter and Ascension--the entirety of the mystery and the promise afforded to the disciples of Jesus.

    Keep up the good work.

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