Fr. Tim’s Homily for Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ-C

June 23, 2019

Readings for Sunday click here

Genesis 14: 18-20

1 Corinthians 11: 23-26

Luke 9: 11b-17

 

Born of the Eucharist: A Spirituality for Priests

Edited by Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti

Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, Indiana

2009, 175 pages

         I have a book on my shelf entitled, Born of the Eucharist: A Spirituality for Priests, edited by Msgr. Stephen Rossetti and published by Ave Maria Press.

         I find it to be very much in tune with today’s feast: the Feast of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ, the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Eucharist. This book contains twenty-one reflections from priests and bishops on the relationship between the sacramental priesthood of Jesus Christ and His sacramental gift of Himself to us in the Eucharist.

         I thought today that I would allow two of the reflections in this book to speak directly to you.

         The first one is from Bishop Victor Galeone, who is the retired Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida. He entitles it, “A Journal Entry.” This is what Bishop Galeone writes:

The following is an entry from my journal in 1996 while I was the pastor of St. Agnes Church in Baltimore:

         Yesterday, after an emergency call at the nursing home, I was about to exit when I noticed a man in the hallway. He was sitting next to a woman in a wheelchair, tenderly holding her hands. Not a word was spoken. He just sat there, looking intently into her eyes. I walked over and engaged him in conversation:

         “Your wife, I take it?”

         “That’s right, of forty-seven years.”

         “Do you visit her often?”

         “Every single day. Haven’t missed a day in four years, except for that blizzard last year.”

         (During the exchange, his wife kept staring blankly into space.)

         “She’s not saying anything.”

         “That’s right. Hasn’t been able to for the last eighteen months – ever since her stroke. She has Alzheimer’s too.”

         “Alzheimer’s! Does she know who you are?”

         “Not really. But that doesn’t matter. I know who she is.”

         What an indictment against me, Lord Jesus! How often during my quiet time in your presence, I’ve kept one eye on the tabernacle and the other on my watch. Don’t I deserve the same reprimand that your chosen three disciples received in the garden, “Could you not watch one hour with me?” Where is the love that should be animating my heart just as it did that of Saint Edith Stein when she remarked: “He is truly here – and He is here for me! [pages 101-102].

Personally responding to our relationship with Jesus Christ requires our full attention. That is what St. Edith Stein meant with her last remark, “Jesus is truly here, and He is here for me!

I wonder why it is that people talk with each other in church before Mass begins. “Jesus is truly here, and He is here for me! He is here in the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle. Remembering this, shouldn’t I better use the time before Mass to talk with Him and listen to Him?

He knows who we are. Do we know who He is? We can come to know Him better by spending prayer time with Him regularly and attentively.

This Mass is not simply a dramatic re-presentation of the Last Supper. It is far more than that. Through the sacramental gift of Jesus’ priesthood, we continue to do right now what Jesus did at the Last Supper. “This is my Body. This is my Blood. Do this in memory of Me.”

         During Mass, bread and wine are changed. After the Consecration, they may still look the same, but they are no longer bread and wine. They are now Jesus: His Body and Blood, His Soul and Divinity.

         Right here – right here during this Mass.

         The second reflection comes from Father Brendan Daly, who is a priest from Auckland, New Zealand. It is a very short reflection, and I love his title too. It is called, “The Luckiest People on Earth.” Father Daly writes:

         A woman I know, brought up a Catholic, went to a Catholic boarding school and eventually gave up practicing her faith. She married and had three children who were not baptized. When the children were teenagers, she went to the Catholic funeral of a friend. She sat down in the back of the church. When it came time for Communion, she watched the people going up to receive the Eucharist. She thought to herself, “If those people receiving Communion are receiving the Son of God, they must be the luckiest people on earth.” Reflecting on this led her to come back to the practice of her Catholic faith [page 125].

“He is truly here – and He is here for me!

         We are truly receiving the Son of God, Jesus Christ, in Holy Communion. Believe this. Reflect on this. Live this mystery. For we truly are the luckiest people on earth.

 

 

Sunday, June 16, 2019 Bulletin and Readings

June 16, 2019

Readings for Sunday

No Homily this week

 

Fr. Tim’s Homily for June 9, 2019

Pentecost Sunday-C

June 9, 2019

Readings for Sunday

Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11

1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13

John 20:19-23 or John 14: 15-16, 23b-26

 

Today is the Feast of Pentecost and we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles – their Confirmation. It is also the birthday of the Church, and the close of the Easter season.   

Pentecost is a Greek word that means “the fiftieth day.” Fifty days ago today was Easter Sunday. And so now a little bit about Pentecost Sunday.

         The English language is a difficult one. It is very inconsistent. I wonder what it is like for someone who is learning to speak English.

We have words that are spelled alike but are pronounced differently and mean differently, like s-o-w: to sow the seed, or a sow – the mother of the three little piggies.

We have words that sound alike but are spelled differently and mean differently: t-o, t-o-o and t-w-o.

We have words that look very much alike but are pronounced very differently: through, though and tough.

Even in talking, you can speak a sentence using a very flat voice: “I didn’t say that about you.” But you can change the meaning of that sentence by the emphasis you use in your speaking voice:

         I didn’t say that about you.

         I didn’t say that about you.

         I didn’t say that about you.

         I didn’t say that about you.

English is a tricky language. And we need help sometimes in understanding it correctly.

         Communication is something that you and I work on all the time so that the message that is delivered is the same as the message that is received. Otherwise, misunderstanding occurs.

You remember the story of the Tower of Babel in the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament. It says that at that time all the people of the world spoke the same language. And they decided to build a large tower in their large city. However, they had forgotten about God and had become self-reliant.

And so God gave them a clear warning. Each of the groups in Babel developed its own language and the townspeople lost the ability to communicate with one another. And then the Tower of Babel project came to a screeching halt: they could no longer function as a unified team because they no longer spoke the same language.

And we have the expression in English today: “to babble” – to chatter on without being understood. It comes from that failed building project, the Tower of Babel.

         Pentecost is about the Holy Spirit enabling us to hear and understand the Word of God. The account from the Acts of the Apostles is in direct contrast to the Tower of Babel story.

There were devout Jews in Jerusalem who were speaking every language known to humanity, and not understanding each other. And then the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles in that upper room. They heard the sound of rushing wind and saw tongues of fire over their heads on that Pentecost Sunday.

Then the Apostles went out into the city of Jerusalem, preaching about Jesus risen from the dead. And each person heard the message in their own language. The many languages came to one understanding. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God’s message that was delivered was God’s message that was received.

Jesus kept His promise to send the Holy Spirit to guide us, His Church, in all truth and to be our Advocate.

You and I are so bombarded with countless messages in our world that run contrary to God’s message. We can grow deaf to the voice of the Lord as He speaks to us in the Scriptures and through His Church and in our prayer. We need the Holy Spirit’s help so that God’s message delivered is always God’s message received and lived by.

And we ask the Holy Spirit to enable us: “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. And enkindle in us the fire of your love. Amen.”