Sunday, June 27, 2021

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Talitha koum

Death is all around us. We all die.  No organism or creature in this world survives it. Many of us are realizing this more than ever with the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic.  So many people have died and continue to die.  As many regions reopen, a new and stronger Delta variant is spreading.  Death is always around the corner, so to speak.  But where did it come from? Today's readings speak of death and the One who has power over it.

In the first reading, we read that "God did not make death." He does not find pleasure in the "destruction of the living."  God made all things to have "being." They are to be complete. This all makes sense since God decided to create the universe (Genesis 1:1). Not only did He decide to take on this task, but He describes this work as 'good' (Genesis 1:31). So if God did not make death and never intended it, why is it here?  Well, the reading tells us why.  The "envy of the devil" is the cause (Hebrews 2:14). Satan envied humanity so much because we were made in God's image that He caused humanity to fall (Genesis 1:27, Genesis 3). Because of this fall, or Original Sin, we all die (Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 15:21, Romans 6:23). But God did not abandon us. He rescued us as we read in the Psalm for today.

"I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me" is the response today. God has always been there for us even though we are sinners. The enemies of man or Satan's legions will not rejoice over humanity because we belong to God.  God preserves us and does not want us to go "down into the pit" or hell.  The first reading tells us that God wants life, not death nor destruction. Many atheists and philosophers ask, "If God is good, why did He create hell and sends people there?" The question is based on a misunderstanding of hell and God's role. God did not create death nor hell.  Both are the consequences of the absence of life and God's grace. We send ourselves to hell. God does not "put us there."  We must live holy lives in order to avoid hell.  Today around the world, homosexuals are celebrating "pride." While parades have been canceled due to the pandemic, many celebrations will still be taking place. The homosexual celebration of pride is no smiling matter. While we should try to understand how these people suffered and the discrimination they have faced, we cannot celebrate the lifestyle.  Homosexual pride is nothing more than a manifestation of sexual sin and a celebration of it.  It mocks God and His plans for human procreation.  It mocks love and the institution of courting and marriage. No Catholic should celebrate pride or flash around six-color rainbow logos or flags. This is not an attack on homosexual people or phobia, but just a reminder that as Catholics we cannot celebrate sin.  Pride is also one of the seven capital sins.  The whole idea of celebrating homosexual sin as pride is demonic in nature. As St. Augustine wrote, "It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels."  We must not transform into servants of sin, but masters over it.  

In the second reading, St. Paul tells us that we must live as Christians. We must "excel in every respect, in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness, and in love."  This is how we convert the world (John 13:35). We must meet people where they are at as our Holy Father Pope Francis has constantly mentioned since the onset of his pontificate. Christ became poor in order to be relatable to us. He became one of us in all things except sin (Hebrews 2:17, Philippians 2:7). We must reach out to others and understand where they are at and what is causing them to sin before we can evangelize. This week has hit America hard with the legalization of so-called "same-sex marriage." However, as Christians, we must respond with truth and love, not judgment.

Finally, in the Gospel, we read of Jairus' daughter who was at the brink of death, and the woman who grabbed Jesus' garment. Jairus in desperation begs Jesus to save his daughter. While Jesus goes to Jairus' daughter there was a woman in the crowd suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years.  She spent all she had on doctors and they only made it worse.

This lady never met Jesus, but only knew of Him via the stories spreading around. Her faith was so strong that she believed that by simply touching His clothes that she would be healed.  She did exactly this and was healed.  Jesus notices that "power had gone out from Him" and He turns around and asks "who has touched my clothes?"  The disciples replied that the crowd is pressing on Him so how could they tell Him if it is obvious that everyone is touching HIs clothes.  As Jesus looked around to see who it was, the woman came forward in fear and trembling and told Him.  Jesus then tells her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”  Here we see the power of faith. In a sense, our faith in God brings out the power of God into our lives. Faith unites us to God. We must not be afraid to approach Jesus and "touch His garment," so to speak.

Furthermore, as Jesus was still speaking to the crowd, Jairus' daughter passed away.  People told Jairus the news and suggested He stop troubling the teacher (Jesus).  Jesus then responded to the official who was obviously distraught, "Do not be afraid; just have faith."  Jesus then entered the home and found the people weeping and wailing. He asks them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.”  The people mocked Him and thought He was crazy, but then he took the young girl's hand and said in Aramaic “Talitha koum" which means "Little girl, get up." This reading shows us that while God did not make death, He has power over it. Christ conquered death on the Cross and via His resurrection (Hebrews 2:14, 1 Corinthians 15:55).  Those who are part of Christ will conquer as well through Him (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Unfortunately, our time is running out. You do not need me to tell you that our world has gone bonkers. From the promotion of abortion, the celebration of gender confusion to now the legalization of so-called "same-sex marriage" in all 50 states. Satan is running out of time (Revelation 13:5). He is pulling all stops to deceive the world just as he did with Adam and Eve (Revelation 13:7). His envy and arrogance get the best of him.  We must resist him who is the father of lies (John 8:44). Like the woman with the hemorrhaging and Jairus, we must have faith in Christ.  We must trust Him even though the world is mocking us now.  God is allowing this travesty for the greater good (Proverbs 16:4, Genesis 50:20).  The mockery and persecution will increase, but we must respond with love and truth.  Our world is dying, morally speaking.  Only Christ can tell her “Talitha koum."  Let us live our faith in the world more strongly. Do not be discouraged at the distortion of the rainbow and this incessant promotion of sexual immorality and the mockery of marriage.  Keep up the good fight, have faith (1 Timothy 6:12).  May Jesus Christ be praised!

Readings: Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

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Sunday, June 20, 2021

12th Sunday of Ordinary time - God Sleeps

The Holy Father's second encyclical "Laudato Si" was just released six years ago which deals mainly with climate change. Today's readings also deal with climate, but not in an ecological sense.

In the first reading, we read of God addressing Job reminding him who is the boss, so to speak. The readings tell us that God is in control. Today's first reading skips a few verses where God asks Job if he were there when the foundation of the earth was laid and if he has an understanding of it all (Job 38:4-5).  He made the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1, Nehemiah 9:6, Isaiah 37:16, Isaiah 45:18, Psalms 8:3-8).  God was the one who set the limits in the universe (Jeremiah 31:35, Psalm 148:6). Therefore, He has full power over them (Romans 9:1).  This is a call to faith. We must trust God always (2 Samuel 22:3, Psalm 7:1). As we trust in God, we must give thanks for His love which never ends as we read in the responsorial Psalm.

The responsorial Psalm recalls how sailors traveling on the seas noticed the "works of the Lord."  He commands the storms and the waves (Job 5:10). Man in his timid spirit feels insignificant before storms. He cries out to God in panic.  God then calms the storm showing His kindness.  This Psalm is a foreshadowing of today's Gospel. It should remind us that we should give ourselves to God and trust in Him as we read in the second reading.

In the second reading, Paul reminds us that we have all died in Christ.  We no longer live for ourselves but for He who died for us on the Cross (Galatians 2:20).  Because of this, we must look at ourselves as a "new creation."  The old has passed away and now the new is coming into fruition. This is what true repentance is. When we are baptized and receive the other Sacraments, we must turn away from our old selves.  The Sacraments are not "graduation" ceremonies that we follow through with as if they were part of some coming of age social script.  Rather, the Sacraments are the means from which we become this new creation in Christ Jesus.  We trust in Him even when the storms of the world come as we read in the Gospel today.

The Gospel tells us that Jesus wanted to cross the other side of the Sea of Galilee. So.. just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a faithful God. Who fell asleep inside a boat as it went across the big pond.  The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed, the disciples starting panicking, fearing they would sink or get lost. They went to Jesus as He slept and woke him up asking Him if He cared that they are going to perish.  He got up and told the wind and the seas to calm and be still (New York translation: shut up and cut it out!). The storm with its wind and strong waves calmed down.  Then Jesus asks them, "do you not yet have faith?"  They were left there in awe wondering who this guy named Jesus was.

This reading can be used in so many ways to reflect upon. We see how the Gospel is connected to the first reading and Psalm in regards to stormy weather and God's power over His creation.  Then we see the importance of having faith in God.  Jesus asks the disciples, "do you not yet have faith?" He does this because they were panicking as the storm came in. They still did not understand who Jesus was and what He was about. We too, many times believe we understand God, but we do not. How many times do we pray and God does not answer?  We then begin to doubt or panic.

Many atheists use this as an argument that God does not exist; they say 'If God were real, why doesn't he respond to prayers?'  We often ask after a big tragedy, 'where was God?' Today's readings touch on this. God is "asleep" in a boat. He seems nonchalant about a storm surrounding the boat about to sink it.  The disciples are panicking and terrified.  This is because they did not have faith. They did not realize they had God in the midst, the creator of the universe!  This is why when we pray to God and nothing happens, we must continue to trust in God (Proverbs 3:5-6).  He may be "sleeping" in the boat waiting to be woken up by our prayers, repentance, and commitment to faith.  This "boat" is the Church traveling to the "other side."  On the way, it faces storms that try to sink it.  However, Jesus is there with the boat and protects it always even when the passengers on the boat may doubt.  This is especially true today during the pandemic of the covid-19 coronavirus which has affected us all in many ways.  God may seem gone or never having existed. This is not so. We are beings in the physical realm and must deal with the things of nature, viruses and sickness included.  Despite the hardships, we must trust God.  The world keeps getting worse and worse. We see on televisions mass shootings beginning again, global conflicts around the world, and the rise of crime in big cities like New York where not even kids are safe from gunshots.  It seems hopeless, but God is still here.  

Three years ago a young Dominican boy of only 15 years of age was attacked and stabbed to death by youths much other than him bearing machetes and knives.  He was left for dead all over mistaken identity.  His name is Lesandro Guzman-Feliz also affectionately called Junior by family and friends.  I had the honor of attending his wake and funeral Mass in 2018 and befriended the family. I recall seeing his body in the casket. He was a small young slim boy.  Seeing his body there made me both sad and angry.  How can this be?  This boy should be out there having fun, playing sports, Nintendo, Xbox, or Playstation.  He should be going to school and planning his life. He should be dating girls and learning how to be a man to them.  A casket in a funeral home should never be the place for a child.  Unfortunately, this was the case for young Junior.  If I felt this, imagine what his own parents felt, especially his mother.  Mothers are especially close to their boys.  His mother could have become an atheist. She could have gotten so angry that God let this happen.  However, she did not.  Leandra kept her faith. In fact, she credits her faith for not going mad or caving into despair and thoughts of revenge. It is not easy to lose a child.  As the cliche goes, children must bury their parents and not the other way around.  Leandra knows that God is sleeping, but not aloof.  God knows what is going on and everything happens for a reason which we may not understand now or may never understand until we meet Him face to face, so to speak.  Leandra knows that her son did not disappear into nothingness.  His immortal souls live on.  She knows that she will see him again at the resurrection of the dead.  We must be like this and live in full trust of God even when things seem hopeless.  Remember, God sleeps, yes, but He is not indifferent or aloof to you.  May Jesus Christ be praised!

Readings: Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

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Sunday, June 13, 2021

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time - God the Planter

 We are now back in the season of Ordinary Time. During this season, the Church focuses on the teachings of Christ and His everyday life. Today's readings reflect on the Kingdom of God using proverbial language and botany.

In the first reading, God describes how He uses the things that are low and raises them up to a prominent position.  He will "tear off a tender shoot, and plant it on a high and lofty mountain."  He will "bring low the high tree" and will "lift high the lowly tree." God is God, He can do this (Luke 1:37). I never get tired of stating that God always uses the impossible to do great things, often impossible. He chooses the weakest of men and women to humble the powerful (1 Corinthians 1:27).  From death on the cross, He brings life, redemption, and salvation (1 John 3:16, 1 Peter 2:24). Instead of using a majestic presence that will capture the minds of human beings to be with His Church, He chooses simple bread and wine (1 Corinthians 10:16, John 6:35, John 6:55). I can go on and on, but you get the point.

We human beings tend to think that success, power, money and the "big" things in life are what give us meaning, status and purpose.  This is not true. Think of how many celebrities and people in power possessing all kinds of material things end up empty inside. They resort to drug use, alcohol abuse, and even suicide. We saw this now with the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.  People lost their jobs and earnings.  The stress drove many to take their lives.  What happened??  They had it all, money, fame, girls or guys.  I will tell you what happened!  These people bought into the world's lie. The lie that echoed since Adam and Eve from the serpent telling them to take, eat and enjoy, that in doing so they will not die and will be like gods (Genesis 3:4-5).  Material things do not give us life.  Having the means to afford plastic cosmetic surgery, botox, and whatnot will not make us live forever.  We will not become like gods.  This is a lie from the father of lies (John 8:44).  To hell with that liar, literally! Only Christ gives life (John 14:6)!  We must be humble so that God can raise us up (1 Peter 5:6, James 4:10).  We must be poor so that we can be rich in God (Matthew 5:3). This is why the Pope is calling the Church to be the "Church of the poor."  The poor have nothing, yet they have a lot.  It is one of the biggest paradoxes and mysteries that outdoes any physics differential equation that attempts to describe dark matter or any other concept using derivatives. We must give thanks to God for all we have as the Psalm today states.

In the responsorial Psalm, we are reminded to give God thanks.  We must praise God's name and proclaim His kindness at dawn and throughout the day.  This is why the Church has the Liturgy of the Hours which every Catholic should pray. By living in God, being holy and humble, we will "flourish like the palm tree."  We then shall be "planted in the house of the Lord."  The house of the Lord is our true home (Philippians 3:20).  The second reading reminds us of this.

In the second reading, we read that "while we are at home in the body, we are away from the Lord." This does not mean that the body is evil or that we should desire death.  What this means is that we are meant for better things (Matthew 6:26, John 14:2). We are meant to have a body like that of the resurrected Jesus (Philippians 3:21, 1 Corinthians 15:53).  A body that does not get sick and cannot die.  A body that is pure and truly houses the Holy Spirit as His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19).  When we pass on to the Lord, we will be judged and will receive what we deserved based on our faith and works or lack thereof (Ephesians 6:8, Matthew 6:1).

The Gospel today tells of Christ comparing the kingdom of God to that of a mustard seed. He described this seed as the smallest on the earth.  Once it is planted, it grows becoming the largest tree. From it, the birds use it to nest and for shade. Jesus is using the imagery found in the first reading.

Atheists often bring up this Gospel passage in order to drum up charges against Christ claiming Him to be ignorant and disqualifying Him as God. You may ask, 'how so?' Well, they resort to the science of botany to make their claims.  Jesus says that the mustard seed is the smallest on earth and this is not so, scientifically speaking.  Did Jesus lie?  Did Jesus get His science wrong?  How can God - the Son of God - not know about His own creation?   Well, the response is simple.  Jesus was speaking proverbially.  Remember, He was making a comparison in regards to what the kingdom of God is like. In the region, there are several kinds of mustard seeds.  Among them are the Salvadora persica, Sinapis alba, the Sinapsis juncea, and the Brassica Nigra.  The Salvadora persica has small seeds which grow into a shrub.  Both the Sinapsis juncea and the Sinapis alba grow into small tree-like plants.

Therefore, the one that Jesus was referring to was the Brassica nigra. This seed is small and black, yet grows into a bushy tree over 10-15 feet tall.  Moreover, the crown of the Brassica Nigra tree or the bushy top part where the branches and leaves are is structured in a way that provides shade or a shadow which is how the first reading and the Gospel describe how birds or winged creatures will enjoy it. Jesus was not scientifically illiterate.  He used proverbial language with the available botanical elements in the area in order for the people to understand.

Let us be humble, plant our lives in God and allow Him to cultivate our lives so that we can grow into a "Brassica Nigra" and show the world what real "success is."  It is not in money, fame, or power, but in Christ Jesus.  May Jesus be praised!

Readings: Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

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Sunday, June 6, 2021

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ - Corpus Christi: Christ is Truly Present!

Today is the Solemnity of Corpus Christi or the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Why is so much attention given to the Body and Blood of Christ?  Well, basically because Our Lord suffered and died for us.  He gave His Body and shed his blood so all can have the doors of Salvation opened to them.

Moreover, Christ emphasized the importance of His Salvific work on the Cross by leaving us the Holy Eucharist.  During the Last Supper, Our Lord took bread and wine, blessed it, and distributed it among the Apostles saying that they were His Body and Blood.  He instructed them to do this in His memory.  (Luke 22:7-20)  In other words, this meal was not a one-time thing.  It had to continue.

Was Jesus Crazy?
Was Jesus joking around when He said that bread and wine were His Body and Blood?  The answer is no.  In John 6:22-69 Jesus gave a long talk about the "Bread of Life."  He goes on to say that the bread Moses gave wasn't the "True Bread." The people asked Him for this "Bread of Life" and He then makes the radical statement that HE is the "Bread of Life" and the "True Bread from Heaven."  The people began to murmur among themselves because they knew Jesus was the son of Joseph, and not to mention that His words were a bit strange and in today's postmodern world would be interpreted as psychotic and delusional.

However, it gets "stranger," so to speak.  Jesus continues saying that one has to "eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life."  This is when the people really had enough.  Many walked out on Him thinking He was a lunatic or delusional.  Jesus then turns to His disciples and asks them if they will leave as well.  Peter replies saying that they can't go anywhere else because Jesus had the words of eternal life.  Peter is always the first to speak up or to lead, this shows why the Pope is the first bishop among all bishops of the world.

Real or Symbol?
Moreover, something interesting happens here in regards to how serious Jesus was about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Many of our separated brothers and sister in the Protestant faith believe the Holy Eucharist is a symbol and not literally Christ's Body Blood Soul and Divinity.  Let's think about this for a moment: When people started abandoning Jesus for saying that one has to eat His flesh and drink His blood, Jesus didn't run in front of them and say "hey, wait a minute, I was joking." Instead, Jesus let them go.  This shows that He was very serious about His flesh and blood being actual things or foods that someone has to consume.  In 1 Cor 10:16  St. Paul reminds the people that the bread and wine are the Lord's Body and Blood.  He never calls them a symbolic representation of them.

Why bread and wine?
In Genesis 14:18 we read about Melchizedek - priest of God and king of Salem- giving Abram bread and wine.  He then blesses Abram.  Jesus uses bread and wine to make the connection to the Old covenant and to show that He is the True Priest who offers the True Sacrifice - Himself.

Bread is a food that is delicious.  It has a lot of carbohydrates which in turn gives a lot of energy to the body when burned as calories.  It is a food that is easy to make, but does a lot to appease hunger and give nutrients.  Then there is wine.  It is used to party with and used as medicine as well as a disinfectant agent for wounds.

Jesus as Bread and Wine does exactly that to our souls.  He appeases the hunger for God and nourishes the soul.  He brings our souls to jubilation by uniting with it when one receives Holy Communion.  He heals the soul from the harm sin has caused.

One may ask:  at Mass, the Bread and Wine still look, taste, smell, feel like Bread and Wine, so how can it be the Body and Blood of Christ?  Well, God knows us well.  God designed the human body and mind.  He knows that human beings would cringe at the sight of eating raw meat and drinking blood.  How many times have we ourselves have gotten disgusted at looking at our own wounds?  It is not easy seeing blood and flesh in a traumatic form.

A few years ago, there was a big story about the "Zombie" in Miami which involved a man high on "bath salt" drugs who attacked a homeless man and literally ate his face.  People were disgusted at the news and the reality of how a human can even succumb to this evil cannibalistic act.  That being said, God would not give us tangible and biologically tactile flesh and blood to eat and drink in the sense we are used to.  Rather, He would use matter that we are all familiar with and that we enjoy: food and drink.

At consecration, the Bread and Wine do not turn into a piece of meat and human blood with DNA, platelets, red/white cells, etc - unless a Eucharistic Miracle has taken place which sometimes does occur.  The outside of the accidents of the bread and wine remain the same, but what it is, or the essence changes.  Think of it this way:  We see leaves on trees.  During spring and summer, they are green.  However, during fall they begin to change colors.  They turn red, orange, yellow, and brown.  Now let's think:  which one is the REAL leaf?  At one point it was green, then red, then orange, then yellow, and then brown.  The leaf changed colors, so is it the same leaf when it was green?  The answer is yes.  The outside or accidents of the leaf changed, but the essence of what it is remains the same.  The same with the Bread and Wine at Mass but in the opposite manner.  The outside remains the same (bread/wine) but the inside or what it is changed and becomes the Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Similarly, we ourselves go through many changes.  Our bodies grow and change as we age; however, our temperament remains the same.

In today's first reading, we read of the primitive sacrifices offered to God by way of young bulls and other offerings. Animal sacrifices were common among pagan religions which the people of the Old Covenant often found themselves being influenced by. The use of animal sacrifices and the sprinkling of their blood was a sign of forgiveness and a foreshadowing of the true sacrifice in the person of Christ, the Lamb of God (Leviticus 4:35, 5:10; Hebrews 9:22, Leviticus 16:15, John 1:29). Animal sacrifices by themselves were just symbolic and had no power.  Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI writes,
"The blood of animals could neither 'atone' for sin nor bring God and men together.  It could only be a sign of hope, anticipating a greater obedience that would be truly redemptive." (Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, p. 133)
The true sacrifice is Jesus who died on the cross and had His blood shed for all of us as expiation for our sins (1 Timothy 2:6). Jesus' sacrifice on the cross was done once and is efficient for all to be redeemed (Hebrews 7:27). Many of our Protestant friends believe Catholic priests "re-sacrifice" Christ over and over, this is not true. The Sacrifice at Mass is a remembrance or reenactment if you will, of the salvific events of the Passion of Christ (CCC, 1366-67). In the Mass, we receive the Holy Eucharist and participate in the "cup of Salvation" which we read in today's Psalm.

In today's responsorial Psalm we say, "I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord."  This Psalm is a foreshadowing of the "cup" that would hold the wine during the Last Supper and which Christ would bless and declare it to be His blood (Matthew 26:27). The Psalm connects to Christ who is the one whose death is "precious in the eyes of the Lord. (1 Peter 3:18, 1 John 3:16, John 10:17-18." The Psalm says, "I am your servant, the son of your handmaid," does this sound familiar? Jesus is described as the servant of God in Acts 3:26 reflecting His humanity and His mother calls herself the "handmaid of the Lord" in Luke 1:38.  Here we see a clear link to Jesus and Mary.

Today's second reading reminds us that Jesus is the true High Priest who was the sacrifice.  No longer do we have to use animal blood and sacrifices for atonement.  Christ did it already using His own body and blood on the Cross.  Before, it was demanded that Jewish priests offer animal sacrifices for the Feast of Atonement or "Yom ha-Kippurim."  This is now obsolete. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI writes,
"In order to understand this, we must first consider the ritual of the Feast of Atonement that is described in Leviticus 16 and 23:26-32.  On this day, the high priest is required, through the appropriate sacrifice (two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering, a young animal: cf. 16:5-6.), to make atonement, first for himself, then for "his house," in other words, for the priestly clan of Israel in general, and finally for the whole community of Israel (cf. 16:17)." (Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, p. 77)
The second reading reminds us of this and makes the emphasis that Christ's blood is worth more and is perfectly efficacious in redemption (Ephesians 1:7, 1 Peter 1:18-19).  It is through the Blood of the Lamb who is Christ that we conquer sin, evil, and ourselves (Revelation 12:11).

Finally, in the Gospel, we read of the Last Supper where Jesus "took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said,'Take it; this is my body.' Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, 'This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.'" Here we have the first Mass. Christ gives us His body and blood, soul and divinity under the species of bread and wine (CCC 1406).  The blood of Christ is shed for all of us as expiation.  Pope Emeritus writes of this:            

"The Greek word that is here translated as 'expiation' is hilasterion, of which the Hebrew equivalent is kapporet.  This word designated the covering of the Ark of the Covenant.  This is the place over which YHWH appears in a cloud, the place of the mysterious presence of God.  This holy place is sprinkled with the blood of the bull killed as a sin-offering on the Day of Atonement --the Yom ha
Kippurim. The thinking here is that the blood of the victim, into which all human sins are absorbed, actually touches the Divinity and is thereby cleansed -- and in the process, human beings, represented by the blood, are also purified through this contact with God.." (Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, p. 39) 

Corpus Christi is a day to reflect on this and thank Our Lord for remaining with us in the hidden form under the appearance of Bread and Wine.  Unfortunately, this central point of our faith is not accepted by many in the United States of America.  According to a Pew Research survey, only 1 out of 3 Catholics accepts that Jesus is truly present in the Holy Eucharist (One-third of U.S. Catholics believe in transubstantiation | Pew Research Center).  This is horrific and shows that the Church has a lot of work to do.  To deny this dogma is just evil and comes from satan who rejects Christ.   I am afraid things might get worst after many bishops shut Catholics out of Mass, churches, and the Sacraments last year during the pandemic of Covid-19 coronavirus.  Some are still shutting out their people in other parts of the world.  This is just a travesty.  What message does this send to Catholics and non-Catholics?  If the Mass, Eucharist, and Sacraments cannot be used during a pandemic, then are they really efficacious or even necessary?  Those bishops who meant well did not pay close attention to the optics.  The message many received was that the Mass is not necessary, the Sacraments are not necessary and the Holy Eucharist is just a trinket we receive and not the true body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.  They sent the message that Holy Eucharist is just another conduit for diseases, which it is not. There is absolutely no evidence, scientific or non-scientific that Holy Communion in any species via the reception of any form spreads disease.  It makes me wonder if our bishops really believe themselves in the True Presence.  Archbishop Chaput is one of the few brave prelates who condemned bishops for paying too much attention to the authorities and not being leaders.  St. Pope Piux X even warned about this, see here below:

Many dioceses and parishes have processions on this day. They process through the parish area with the Blessed Sacrament in a Monstrance or Ciborium.  Sometimes due to weather, it is done inside the church or a hall owned by the parish. This is an awesome event and I wish every parish and diocese did this.

I also urge you to visit our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and spent time with Him.  Many parishes have Eucharistic adoration for a period of time, sometimes perpetually.

There is nothing like getting lost in the presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.  Go visit our Lord, share your life, your activities, your stresses, your desires, etc.  He is there waiting for you.  May Jesus present in the Holy Eucharist be praised forever!

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