Corpus Christi

06-23-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

Today we celebrate Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. This celebration – one of the most solemn of the Church year – honors the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, under the appearance of bread and wine. This, indeed, is the Mystery of Faith – that what looks and tastes like bread and wine is really the Risen Jesus.

Speaking of the Eucharist, Jesus once said, “The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.” In other words, receiving the Holy Communion establishes an abiding relationship between us and Jesus. It gives us a special closeness to Him.

In these days of electronic communication, we have many ways to keep in touch. E-mails, text messages, and skyping allow us to speak to friends and family members around the world at almost any time. But, actually sitting down with each other and enjoying each other’s company – simply being with each other – doesn’t happen as much as we’d like.

But, the Good News is that Jesus chooses to be with us in a very tangible way through the Eucharist. This is why it is so important that we take the time to be at Mass each Sunday. To be present when Jesus becomes present to us on the altar. To receive Him in Holy Communion as frequently as we can.

It’s also why it is so good that we have Eucharistic Adoration in our parish seven days a week. For those who may not know, our chapel is open every day until 11 PM, with the Eucharist exposed for private prayer and reflection. It is a wonderful way to simply be with Jesus. Different people commit themselves to being present at various hours, so that Jesus is never left alone. But everyone is welcome.

If you’ve never been to Adoration, give it a try. If you used to go and have fallen out of the habit, why not get back into it? Many great saints, including Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Padre Pio, highly recommend spending quiet time in prayer with Jesus in this way. Any of our parish priests or deacons would be happy to answer any questions you may have about it and help you get started. Believe me when I say that making a Holy Hour – or even a Holy Half Hour – with our Lord in adoration will make a very positive difference in your life!

Our parish is particularly blessed to have two newly ordained priests – both sons of the parish – offering their First Holy Masses in our Church today (Sunday.) Corpus Christi is a most appropriate day for a First Mass, since there is an intense connection between the Eucharist and the Sacred Priesthood. It is through the words and actions of the priest at Mass that Christ becomes present on the altar under the appearance of bread and wine. Every priest I know is overwhelmed by the responsibility that comes with this! Please pray that our new priests, and all priests, will always approach the Holy Mass with reverence, awe, and deep appreciation of what they are doing.

Last – but certainly not least – our parish carnival begins this Wednesday and continues through next Sunday. I am looking forward to enjoying the carnival food, the company of many parishioners, and an all-around good time. See you there!

Have a great week!

Fr. John