From Our Pastor
Today’s celebration focuses on the Gift of the Last Supper, the Gift of the Eucharist. This feast was instituted in the thirteenth century through the influence of St. Julianna of Monte Cornellion. She was deeply devoted to the Eucharist and wanted others to stop their lives for one day and celebrate this great gift. In 1246, she persuaded her bishop to make this a feast day for the Diocese of Liege. Pope Urban IV declared it to be a Feast for the entire Church in 1264. Today’s feast is meant to help us grow in the understanding of the Eucharist and in our reverence for this great sacrament. We certainly need this reminder.
In our Serra Center, we have the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle on the right side behind our altar, but many times we ignore this Presence and treat the Church merely as a meeting place. We need to genuflect when we enter our worshiping space and then spend a few moments in prayer, recognizing the One who is before us. There are many ways that the Lord is present. He is present in the beauties of nature and in the smile of a baby. He is present where two or three are gathered together in His Name, and He is present in the Word of Scripture. But the greatest presence of the Lord possible for us on earth is the Real Presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
This is a day for us to reflect on what exactly happens at Mass. Bread and Wine become the Body and Blood of the Lord. They do not symbolically become the Lord. They become the Lord. They do not signify the Lord. They are the Lord. Communion is not just the union of the community. It is the union of the community with Jesus Christ, present in each person who receives communion and present in all of us together. When we receive communion, we are united through Christ with those present here and those present throughout the world. With this beautiful feast, we begin our Eucharistic revival in our parish, in our diocese. We are Catholics. We need to exalt in that which makes us uniquely Catholic. We need to celebrate the Great, Awesome Gift of the Eucharist. The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord reminds us of whom we are, who is present in the tabernacles of our churches, and what we are doing when we receive communion. May we continue to be reminded of Jesus’ real presence among us. May the Lord give us the grace to believe in His real presence in the Eucharist.
Peace and all good. Fr. Oscar Mendez, OFM
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