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Ever hear the phrase: you are what you eat?

anima-christi (1)

The Catholic Church teaches the doctrine of transubstantiation, namely that in the Eucharist, the communion wafer and the altar wine are transformed and really become the body and blood of Jesus Christ.  Have you ever met anyone who has found this Catholic doctrine to be a bit hard to believe?

When Jesus spoke about eating his flesh and drinking his blood in John 6, his words met with less than an enthusiastic reception.  How can this man give us his flesh to eat? (V 52).  This is a hard saying. Who can listen to it? (V60).  In fact so many of his disciples abandoned him over this that Jesus had to ask the twelve if they also planned to quit.  It is interesting that Jesus did not run after his disciples saying, Don’t go, I was just speaking metaphorically!

How did the early Church interpret these challenging words of Jesus? One charge the pagan Romans lodged against the Christians was cannibalism. Why? They heard that this sect regularly met to eat and drink human blood.  Did the early Christians say: wait a minute, it’s only a symbol?  Not at all.  When trying to explain the Eucharist to the Roman Emperor around 155 AD, St. Justin did not mince his words: “For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Sav­iour being incarnate by God’s word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the word of prayer which comes from him . . . is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus”.

St. Justin Martyr

St. Justin Martyr

The bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ which are, in turn, meant to transform us.  Ever hear the phrase: you are what you eat? The Lord desires us to be transformed from a motley crew of imperfect individuals into the Body of Christ, come to full stature.

CalvaryMass-1024x713

Corpus_Christi_Pic

I look forward to participating in the celebration of the feast of Corpus Christ (The Body Of Christ) and giving thanks for the wonderful gift of Christ Himself in the Eucharist.

After this Mass we will be joining a short procession in adoration of our Lord Jesus Christ next week.

“Adoration outside Holy Mass prolongs and intensifies what has taken place in the liturgical celebration and makes a true and profound reception of Christ possible. I . . . warmly recommend, to Pastors and to all the faithful, the practice of Eucharistic adoration. “

– Pope Benedict XVI

 

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Adoration with Pope Francis.

Each one of us is a co-worker of Christ - we must labor hard to carry Him to the hearts where He has not yet been known and loved...But, unless we have Jesus, we cannot give Him; that is why we need the Eucharist. Spend as much time as possible in front of the Blessed Sacrament and He will fill you with His strength and His power. - Blessed Mother Teresa

Each one of us is a co-worker of Christ – we must labor hard to carry Him to the hearts where He has not yet been known and loved…But, unless we have Jesus, we cannot give Him; that is why we need the Eucharist. Spend as much time as possible in front of the Blessed Sacrament and He will fill you with His strength and His power. – Blessed Mother Teresa

On Sunday June 2, 2013 at 5 pm Rome time, Pope Francis will preside at a special hour of Eucharistic adoration in St Peter’s Square in Rome on the afternoon of the Feast of Corpus Christi. The feast of Corpus Christi celebrates the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist.
adoration_pope-francis

This year the Pope has added a special theme to this day : “One Lord, One Faith”, to testify to the deep unity that characterizes it. “It will be an event, occurring for the first time in the history of the Church, which is why we can describe it as ‘historical’, says Archbishop Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. The cathedrals of the world will be synchronized with Rome and will, for an hour, be in communion with the Pope in Eucharistic adoration.

The Archbishop says there has been an incredible response to this initiative, going beyond the cathedrals and involving episcopal conferences, parishes, lay associations, and religious congregations, especially cloistered ones.”

Because the Year of Faith is meant “to intensify the celebration of the faith in the liturgy, especially in the Eucharist, which is the summit towards which the activity of the Church is directed and also the source from which all its power flows” the Pope has asked that this initiative be extended to as many parishes as possible throughout the world.

Pope Francis has two intentions for this one hour which are: 

“For the Church spread throughout the world and united today in the adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist as a sign of unity.

May the Lord make her ever more obedient to hearing His Word in order to stand before the world ‘ever more beautiful, without stain or blemish, but holy and blameless.’

That through her faithful announcement, the Word that saves may still resonate as the bearer of mercy and may increase love to give full meaning to pain and suffering, giving back joy and serenity.”

Pope Francis’ second intention is:

“For those around the world who still suffer slavery and who are victims of war, human trafficking, drug running, and slave labour.
For the children and women who are suffering from every type of violence. May their silent scream for help be heard by a vigilant Church so that, gazing upon the crucified Christ, she may not forget the many brothers and sisters who are left at the mercy of violence.

For all those who find themselves in economically precarious situations, above all for the unemployed, the elderly, migrants, the homeless, prisoners, and those who experience marginalization.

That the Church’s prayer and its active nearness give them comfort and assistance in hope and strength and courage in defending human dignity.”

Further information can be found on the Year of Faith website, at www.annusfidei.va. 

Fresco, San Marco, Florence- scene from the Last Supper.

Fresco, San Marco, Florence- scene from the Last Supper.