Take it; this is my body.

by Jun 4, 2021Pastor's Blog

While they were eating,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, gave it to them, and said,
“Take it; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them,
and they all drank from it.

Mk 14:12-16, 22-26

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. We continue to speak of the three priorities this summer: 1) our Pastoral Calendar, being proactive into 2022, and our five-year plan. 2) preparing our new Parish Office & Welcome Centre, Shalom House, for the new Pastoral year, preparing for the launch in the Fall, and finally, 3) Sacramental Preparation in the lens and viewpoint of evangelization. This final point is the invitation for all our families, and parishioners, to a personal relationship with Christ through the Sacraments.

This weekend we are invited into this relationship through the Most Holy Eucharist.

As the Catechism reminds us,

the Eucharist, the sacrament of our salvation accomplished by Christ on the cross, is also a sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for the work of creation. In the Eucharistic sacrifice the whole of creation loved by God is presented to the Father through the death and the Resurrection of Christ.

Through Christ the Church can offer the sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for all that God has made good, beautiful, and just in creation and in humanity. The Eucharist is a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father, a blessing by which the Church expresses her gratitude to God for all his benefits, for all that he has accomplished through creation, redemption, and sanctification.

Eucharist means first of all “thanksgiving.” The Eucharist is also the sacrifice of praise by which the Church sings the glory of God in the name of all creation. This sacrifice of praise is possible only through Christ: he unites the faithful to his person, to his praise, and to his intercession, so that the sacrifice of praise to the Father is offered through Christ and with him, to be accepted in him.

(Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1359 – #1361)

The bread again is at first common bread; but when the mystery sanctifies it, it is called and actually becomes the Body of Christ. So too the mystical oil, so too the wine; if they are things of little worth before the blessing, after their sanctification by the Spirit each of them has its own superior operation. This same power of the word also makes the priest venerable and honorable, separated from the generality of men by the new blessing bestowed upon him.

St. Gregory of Nyssa

Last week we have all heard of the scandal and discovery of the remains of 215 Children at the former Indian Residential School in Kamloops. As Cardinal Collins from the Archdiocese of Toronto mentioned this past week, “We join with the Indigenous People, the Catholic community, and Canadians from coast to coast in a period of collective grief for those who are physically, emotionally, and spiritually wounded.” Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions on Residential Schools. Let us pray together to Our Lord with hope and confidence, for the consolation of their families and for all whose lives were affected by the residential school system across Canada. Let us pray to the Sacred Heart of Jesus!

The month of June, and this coming Friday, June 11th, is dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Litany of the Sacred Heart was put in its present form by Leo XIII in 1899. At first sight, it can seem a bit strange, with a few unfamiliar images, such as “Heart of Jesus, desire of the eternal hills, have mercy on us”. But we can truly be blessed if we pray this wondrous litany, a true treasure of Christian prayer, and discover the rich biblical meaning of its individual invocations.

Like the Rosary, the litany is a repetitive prayer, and the repetition of “Have mercy on us” after each line is, in fact, like our regularly repeating heartbeat, very calming: once we meditate on the references, it gives us insight into the love of God for us in Jesus, and it gives us serenity through the heartbeat of its repetitive pattern. In our frazzled world these days, we especially need both that insight and that serenity.

Here is the Litany of the Sacred Heart.

May our daily meditation on the Passion of the Christ, and on its symbolic representation in the sign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, bring us home to the heavenly Jerusalem through the perils of this valley of tears, and lead us to imitate Our Lord, in sharing his true love with each person whom we encounter on our journey.  (Excerpt from “Heart Speaks to Heart – A Pastoral Letter on the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Cardinal Thomas Collins”)

Have a great week. Peace.

ps. also, follow along the Novena Retreat to the Sacred Heart of Jesus with the help of my brother priests at St. Augustine Seminary. Each day they upload a 20+minute video on a different theme.

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