Message: As we begin this new series - Through Him - we have a marvelous foundation to build on: Your faith in Jesus' true presence in the Eucharist.
Last Sunday we concluded a nine-week homily series on becoming disciples and disciple makers. The purpose of our existence is to become disciples of Jesus - and to make disciples. Remember Jesus' great commission: "Make disciples of all nations."
Today I begin a new series titled, "Through Him." We come to the Father through his Son Jesus in the Holy Spirit. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are Three Persons in One God: the Trinity, our ultimate goal. The Trinity is not static, but dynamic. The Greeks use a word meaning "dance" - a rhythmic movement. Other words are: conception, begetting and procession. All indicate action.
Something similar applies to today's Feast - Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Jesus. The Eucharist is not static, but dynamic. When I hold up the Eucharist at the moment of Consecration, you and I spend a moment in adoration. At that moment I know that you and I are on the same page. The Disciple Makers Index survey showed that 82% of you "strongly agree" that the "Eucharist really is the body and blood of Jesus." For that reason we worship Jesus in the Mass and we come to the Adoration Chapel to spend time with him, truly present.
When we worship Jesus in the Eucharist, it is important that we ask for faith to see below the surface. Let me make a comparison: When I was a young priest, I took up scuba diving. Since I had grown up on Camano Island, I was familiar with the water - at least on the surface. But when I started scuba diving, it opened up a strange and fascinating world. Besides enjoying the every changing sights, I even occasionally picked up a crab or speared an edible fish. Below the surface was a hidden world that I could explore every day and always find something new.
The Eucharist - the Body and Blood of Jesus - likewise offers a dynamic reality below the appearance of bread and wine. We see some of that dynamism in today's readings.
Moses - in the first reading - brings an offering to God. He opens the arteries of young bulls, captures some of the blood, splashes half of it on the altar and the other half he sprinkles over the people. When we get to the month of August, I hope to say more about the significance of blood for the Jewish people. Today please note Moses words, "this is the blood of the covenant." It binds the people to God.
The Letter to the Hebrews also speaks about the blood of the covenant. If the blood of goats and bulls can sanctify, how much more the blood of Jesus? The blood is Jesus' life poured out for us. Through him we go to the Father.
Jesus' outpouring of blood took place in the context of Unleavened Bread (Passover), as we see in the Gospel. You have probably noticed that the Jewish people celebrate the Passover at about the same time we celebrate Holy Week. Unless we know something about the Passover, we cannot understand the deep significance of Jesus' saving death. In August when learn about the Old Testament meaning of "blood" we will also learn more about the Passover.
So what am I saying today? As we begin this new series - Through Him - we have a marvelous foundation to build on: Your faith in Jesus' true presence in the Eucharist. As I mentioned, over four fifths of you strongly agree that the "Eucharist really is the body and blood of Jesus." Like the mystery of the Trinity, that presence contains a dynamism. We see some of that dynamism in the mystery of blood - the blood of the covenant which opens a relationship with God. I invite you to join me in exploring below the surface. As we prayed in the Collect:
"Grant us, we pray, so to receive the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption." Amen.
*Here is my plan for the summer months:
From Archives (Corpus Christi):
Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
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Fr. Brad's Homilies
Fr. Jim's Homilies
Fr. Michael White's Homilies ("messages")
Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru