Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Eucharist is the Sacred Manna - What is it - for you?

Listen to my homily for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time:

If you have trouble listening, click here.

Like the Israelites in the desert, the angels beholding the Eucharist ask, "What is it?" or in Hebrew, Manna?  There are many who may know the truth of our faith of the Most Holy Eucharist, who have been catechized and know that the Eucharist is:

-The true Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true Man. 
-No longer bread and wine but the very substance of the bread and wine have been changed by which we call this change most appropriately transubstantiation. 
-Every crumb of the host or drop in the chalice contains the whole Christ, that is, his entire Body, Blood, Soul, Divinity, all his graces, merits, blessings, and life.
-The host and chalice have been changed completely and this change is permanent and therefore the sacred species that is left over must, in the case of the chalice, be consumed, or, in the case of the hosts, be kept in a worthy tabernacle in a prominent place for veneration by the faithful and for the needs of the sick and dying. 
-Because the Eucharist contains the very divinity of the God man it can and ought to be rightly adored and worshiped by the faithful as our living God made present on our altars. 
-A person must have the proper dispositions to receive the true Body and Blood of the Savior and therefore besides having a lively faith, authentic humility, and approach the mystery with a spirit of prayer, must not be in conscious mortal sin, for as the apostle says, "For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself." 1 Corinthians 11:29
 However, it is one thing to know the truths of our faith, and another to live them.  This is the real challenge.  Living our faith well comes especially in the hour of suffering.  It is here when we truly experience a transformation of our minds and hearts that the second reading for today spoke about.  Here we decide not only what the Eucharist is, but what it is personally.  We decide to truly worship God in spirit and truth, to offer in union with the Eucharistic Mystery, the very mystery of the Cross and Resurrection of Christ in our own crosses and pains.  For it is here we are permitted deeper to enter into the life of Christ that is truly present in the host and chalice.

May Our Lady, Mother of the Eucharist, the most zealous defender of the Eucharistic Mystery, obtain for us a deep and true conversion of heart that our faith may be real and that we may appropriate our sufferings to Christ's and that we may offer them in union with his, for the glory of his Name.

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