Emmitsburg Council of Churches

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus

Father John J. Lombardi

Jesus Christ – the God-Man Gives us Himself – not just a book Or thought or sentiment, He bestows His essence, Godhood and Manhood into us. This is a blessed event! O this Corpus

Christi Sunday we receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity within us – we become divinized, refreshed, healed and forgiven.

Of al the prayers and events of the Holy Catholic Church this is the Sacred Pinnacle – Mass, Holy Communion, and we should all gather each Sunday to worship Him and fellowship with one another. It is a serious sin to miss Mass unless for sickness or reasonable explanation. We should also be "disposed" to receiving Him – in good shape and have no serious sin within us, because we receive the Lord Himself. So dump out your sins in confession (see I Cor. 10:17-23 ). Receive Holy Communion often; pray the Mass –

don’t just "go" – but intimately/intensely experience Jesus Christ’s Prayer. "He who eats My Flesh and Drinks My Blood will abide in Me and in Him" (Jn 6:56). Make a holy hour or "church visit" – to our Church (which we hope to have open more in the day time) and sit or kneel before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. After all, He says: "I will never leave you orphan". Now, meditate upon The Eucharistic Discourse of St. Jn. ch.6.

What are some other meanings of the Lord in Mass and Communion?.

Sacrifice: This means,a costly offering to God for reconciliation. Jesus is the most costly sacrifice we can make to God and He taught us to "Do This in Memory of Me", thus establishing the Mass and Sacred Priesthood (giving this Command to the Apostles). The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches in paragraph # 1366 that the Mass is a re-presentation of Jesus’ Original Offering; an application of It’s fruits--we can send the Mass’s effects (esp. the Precious Blood) to anyone, anytime and change the universe ; and it is a Memorial­a mystical-Way to remember Jesus costly Love for us in a concrete, liturgical way.

Summit of Spiritual Lives: My friend Paul once asked, inspiring me: "If we Catholics don’t have the Eucharist what do we have? " The Mass and Eucharist is our most treasured jewel because it is God Himself think of the saints who risked their lives to receive Jesus in Holy Communion and attend Mass. One of my main goals here at Hancock and Little Orleans is to continue to increase not only the fervent Mass attendance but also the beauty of the Mass and Sacred Liturgy you already have­sp let’s help together! This is THE most important thing we do!

Mother Teresa, after surviving a death-threatening sickness in New Delhi, miraculously returned to Calcutta. First thing she requested? A sister of Mother Teresa’s called a visiting priest and said: "Mother is home and wants to have Mass and receive Holy Communion­can you come?!"

Service and Mass: Like Mother Teresa always said we are called to see Jesus not only in Sacred Host, the Bread of Angels, but also in His poor, in "His distressing disguises" .This past week at St Peter’s we had a special visitor. Stephan and his son Tony came during morning Mass. Tony cannot walk or eat or talk because of a decade-old disease and is in a wheel chair most of the time. They are both Catholics and heard of our Church and Mass and wanted the Lord­and so they came to our morning Mass. Stephan takes care of Tony 24/7, feeding clothing and loving him as a dignified person. They are a down to earth couple of guys seeking and also manifesting God to others thru this extreme sickness and love in action. They "just appeared" and asked for some help and then disappeared, but only after they brought out love from us–Love is a down to earth thing­just like Jesus is in the Eucharist. I was so impressed how the lay faithful at Mass responded: one person asked if I could cancel some business operations to accompany this couple to breakfast; another parishioner remarked on the father’s love for his son (sound familiar­the Father and Son?); and another Catholic diligently followed Tony and Stephan around until they departed, making sure their needs were taken care of. Upshot: The Mass leads us to the masses.

St Vincent DePaul was interrupted during a holy hour once, as a beggar wanted to see him, so the saint went out to him, saying to an attendant : "I’m going from Jesus to Jesus". Read Mt 25: 34-37…When I was India this past January we dozen pilgrims went to daily Mass at Mother Teresa’s Convent and then had chai­tea and biscuits. Then and there we met lots of (mostly younger) folks from all over the world and shared in religious revelry and stories of our homelands, as well as "surviving" India’s challenges! It was like a big, daily party­right after Mass! Then we would all sing a barnstorming-yet-spiritual song about serving Jesus and then headed out on the Calcutta streets and go to serve a hundred poor, disabled adults at Mother Teresa’s at Prem Dan across town. Our Pilgrims really "got into the groove" and loved this service­cleaning clothes of the sick and disabled adults, washing sick persons, visiting with and feeding them, and according to our pilgrims this was the funnest part of the pilgrimage and they missed it when we did other things. The Mass for these pilgrims led them to become a messenger of Jesus

Singing and Eucharist: I was informed last week that there was no cantor assigned at the Masses on Sunday at St Peter’s. Hmmm­I was wondering how "that would work"­how would people sing? Well, I sure was surprised­and delighted!--at how many sang all the parts of the Mass and participated in the Divine Liturgy­yet another reason I am thankful to be here! Vatican Council II called us all to full, active participation in the Liturgy and so keep up the Good Work!

Supernatural: I once learned from a second grade class I was visiting, preparing for Holy Communion, that we shouldn’t dumb down discipleship but, rather, teach everyone the highest Truths. They knew how to spell the word, and define, Transubstantiation means for one substance to change into another. They also loved and knew Jesus in the Mass

Sacredness: Reverent but not rigid- you can do both. Be welcoming to visitors here at our parishes and also be worshipful. We are, obviously, both a welcoming and worshipping community. One visitor-friend said how marvelous the people here are and another visiting friend was astounded by the sacred worship, and another by the outreach to visitors­keep up the good holy work! The Mass is the most holy thing we do­so, may this come from your inner being, your soul, your heart and keep attracting others.

Habit: make Mass a holy habit in your life. One of the "main jobs" of the Holy Sprit is to divinize us and help us replicate the Life of Jesus –to "re-live" His Life, Passion, Death and resurrection. The Way to imprint this the best within us is thru the Mass which is the sacred, mystical, awe-inspiring encounter and re-presentation of Jesus last Supper, the Cross of Calvary and His Blissful Resurrection experiences. So Keep coming back and letting Jesus live within you! Jesus: I trust in You! Cling to the King!

Read other reflections by Father John J. Lombardi