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Sermon for 10 June 2012



My Dear People,

Today is the Solemnity of Corpus Christi- The Body and Blood of Christ

Fifty children of St Kentigernís School will receive our Lord for the first time in Holy Communion next Sunday at the 11am Mass and the following Sunday the St Edward's children of the Divine Mercy School will receive their First Holy Communion. He has longed to give himself to them since the day they were baptised and now the day has nearly come. They are well prepared and know the difference between an unconsecrated host and a Consecrated host they understand that it is not bread anymore but Christís very Risen Bodily Presence. It was on the evening of Holy Thursday that the Mass was born in the Upper Room. Maundy Thursday as you know is the birthday of the Holy Mass. Every Thursday in the Divine Office which priests are obliged to pray every day (FIVE times a day) the Office has a Theme touching always on the remembrance of that great gift of Jesus in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

My dear people, how lonely life would be without Jesus our Lord being present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. Imagine a Church with no Tabernacle? Imagine not believing that the bread and wine at Mass is changed by the miracle of Transubstantiation, through the Ministry of the ordained priest, into Our Lordís Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity? Life would be so lonesome and so lacking. The late Pope taught us all about the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist in a sublime way as you would expect from the Successor of St Peter. I want to repeat one of his teachings concerning this great Feast of Corpus Christi., The Body and Blood of Christ. It is worth repeating.

He says that first of all the Blessed Sacrament is a PRESENCE SACRAMENT. In this we have the gift of the Lordís bodily risen and abiding presence until he comes again in Glory to judge the living and the dead. Jesus promised that he would be with us always until the end of time and in this way supremely he becomes present to us so that we can actually feel his presence in the Tabernacle and on the Altar after the Consecration. Being present to us is a great gift and Jesus makes himself vulnerable to manís indifference or lack of respect. However Ė that is how our Lord wants it. He will put up with these things in order to be truly present always.

The Holy Sacrament is secondly a SACRIFICE SACRAMENT. It is the means by which the Redemptive power of the cross is made present in our time and space. The Sacrifice of the Mass is the same one as the Sacrifice on Calvary made present through the power of the Holy Spirit and the words of Institution spoken by the priest. Our Lordís sacrifice on the Cross was/is an Eternal Sacrifice Ė valid for all time and menís sins are forgiven in our time and space through the merits of this One Sacrifice given Once and For All. You cannot see what the angels and saints can see when the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered. Calvary is made present in our time. Our sins were nailed to the Cross. He is the Sacrifice which takes our sins away.

Lastly the Blessed Sacrament is a COMMUNION SACRAMENT. It is the means by which we communicate with the Risen Lord by receiving His Sacred Body in the Sacred Species. Jesus is received by us when we come to Holy Communion but He also receives us doesnít He? There is no communion on earth so close and life giving as the Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Body and Blood. Our Lord told us "Unless you eat my body and drink my Blood you cannot have life in you." The disciples for the first time, split up St John tells us over this teaching, and some refused to follow him after that. They said "This is an impossible saying". Jesus made faith in the Blessed Sacrament a touchstone of faith in Him. He said to the Twelve "Will you also go away?" Peter thankfully answered on behalf of all the millions in the future when he replied: "Lord to whom we would go? You have the message of eternal life." Jesus is our spiritual food and without this food we cannot have life - his life; so it truly is a Communion Sacrament. The worthy reception of this Sacrament joins us to Him in a bond of unspeakable joy when we receive him in grace.

May this feast be a cause of joy. May we all learn to love Christ in the Holy Sacrament more and more until we see him face to face at the end of our lifeís pilgrimage.

In the meantime can I make a few requests of you my dear parishioners? Firstly: Please genuflect properly when you come into church and when leaving. Your knees might not be as flexy as they used to be but do your best to make a real gesture of reverence to the Tabernacle where our Lord dwells.

Secondly : we are supposed to make an "Act of reverence" just before we receive Holy Communion. Would you get into the habit of making the Sign of the Cross whilst the person in front of you is receiving?

Thirdly: try not to chatter in Church. Jesus is present and He wants your attention. He wants you to know his love for you and you might not be listening. Chat after Mass and better still outside. Now Ė I've said it !

God Bless,

Father Tom Connolly

Watching before the Blessed Sacrament exposed is a great custom we have at St Kentigernsí each weekday day from 8.30am- 9.20am and 2pm- 4pm .. Please try to keep a tryst with the Lord and commit yourselves to doing a half hour slot on the same day each WEEK.

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION MASS next Sunday at 11am.

FALLOWFIELD CREDIT UNION Join the Credit Union BASED IN OUR PARISH and you will see what they can do. Better than a Bank these days. Every Friday in the Marian Room - 7.30. Fr Tom Connolly

Bidding Prayers

Bidding Prayers for Corpus Christi.

Priest: At the supper to which all are invited, Christ gives his Body and blood for the life of the world. Earnestly we beseech him, in his name we pray.

Reader: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, you have commanded us to celebrate the Holy Mass in remembrance of you- enrich your church through the worthy celebration of these holy mysteries. Lord, in your mercy.

Be with our Bishops and Priests and people from all over the world who have gathered today for the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, that the love emanating from this Holy Sacrament may warm and enlighten the hearts and minds of the people of Ireland. Lord in your mercy.

Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest, you have committed to your priests the ministration of your sacraments- help our priests to do their part in your work with unfailing gladness and genuine charity. Lord, in your mercy.

For every Christian community throughout the world who celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi that the Eucharistic Sacrifice may unite us all as one with the Holy Father and with all the bishops and holy people of the church of God. Lord, in your mercy.

Lord Jesus Christ, Heavenly physician, you give an eternal remedy and a pledge of resurrection to those who eat your body- grant health to the ailing and real hope and we pray for- Patricia Palin, Mary Callaghan, Margaret Martin, Kathleen Burke, Denis McLoughlin, Gerry Doyle,, Mary Fitzpatrick, Father Fallon, Jo Kearney, Mary Tivnan, Rosella Devlin, LORD in your mercy.

Lord Jesus Christ - Bread of Heaven, we know that whenever we celebrate these mysteries we proclaim your life giving death until you come in glory - give to those who have died the vision of your Glory: COLIN CASH, John Paschal Fagan, (months mind vigil), John McMinamin, Mark Ferguson


All those whose anniversaries fall about this time - Nora Cahill (11am), Phil Walsh (6.30 Sunday), Joseph Kearney, Christopher Keegan, Gregory Leech, Afram Zaer, Bernard Murray, Kearney and Keegan Families, Margaret Bressington, Steve Flaherty and Afram Zaer, May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace - Amen.

O Mary, Conceived without sin. R/ Pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Mary is the Holy One who gave us the Lord Jesus to become our Food - she brought him forth in Bethlehem which means The House of Bread - we salute our mother - Hail Mary.

Priest: Lord Jesus, unseen guest at this Sacred Banquet, carry these prayers to the throne of grace and in your mercy answer them. We ask of you who lives for ever and ever. Amen.