Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Today we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christ, the Body and Blood of the Lord. What is this Holy Communion that we will soon process to the Altar to receive and which has been at the heart of my experience of God since I made my first communion fifty one years ago last month?
Well, we know, like every seven year old, that Holy Communion is the Body and Blood of Jesus. That we truly believe that the bread has been changed into Christ’s body and that the Wine has been changed into his Blood. That we who eat or drink receive the whole Christ and that he who eats and drinks of the Holy Eucharist will never really die.
But why do we call it Holy Communion? With whom do we commune? Who comes to dwell in us? As any one of the first communion candidates could tell you, it is Jesus who comes to live in us whenever we say Amen and receive the Body and Blood of the Lord.
This Holy Communion is with Jesus in heaven and on earth.
The heaven part is easy to figure out. The Mass is a participation in the heavenly banquet, a communion with the Church in heaven. As Pope John Paul II tells us in his encyclical letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia, “in celebrating the sacrifice of the Lamb, we are united to the heavenly ‘liturgy’ and become part of that great multitude which cries out: ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!’ (Rev 7:10) The Eucharist is truly a glimpse of heaven appearing on earth. It is a glorious ray of the heavenly Jerusalem which pierces the clouds of our history and lights up our journey (EE, no. 19).”
If we look all around us, we should be able to imagine what is really there, though unseen. Angels and Saints rejoicing at the first communion of these little ones. Grandmothers who have gone before us in faith, ancestors who intercede for us from the place of the blessed. This Church, like every celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, is crowded with our invisible friends.
We will get a glimpse of that in just a few minutes when I raise the consecrated Bread and Wine before you and declare: THIS IS THE LAMB OF GOD…HAPPY ARE THEY WHO ARE CALLED TO HIS SUPPER. Not just this supper, but the heavenly supper and the supper in the upper room…for in the Holy Eucharist all time and space disappear and we are made one with Christ upon the cross and Christ in glory and Christ as he comes to us on that altar.
Such a vision spurs as on to victory and gives us hope. It helps us to persevere every day with patient endurance.
This Holy Communion, then, is not just something that is realized in heaven, but something that begins here upon earth. The account of the Last Supper in Matthew, Mark, and Luke centers, of course, on the Lord’s gift of the Holy Eucharist. But in the Gospel of John, this Communion is described in the washing of the feet.
To be in communion with the Lord Jesus, then, is not just to eat his body, but to wash the feet of the members of his body, to serve him in the least, the littlest, and the most forgotten. If it is true that whatever we do to the least of them we do to him, then if we are in communion with him, we must be in holy communion with them as well. That’s why Saint Paul says that it is "unworthy" of a parish community to receive Holy Communion and at the same time to ignore the poor (cf. 1 Cor 11:17-22, 27-34, cf. EE, no. 34).
For if we are in communion with Jesus on this altar and in the poor man who lives out there on the street, we will also come to recognize him in our own hearts.
In Holy Communion I came to know Jesus, who was like me in every way but sin---Jesus who understands the pains of my heart, the sorrows that bring tears, and the worries that ache deep inside. In Holy Communion I come to know Jesus, who promises me eternal happiness with him at the heavenly banquet of the Lamb at the end of all time. In Holy Communion I come to know Jesus, who gives me the grace to love, to wash feet, to seek out lost sheep, to pray for those who hate me, to forgive those who and to love others as he loved me from the wood of the cross.
And that is the Holy Communion, with Jesus and with all those for whom he died, that this feast is all about.
Posted by Monsignor James P. Moroney at 8:29 PM
just click here. Also, in the column to the right, you will find some of the resources which I referenced in my talk. My prayers are with you in these blessed days!
Posted by Monsignor James P. Moroney at 8:19 PM
Monday, June 20, 2011
Priests Presentation 1
Priests Presentation 2
Priests Presentation 3
Posted by Monsignor James P. Moroney at 8:54 AM
Thursday, June 9, 2011
In order to download the slides from my presentation in the form of a Quicktime video, just click the following links:
Questions and Answers
Posted by Monsignor James P. Moroney at 9:51 PM
Monday, June 6, 2011
Priests Presentation 1 Saturday Presentation 1
Priests Presentation 2 Saturday Presentation 2
Priests Presentation 3 Saturday Presentation 3
Posted by Monsignor James P. Moroney at 7:51 PM