21st Sunday Ordinary Time (Year B)

In this Sunday’s gospel passage, we have the conclusion of the ‘Bread of Life’ discourse from St. John’s gospel; there are two points in this particular passage that have always struck me as the most profound when it comes to encountering the truth of Our Lord in the Eucharist.  The first is the reaction of ‘many of his disciples’;  the second is the response of Peter

We have heard Jesus insist – not just suggest – he insisted that ‘unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”

Many of his disciples questioned and struggled with this, but ultimately their response was to abandon Christ.  They didn’t struggle and seek deeper understanding and remain with him, asking that he reveal the deeper truth of this to them.  They just left; St. John puts it a little more diplomatically, “because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him.”

Contrast that with Peter; when Jesus turns to the Apostles and asks if they too wish to leave, Peter responds with ‘Lord, to whom can we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Peter and the 12 may not have understood perfectly what Jesus was saying; in fact, it becomes clear as the gospels continue that they did not. But they were willing to stand by Christ, and to allow him to reveal to them the deeper understanding of what that intimate relationship with Him actually meant.

Is the journey of faith an easy one? Of course not; it is filled with joys and blessings,yes, but it is also filled with struggles, trials and hardships.  It was God who entered into our reality in the person of Jesus, to be with us, and to journey with us, to draw us closer to himself.  He is not the one who does the ‘abandoning’.  That choice is ours.

Are we like the disciples who ‘just left’?  Or are we like the 12 who, though not completely understanding or perfect, were willing to remain with the One who had called them by naadorationme in the first place?

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!

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19th Sunday Ordinary Time (Year B)

In life we often have what I call, ‘ready or not, here I come moments,” especially when it comes to the working of God. Sometimes Christ presents Himself directly into our midst – most often when we least expect Him; and at those times we are given a choice – either welcome Him and be present to Him working among us; or reject the possibility that He can move and work among us in a manner of His choosing and in His time.

If I may, I had one of those moments in 2012 during the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, Ireland.

I was scheduled to assist at one of the Masses, serving and proclaiming the Gospel. The Mass was in a stadium with about 8 or 9 thousand pilgrims in attendance. This was more than I had hoped for on this pilgrimage, and I was thrilled to receive such a blessing and opportunity.

But it was several hours after that Mass, when preparations were underway for the Eucharistic Procession, one of the main events of the Congress. For those who aren’t familiar with the procession, it is where the Blessed Sacrament, in a monstrance, is carried formally through the Congress complex, and then into the streets of the city hosting the event.

The Blessed Sacrament is preceded by thousands of pilgrims, people stand and watch from the sides of the streets, and under a canopy, the monstrance is carried for the adoration of all who are present. Official estimates suggest there was anywhere from 18 to 20 thousand people participating in the procession, along with about 100 cardinals, bishops and archbishops, over 800 priests and 50 to 100 deacons.

Cardinal Ouellette was the Papal legate for the Congress, and as such was representing Pope Benedict XVI. As the senior prelate, He was to carry Jesus in the procession; in the few minutes before the procession was to take place, the liturgical secretary from Dublin archdiocese came up to me, grabbed me by the arm, and said I had to come with him. He needed a deacon, and I was still there. Next thing I knew, I was being vested in a small room, and told I and another deacon would be assisting the Papal legate in the procession.

As we progressed through the congress complex, and just before we started into the public area, the cardinal indicated he was tiring, carrying the monstrance. The liturgical secretary motioned me to come forward, under the canopy – Cardinal Ouellette then handed the monstrance to me, and then – and it still seems like a dream these years later– I carried Jesus through the streets of Dublin.

Some of the pilgrims from our group were very happy for me and quite excited!

A few people who have known me for awhile were somewhat stunned – ‘you? They picked you to carry the Blessed Sacrament in this procession? Shouldn’t it have been someone else – maybe more important?”

I can assure you, no one was more stunned than I was. But the reality is that I was not providing the blessing of the people at this procession of about 18 thousand people: I was only an instrument, carrying Jesus in the Eucharist, and He Himself was blessing the crowd. But what a privilege to be such an instrument!

Sometimes we think that Christ cannot possibly be present in those around us, because we know them too well; at other times, we have a hard time considering Christ is at work in us, because – well- we don’t feel ‘worthy’.

Elijah in our first reading echoes this sentiment, when – after performing an amazing work for God – he says, ‘I am no better than my ancestors.’

In our Gospel, we hear the crowd again complaining against Jesus, this time for saying He is the bread come down from heaven. “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph? ‘ They say, ‘we know who this man is – how can he now say ‘I have come down from heaven?”

Jesus reveals his true nature to them; yet they are so stuck in their personal experience of who they think Jesus is that they can’t see beyond that – they can’t consider that Jesus is more than who they think He is. This is too great a challenge to their faith and so rather than consider a wonder of truly cosmic proportions happening in their midst, they choose instead to complain and to limit Jesus to who they think He is or should be.

They refuse to be open to the possibility that God is directly intervening in their reality, in their daily life.

Every day we are given opportunities to be witnesses to the involvement of God in our daily lives. Each day were are called to bring Christ to others, and to be open to accepting Christ when he appears to us – when he appears to us in the poor and the sick and the neglected– or comes to comfort and strengthen us in the words and actions of others.

We can’t plan these times or opportunities; we have to be open to participating in them though when they do happen. We need to understand that the Christ we receive in the Eucharist at Mass is truly Jesus – and in a very real and intimate way we take Him with us from this place, and bring Him out into the streets of our own communities – we are invited to be present with Him and to Him wherever and whenever he makes Himself known;

whether we are ready or not.

adoration

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) (Year B)

Even in our increasingly secularized society, a society that says there is no place for God in public, day to day life, there still seems to be a rush of excitement when there is the slightest hint of some divine intervention in worldly affairs, no matter how mundane or even ridiculous.  Take for instance, a Florida man who claimed to have seen an image of Jesus in his French toast a few years ago – it received extensive media coverage, and people went in great numbers to web sites to see this marvel; some out of curiosity, some to mock, but some who seemed to need some kind of external sign to validate their faith.

Our society, despite claims to the contrary, seems almost desperate at times to want to see God directly intervening in some public and measurable way.  It seems we forget about all of the miracles that we see every day in our own lives.  Ancient Jewish wisdom held that since the odds were so astronomically against the conception and development of a child in the womb, that each and every birth of a child was truly a miracle, a miracle no less great than the parting of the Red Sea during the Exodus out of Egypt. ( so after Mass, make sure you acknowledge the miracle sitting near you)

But as Catholics we have a miracle that occurs each and every time the Holy Mass is celebrated, and perhaps we have become so used to it, so familiar with it, that maybe we have forgotten how miraculous this is:  I’m speaking of course about the Holy Eucharist.  And it is especially on the feast of Corpus Christi – the Body and Blood of Christ – that we remember and celebrate this miracle.

In the Gospel of St. Mark, we read how at the last supper, when Jesus Himself instituted the Eucharist for the first time, he spoke the words ‘This IS my body” and ‘This IS my blood of the covenant”

During the Passover meal the night before He died, Jesus was reflecting on the old covenant, recounted in our first reading from Exodus, when the Israelites, agreeing to keep ALL of God’s commands, offer an animal sacrifice to seal the covenant; and while half of the blood of the sacrifice is splashed on the altar, the other half is sprinkled on the people; so that they carry a visible sign, a mark of their part in this agreement, this covenant with God.

This sign though, was external, and would eventually wash off and fade; as would their keeping of the covenant.

But Jesus offers something different: He fulfils the old covenant by the sacrifice of Himself and introduces the new and everlasting covenant, our return to full relationship with God the Father through the Son; and the people, starting with the disciples, don’t receive a visible mark as in the old covenant; the body and blood of the sacrifice of the New Covenant is given to them and handed down to us: this Body and Blood of the sacrifice is Jesus Himself in Holy Communion.

When He instituted this most Holy Sacrament, He didn’t say ,”this represents my body” or ‘pretend this is my body’ and in 2000 years whenever the Mass is celebrated we still hear those words at the consecration, when the bread and wine become the Real and True Presence in Holy Communion of Jesus.

When we come to the altar, we don’t demand this gift, we are granted this precious favor:  we don’t take Communion – we receive it.

And although we consume the host, it is not just that we take Jesus into ourselves individually; we enter into Christ, into His Body, with everyone else who has received Holy Communion, and we become living signs of that Sacrament and of the New Covenant; or as St. Augustine said, ‘we become what we eat’.

Here’s a sobering thought though:  When we leave the celebration, we take that Real Presence of Christ with us into all the situations we encounter, however we act: when we are harsh with others, when our words are unkind and hurtful, when we use others for our own ends – we bring and expose Christ to that as well:  but it is just as true that when we leave the celebration and are charitable to others, show hospitality to the neglected, feed the hungry, address the needs of the poor in our midst – Christ is with us there too, present in and through us.

And this effect, of bearing Jesus with us after receiving Him in Holy Communion, how long does it last?  Well that depends on the individual and how open we are to the graces of the Sacrament; for some it may be for a lifetime- for others it may be until the next time they receive Holy Communion – for still others it may only be until we get out to the parking lot.  But we can strengthen ourselves in prayer and ask God for the grace to remain always open to the power of this Sacrament.  And we can ask that others too would be graced with that open-ness. And we can be mindful that once we receive that precious gift, it is not something that we celebrate only within the walls of our church building.

There are times or occasions when we can make a more public profession of our faith in the Eucharist, such as at large gatherings like an International Eucharistic Congress; our on a smaller scale, spending time in Adoration to mark this feast of Corpus Christi; perhaps a Eucharistic procession in honor of this feast.

There are some who sneer or mock these gatherings and processions – but we would do well to remember there was a procession 2000 years ago when our Lord was jeered and mocked as he was beaten and driven like an animal through the streets of Jerusalem to Calvary where He was crucified for all of us shortly after the Last Supper when he gave us His Body and Blood.

But these processions we participate in are of reverence and adoration; a chance for us to take Jesus outside the walls of the church and make a more public profession that we believe He is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament; that this is what we believe; that this is who we are.

This is not just a piece of bread we dress up and parade around with; this is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.  This IS Jesus, who gives Himself to us continually in the sacrifice of the Mass, who through the priest at the moment of consecration transforms the bread and wine into Himself and gives Himself to and for us.

This is a miracle of incredible, cosmic proportions and is so far beyond our complete understanding that the term ‘trans-substantiation’ barely reflects the reality of this mystery of our faith. And we should remember that a lack of total understanding in anything does not deny its reality – I can barely understand the principals of nuclear fusion, but I can assure you the sun exists.

So the next time someone questions if God even still intervenes in human affairs, if He still performs miracles, or points to some news of an unlikely miracle, we can invite them to come to Church, where they can witness for themselves the miracle of the Blessed Sacrament; and they- and we- can visit the Real and True Presence of Christ any time we like.

adoration

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!

Corpus Christi (Year A)

In our world, public image and presentation have come to mean everything.  Whether in politics, entertainment or business, as long as we can put things in an attractive light, we can influence people to follow along with us; to buy a specific product or support a particular position.  Millions are spent by different groups on consultants whose job is strictly to teach leaders or representatives to ‘stay on message’, to present a particular point without stirring up controversy.  Sometimes we refer to these consultants as ‘spin doctors’ – people whose job is to take the actions (or misadventures) or comments of their clients, and put ‘spin’ on them- to try and bring about the most advantageous result.

 

In this Sunday’s passage from St. John’s gospel, it is very clear that Jesus did not concern himself with ‘spin’ or putting a positive light on His message to garner public support or positive public opinion.  He speaks to those gathered in the synagogue in Capernaum; He is speaking to a gathering of faithful people who have come to listen to what He has to say.  His reputation has begun to grown; His deeds and words have been heard by many and a following has developed.

 

So it is against this background that He presents what is perhaps His most challenging teaching, what we refer to as the ‘Bread of Life’ discourse, part of which is contained in this passage.  He starts out with ‘I am the living bread come down from heaven’, which on its face sounds ‘okay’.  But later He stresses, ‘if any one eats of this bread he will live forever, and the bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.’  His message has taken a dramatic turn – and we need to consider who He is speaking to and where He is speaking to understand how challenging this message was. Jesus is in a synagogue, and Jewish dietary laws of the time and place demanded that when eating meat, they could not eat anything unless the blood was drained out of it.  They most certainly were not to eat human flesh under the law of Moses.  And yet initially to them, it sounds as if Jesus is suggesting just this – although couched in the nicer terms of ‘bread from heaven’.

He could have retreated from this when those in the synagogue start disputing what He is saying, ‘how can he give us his flesh to eat?’

But Jesus does not reverse this teaching; if anything, He reinforces it by stressing, ‘whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life….for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.’

If we continue reading St. John’s Gospel from this point, we learn that the response to Jesus’ words in this episode was not a positive one from a worldly standard.  In fact, if Jesus had spin doctors, they would have been pulling their own hair out.  St. John records that everyone left; they complained that this teaching was too difficult to follow and accept, so they left; all except the 12 Apostles.

 

Despite the rejection by all of those who came to hear Him speak, including disciples who had followed Him up to that point, Jesus does not reverse Himself, change this teaching, or soften it.  He meant what He said.  And while those who left said the teaching was too difficult to accept, they didn’t say it wasn’t right.

 

When we gather at Mass, we celebrate this most central mystery of our Catholic faith, the Holy Eucharist.  We attend and participate as the miracle of the transubstantiation of bread and wine into Christ’s Body and Blood takes place at every Holy Mass.  While we may not understand it completely, be accept and believe because we accept and believe the One who gave us this tremendous gift; Jesus Himself.  We aren’t crunching up bits of bone and tissue as some critics suggest.  We believe, as the Church teaches, that in the consecration, the substance of Christ Himself is made present in offerings of bread and wine, and when we consume them, we take Christ into ourselves, identifying more closely and intimately with Him, and with all who share in that same Body.

 

Some complain that the Church should soften, or modify her teaching on the Sacrament of Holy Communion; yet these same people complain the Church should modify something in just about every one of her teachings, handed down through the Apostles.  They complain that many of these teachings are difficult to accept – that they are too hard – that they aren’t in keeping with the times or our society.

 

The Church does not need to modify her teaching on a Sacrament that was instituted by Christ Himself. Just because a teaching is difficult does not make it less true.  Jesus did not take a poll to see what part of His bread of life discourse was acceptable and which part He should abandon.  He didn’t concern Himself with public opinion or popularity in offering His Body for the life of the world.

As His followers, and partakers in that gift of His Body, neither should we.

adoration

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This particular weekend in Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving. How appropriate,  that as we observe the holiday of Thanksgiving on our secular calendar, we are given a gospel message that speaks of gratitude.  A passage that speaks of giving thanks to God:  it is this word, ‘thanksgiving’ which is at the very heart of our Catholic faith:  the Greek word for thanksgiving is ‘eucharistia’ from which we get the word Eucharist:  the Eucharist, which as we are told in numerous church documents, is the source and summit of the Christian life.

In our gospel passage from St.Luke today, we are told that Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem; that he is in the region between Samaria and Galilee – on the fringes of the Jewish areas, and the fringes of the Samaritan areas

And in this place he encounters ten lepers – leprosy being a disease which in its day, and up to our current times, created a tremendous fear among the general population: if someone was found to have this disease, they were set apart – they were unclean; no one could go near them for fear of catching it….they had to live in isolated areas, and for the Jewish lepers, they had to call out ‘unclean’ to warn people from coming near them

Anyone who came in contact with lepers was also considered unclean according to the law of Moses; to protect the rest of the population they had to spend a period apart from others, and they were also forbidden from entering the Temple until they had fulfilled certain purification rites.

Jesus was raised in the Jewish traditions, and we have numerous examples of how he too observed the laws and religious observances – the fact he was ‘going up to Jerusalem’ ; he was making a pilgrimage to the Temple, a typical practice for a devout Jewish male.  This tells us he took religious observance very seriously; but as he so often taught in other episodes from his life and teaching, the heart of the law was more important than the letter of the law; and the heart of the law is mercy and compassion:

Jesus places himself in a situation that will cause tension with his Jewish followers and the teachers and religious leaders;  socially, Jesus goes out on a real limb to meet with and heal these ten lepers; and not just that, he deals and associates with one who is a Samaritan – this is the equivalent of ‘two strikes’ in terms of Jesus being ‘allowed’ to offer sacrifice in the Temple in Jerusalem – he is risking his own opportunity to celebrate with his own religious community:  he will have to follow rites of purification to be ‘clean’ in order to observe his religious practices. But this doesn’t prevent him from what he does next.

Jesus shows compassion on these ten lepers, has contact with them and works a great miracle; but he doesn’t just wave his hand and they are healed:  he tells them to go and show themselves to the priests – something that was necessary so they could be proclaimed ‘clean’ and could participate in community worship: a religious observance to bring about a spirit of thanksgiving.

It is while they are on their way to the priests, as Jesus has told them, that they become clean.  And only one who notices they are now clean, turns back and thanks Jesus before reporting to the priests  – and this man is a Samaritan;

The other nine have continued on their way, we are left to assume to report to the priests; but the gospel doesn’t recount or tell us whether or not they were thankful or praised God for this great gift of healing that they had received. 

Only a Samaritan – one who was outside their tradition – understood who had healed them; and he returned to thank God in the person of Jesus for this tremendous gift that he had received.  Fulfilling the religious observance could come for this man only after he had expressed his thankfulness – his gratitude:  it would be in this spirit of thanksgiving that he could then praise and worship God with a heart filled with gratitude.

This attitude of gratitude is what we are all called to have, particularly when we gather to celebrate the Mass; at the heart of our gathering together is worship – before all else; we don’t approach God primarily to ask for something: first and foremost we gather to worship God and to give thanks for all of the ways he has blessed each and every one of us; ways that are too numerous to count; 

It seems at times we would prefer to hang on to reasons not to be grateful; to ignore the ways in which we have been blessed, and to concentrate on some way in which we feel we might have been ‘short-changed’ by God.

But in the earliest part of the Mass, when we sing to the praise of God, in the prayer we call the Gloria; we say it quite clearly “ we give you thanks for your great glory!”

We come first and foremost in thanksgiving, in eucharistia, to thank God simply for loving us into existence, and for giving us the gift of Jesus, the gift of Himself in our humanity, to give us the gift of adoption as his sons and daughters.

We need to understand that primarily we gather to worship God and to thank Him: we don’t come just to ‘get’ something;  we don’t come just to ‘get’ His Word – we don’t come just to ‘get’ Holy Communion – anything we receive during the Mass is a gift and a grace; but if we only gather to ‘get’ something, then we are really no different from the nine lepers who received the cleansing, the healing from Jesus, and went on their way without a second thought of returning to him to offer thanks.  They got what they wanted, and off they went.

We are called to be thankful as we gather as God’s people; we are called to be thankful as we received His Word; we are called to be thankful as we receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar; if we are not approaching the altar with an attitude of thanksgiving, then perhaps we have no business approaching the altar at all.  How fortunate we are, that we have a God who is so generous and understanding, always willing to forgive and continues to reach out to us to welcome into his healing and loving presence.

As a country we pause this particular weekend in our calendar year to offer thanks; some of us have family traditions where we might gather as an extended family for a great feast and offer some thoughts on particular things that we are thankful for.

But as Catholics, we have been given so much that we should be thankful each and every day, always seeking opportunities to be like the Samaritan leper, to turn back to Jesus and say ‘thank you’. 

Thank you for the gift of life – thank you for the gifts of community, of friends , of healing; but thank you most of all dearest and most generous Lord , for the precious gift of yourself, sacrificed, broken and given for all of us; you have made us a Eucharistic  people; a people of Thanksgiving.

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Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!

Ordinary Time – Corpus Christi

There was an experiment a number of years ago involving chimpanzees – they were in cages with food and water; but opposite their food tray was a board with a small hole in it separating them from a dish of ‘treats’.  The hole was big enough for them to put their hands through to grasp the treats.  The problem was, when they grasped the treats in their fists, they couldn’t pull their hands back through the hole.  They were trapped; the only way to get their hands back through the hole was to drop the treat.  They were, in their minds, unable to get back to their own food tray on the other side of the cage because they thought they were ‘stuck’ with their hand caught in the hole.  As long as they were clinging to the treat, they were unable to go where they could be completely fed.

Sometimes in life we ‘cling’ to things and completely ignore the blessings that satisfy our needs; this is often especially true in our spiritual lives.   We cling to social standing or material goods or privilege, and we ignore those things that truly feed and sustain us.  Take for example, the central mystery of our Catholic faith, Holy Communion; what we as Catholics profess to believe – that Jesus is really and truly present to us, body and blood, soul and divinity in the Most Holy Sacrament.  This gift stands at the very heart of our Catholic faith, instituted by Jesus Himself at the Last Supper; a gift that we describe with the name Eucharist, a Greek word meaning ‘thanksgiving’.  It is truly all about thanksgiving, all about gratitude, when we discuss Holy Communion, especially on this feast of Corpus Christi – the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.  Yet often enough, we act almost mechanically – ‘getting’ communion without giving a lot of thought to Who we are actually receiving and becoming more deeply connected to.

This feast reminds us of our attitude when we receive this gift, and invites us to live that attitude out continually in our own faith lives – not just during the celebration of the Mass, but as we live out our daily existence.  How we live ‘out there’ as Christians, is rooted in what we profess and believe ‘in here’ about the Eucharist.  When we approach the altar during Mass, we don’t demand this gift, we are granted this precious favour.  We don’t grasp at it, we are open to having it given to us. We don’t take Communion; we receive it. 

Then, receiving the graces that we are hopefully open to, we share that life and grace that we have been granted.

This sense of ‘receiving’ and ‘gift’ is illustrated in our Gospel passage from St. Luke, recounting the miraculous feeding of five thousand with five loaves and two fish.  This massive crowd has come to hear Jesus preaching and teaching; perhaps to see for themselves some miracle of healing – obviously Jesus’ reputation has preceded Him.  While the people don’t seem to be clamouring for food or complaining of physical hunger, the disciples suggest the people be sent away so they can find something to eat.  Jesus tells the disciples to feed the crowds themselves, giving them an opportunity to participate in providing for the needs of others.  But the disciples respond by complaining they only have five loaves and two fish; barely enough for their own needs.

Jesus has them organize the crowd, and He blesses the small offering – then has the disciples distribute the food, which has miraculously multiplied; the disciples initially didn’t want to share what little they thought they had; the crowd doesn’t demand or take this food by force – they simply receive that which is given to them by Jesus, which is more than enough for their needs.  It is a gift which was freely given – a gift that was not demanded or expected or earned; a treasure handed to them by Jesus through His disciples and gratefully accepted.

Perhaps we can simply consider our own Christianity – rooted in the Eucharist – in light of the reactions of the disciples and the crowd.

Is our Christianity something that we grasp tightly, keeping to ourselves? Or is our Christianity something we recognize as a gift from God, a gift meant to be accepted in absolute gratitude and shared with all those we encounter?   Do we approach Jesus as the disciples approached their ‘food’ (Lord send them away, because we barely have enough for ourselves)?  Or do we respond to the gifts of Jesus as the crowd did – generous gifts that were unasked for, totally unexpected, and accepted and shared with gratitude?

At Mass, we consume the host; but we don’t just take Jesus into ourselves individually; we enter into Christ, into His Body, with everyone else who has received Holy Communion, we become living signs of that Sacrament in which we believe Jesus is truly present; as St. Augustine said, ‘we become what we eat’.

When we leave Mass, we take that Real Presence of Christ with us into all the situations we encounter, however we act: when we are harsh or unkind or hurtful, we bring and expose Christ to that as well.  It is just as true that when we leave the celebration of the Eucharist and are charitable to others, show hospitality to the neglected, feed the hungry, address the needs of the poor in our midst – Christ is with us there too, present in and through us.

In receiving Christ with truly grateful hearts, and believing that we have become more closely, intimately identified with the One who gives us this blessing, we are empowered to share the love of Christ with everyone and anyone around us. 

It is up to each of us to decide how we will live out that miracle of the loaves and fishes in our own circumstances – how we will respond to receiving the gift and grace of the Eucharist at Mass –  grasping our faith tightly in clenched fists, or sharing it freely with open hands and open hearts.

adoration

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!