Emmitsburg Council of Churches

The Most Holy
Body And Blood of Christ

Father John J. Lombardi 

"At the Cannon (Eucharistic prayer) wherein the mystic immolation of the victim is to be renewed, the Church summons us to join with the Angels and Saints, but chiefly the Incarnate Word (Jesus Christ) in thanking God Almighty, in proclaiming His Holiness…" +Tanquerrey

"I am the living bread come down from Heaven."+ Jn.6:51

"He Who eats my flesh and drinks my blood will abide in me and I in him." +Jn 6:56

Following are Reflections on the Most Holy Eucharist; many are from: The Catechism of the Catholic Church, (w/ paragraphs cited) and Tanquerrey: The Spiritual Life…Enjoy and meditate upon…

The Sacrament of the Eucharist: "At the Last Supper, on the night He was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of His Body and Blood. This He did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us."' (#1323)

"Priest and people are thus united most intimately to Jesus, to His inmost soul and through Him to the very Godhead, to the Most Blessed Trinity." (Tanquerrey: p, 142)…Are you really striving for this SACRAMENT of LOVE-to receive frequently and purely, or are you taking It, Him, for granted? Renew your pledge and fervor!

  • "EUCHARISTISED"?: "The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Passover, the making present and the sacramental offering of His unique sacrifice, in the liturgy of the Church which is His Body. (#1362)…COMMENT: St Justin Martyr said: "We receive this not as ordinary bread and ordinary drink; buy as our redeemer, Jesus Christ, was incarnated by the Word of God, and assumed flesh and blood for our sake of our salvation, so as we have been taught, the food over which thanksgiving has been made (or which has been eucharistised) by the prayer of the Word which came from Him by which our blood an flesh are nourished by transmutation…"

When you watch a film you "catch" some of the original story, characters and sense presented-none of these are real, though, they are celluloid and two-dimensional However, in the Eucharistic narrative, because God Himself is involved, and He wants us to receive the "Real Thing," not only is some of the past "caught" but it is re-presented and made present, because of the action of the Holy Spirit. True, the form of the Sacrifice is different, but the essence is the same-because He said, "Whenever you do this, do it in memory of Me". If you don't like the music, carpeting or homily at Mass then remember-Do it, in memory of Him, Jesus, and not your own enjoyment. He made a sacrifice, and so do the same!

  • DON'T SACRIFICE THE SACRIFICE!: "The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit." (#1366). COMMENT: Some people tend, today, to be embarrassed, misunderstanding or wholly ignorant that the Eucharist, is, most importantly, for the forgiveness of sins: Jesus didn't die on the Cross or give us this blessed Gift because we are "good people" or to include us at a "happy meal." The essence of the Eucharist is sacrifice. Period!
  • REAL PRESENCE: "The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different." "And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner…this sacrifice is truly propitiatory." (#1367). COMMENT: Within the Mass, spiritually stretched by God's infinite graces, we are "tapping" into the original, historical event of Christ's death at Calvary and the Last Supper-not subject to normal time and space limitations.
  • GOD and MAN as ONE: "The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend." In the most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained." "This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present." (1374). COMMENT:" Now, the more we empty ourselves of self, the more ready we make the soul to let it be inhabited and possessed by God." +Tanquerrey: p.148)
  • "PRIESTS as CHRIST": "It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ's body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion. Thus St. John Chrysostom declares: It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ Himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God's. This is my Body, He says. This word transforms the things offered…And St. Ambrose says about this conversion: Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed… Could not Christ's word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature. (#1375).
  • "THE EUCHARIST COMMITTS US TO THE POOR: To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest, his brethren: You have tasted the Blood of the Lord, yet you do not recognize your brother…. You dishonor this table when you do not judge worthy of sharing your food someone judged worthy to take part in this meal…. God freed you from all your sings and invited you here, but you have not become more merciful. (#1397) St Vincent DePaul once noted, upon leaving Eucharistic chapel and adoration for a poor person: "I'm leaving Jesus for Jesus." Are you being fed with the Bread of Life and failing to feed others?

Chastity and Confession:

Chastity is no, Wojtyla (Pope John Paul) notes, asexuality: The chaste person is not one of devoid of eyes and hormones. The chaste person does not deny sex or the values associated with it. Chastity is not, Wojtyla says, primarily a 'No.' Indeed chastity is not a negative in any way; it is a positive virtue that 'consists in the quickness to affirm the value of the person in every situation, and to raise to the personal level all reactions to the value of the body and sex.' Chastity does not deny that a person can be sexually attractive; it insists, however, that the other is a person-never a sex object. When a relationship is infected by something other than love-like lust, for example-the picture changes. One instinctively wants to limit one's vulnerability n order to protect one's self…In the area of sex; modesty does not mean 'I'm afraid of sex.' It means 'I am afraid of being used if your motives are less than love.'" +John Grondelski, in The National Catholic Register, May 12….


This Summer: How will you dress modestly, treats others with love and not act unchastely-How will you say "No" to harmful things and relationships and "Yes" to God and his will for loving, holy relationships?

Confession Crisis?:

Recently the Pope signed a decree to commend pastors, priests and bishops to give regular, spiritual confession to penitents without general absolution. This means oral, penitents have a right, barring grave necessity, to individual, oral confessions and sacramental absolution. In the last few decades many promoted abuse of this by disallowing confessions thru a general style "confession" of all people at once, followed with a general supposed absolution. This abuse (full disclosure; I've been there, done that) confused people and disallowed the people of God to the proper, spiritual discipline of penance and healthy amendment of life. Fortunately the Holy Father is calling us to a biblical and sacred spiritual discipline-and Sacrament; unfortunately, a lot of people have been hurt and lost…

Make a frequent turn to Christ through a monthly Confession-remember, It's the Sacrament of Reconciliation-sinners made one again with God!

Read other reflections by Father John J. Lombardi