CORPUS CHRISTI / BODY AND BLOOD OF THE LORD SOLEMNITY + 10th JUNE 2012. MONTH OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST
My Dear People,
Today is the Solemnity of Corpus Christi - The Body and Blood Christ.
This month the children of St Kentigern's School and Divine Mercy will receive our Lord for the first time in 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 un-consecrated host and a Consecrated host...they understand that it is not bread anymore but Christ's very Risen Body Present on the altar and to be received by them as a food for the journey on earth and pledge of eternal life to come.
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 Lord's Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity? Life would be so lonesome and so lacking.
The late Blessed Pope John Paul 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 Lord's 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 man's indifference or lack of respect. However - 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 Lord's sacrifice on the Cross was/is an Eternal Sacrifice - valid for all time and men's 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 doesn't 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 life’s 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 is really and truly Present.
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 their Holy Communion?
Thirdly: try not to chatter unduly 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 – I've said it !
Father Tom Connolly
Watching before the Blessed Sacrament exposed is a great custom we have at St Kentigerns' 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.
LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR. ST JOSEPH'S HOME, PLYMOUTH GROVE WEST. SUMMER FAIR ON JUNE 23ND AT 1PM. DO COME AND SUPPORT THE SISTERS GREAT WORK, Bric a Brac, crafts, tombola, raffle and strawberries and cream.
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