Two Eucharistic Saints

(Homily for Holy Thursday (bilingual))

Message: This year we have two saints whose lives focused on the Eucharist.

I will give this homily in English, but begin with a summary in Spanish: Voy a dar la homilia en ingles, pero comienzo con un resumen en espanol: Hay algo muy especial este jueves santo. Por una linda casualidad es el decimo aniversario del fallecimiento de San Juan Pablo II y la fiesta de San Pedro Calungsod - un joven de 17 anyos que dio su vida por Cristo en este dia (2 de abril de 1672). Los dos enfocaron sus vidas en Jesus realmente presente en la Eucaristia.

This year Holy Thursday falls on the tenth anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II - now St. John Paul. He has a special significance for our parish as we prepare to send a delegation to Poland for World Youth Day. We will visit Wadowice where St. John Paul was born, baptized and went to school. Many of his boyhood friends were Jewish children who later perished in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The main World Youth Day activities will take place in Krakow where he served 12 years as a priest and 20 as a bishop.

As pope, St. John Paul II beatified and canonized a number of young people - martyrs from Mexico, Spain, Poland and other countries. Today is the feast of a boy martyr from the Philippines - St. Pedro Calungsod. He died at the age of 17 attempting to defend a priest named Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores - a missionary on the island of Guam. Here is what Pope John Paul said when he beatified him:

"Young people today can draw encouragement and strength from the example of Pedro Calungsod, whose love of Jesus inspired him to devote his teenage years to teaching the faith as a lay catechist. Leaving family and friends behind, Pedro willingly accepted the challenge put to him by Fr. Diego de San Vitores to join him on the Mission to the Chamorros. In a spirit of faith, marked by strong Eucharistic and Marian devotion, Pedro undertook the demanding work asked of him and bravely faced the many obstacles and difficulties he met. In the face of imminent danger, Pedro would not forsake Fr. Diego, but as a "good soldier of Christ" preferred to die at the missionary's side."

The pope mentions St. Pedro's strong Eucharistic devotion. That's what we are about tonight. We celebrate the Last Supper when Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it and gave it, saying, "This is my Body." At the end of Mass, I carry the Body of Jesus in procession and invite you to spend time in Eucharistic Adoration.

The Church sees the Triduum - Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter - as one continuous celebration. For that reason we have no blessing and dismissal at the end of this Mass or on Good Friday. What we begin tonight continues through tomorrow right up to the Easter Vigil.

This year we have two saints whose lives focused on the Eucharist: one who lived 84 years and who many consider the greatest man of the twentieth century. The other lived only 17 years, but he shed his blood for Jesus. He did so on this day, April 2 in the year 1672. As I invoke these two saints, I invite you to respond, "Pray for us."

Let's do it first in Spanish with the response, "Ruega por nosotros." San Juan Pablo, (pausa) Ruega por nosotros! San Pedro Calungsod, (pausa) Ruega por nosotros!

And now in English with the response, "Pray for us"

St. John Paul, (pause, wait for response) Pray for us! St. Pedro Calungsod, (pause, wait for response) Pray for us! Amen.

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Homilies for Triduum 2015:

Holy Thursday
Good Friday
Easter Sunday

From Archives (Holy Thursday Homilies):

2016: Martyrs of Mercy - Sacrament of Mercy (bilingual)
2015: Two Eucharistic Saints (bilingual)
2014: Discern the Body (bilingual)
2013: Peter's Lesson of Humility (bilingual)
2012: Blood Shed For Us (bilingual)
2011: The Love of Loves (bilingual)
2010: Foot Washing & Celibacy
2009: Join the Nearest Household
2008: Grandma, Can I Wash Your Feet?
2007: The Passover Lamb Must Be Eaten
2006: A New Friend at the Banquet
2005: Our True Companion
2004: A Girl's Heroic Holy Hour
2003: Do This!
2002: Humiliation of Priesthood
2001: Super-Abundance of Mercy
2000: Washing of Feet & Eucharist
1999: Family Struggles & Strengths

Homilias en Castellano Para Jueves Santo:

2010: Lavatorio de Pies y el Celibato
2009: Que Se Junte Con Los Vecinos
2008: Abuelita, Puedo Lavarte Los Pies?
2007: Hay Que Comer el Cordero Pascual
2006: Un Nuevo Amigo al Banquete
2005: Nuestro Verdadero Companero
2004: La Hora Santa Heroica de una Nina
2003: Hagan Esto!
2002: Super-Abundancia de Misericordia

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)

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