- Sunday, 06 May 2012 05:48
Saint John’s gospel uses the agricultural image of vine and a vine dresser to express a relationship that is unique. Quite singular when you think that neither the Jews nor the Muslims would admit in terms of intimacy between the Creator and creature, Father and Son, God and me. So, why is Christ called the ‘true vine‘ and why are we his ‘branches’? The short answer is because it is our Christian belief, our Christology, that God is waiting for humanity to bear fruit, sin notwithstanding. The Incarnation, and the proclamation of the Good News tells us of the wine of love, obedience and prayer with the goal of uniting God and humanity in a truer way.
That we are expected to “bear much fruit”
and to rely on the Lord for all things there is a hope that we
remain in Him and that His “words remain in you“. There is a dependence on God in a radical manner that is unheard of in most of relationships. To remain, to abide, to stay close to Jesus is the key of the spiritual life. Not to remain in Christ is reject the offer of Grace. The question of what it means to remain in Christ is given by the second reading: keep the commandments, of both Testaments of sacred Scripture and the teaching of the Church. Concretely, we are nourished by Christ Himself in the sacraments of the Church, notably in the Holy Eucharist.
- Saturday, 14 April 2012 07:32
Eucharist means the Risen Lord is constantly present, Christ who continues to
give Himself to us, calling us to participate in the Banquet of His Body and
Blood. From the full communion with Him comes every other element of the life
of the Church, in the first place the communion among the Faithful, the
commitment to proclaim and give witness to the Gospel, the ardor of charity
towards all, especially toward the poor and the smallest.
Pope Benedict XVI
The Pope hits on something significant in the life of the Christian: keeping in front of oneself that God has not abandoned humanity AND that He thirsts for us, He desires to be in relationship with us. In our daily living the baptized seek the face of God (as it is spoken of in the Scriptures) and to recognize Christ in the faces of the people around us and in creation.
This week we’ve heard some beautiful readings of the resurrected Lord thus giving perspective on His previous preaching about the Cross. The resurrection makes things clearer, hopeful. The resurrected Christ laughs in the face of death. Now, He is present to us not merely in one location but now in all places and constantly through the Eucharist. The Incarnation is now a recognizable Divine Fact that walking and talking could not manage. By action of the Holy Spirit Christ is present to all who call on his Name. And we ought to give witness to this fact.
- Tuesday, 02 August 2011 17:44
Gracious God of our ancestors, You led Peter Julian Eymard, like Jacob in times past, on a journey of faith. Under the guidance of Your gentle Spirit, Peter Julian discovered the gift of love in the Eucharist which Your Son Jesus offered for the hungers of humanity. Grant that we may celebrate this mystery worthily, adore it profoundly, and proclaim it prophetically for Your greater glory. Amen.
Saint Peter Julian’s importance to us is identified when he was placed on the Roman liturgical calendar:
Font and fullness of all evangelization and striking expression of the infinite love of our divine Redeemer for mankind, the Holy Eucharist clearly marked the life and pastoral activity of Peter Julian Eymard. He truly deserves to be called an outstanding apostle of the Eucharist. In fact, his mission in the Church consisted in promoting the centrality of the Eucharistic Mystery in the whole life of the Christian community.
Decree of the Insertion of the Celebration of Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Priest, in the General Roman Calendar, 1995.
- Monday, 27 June 2011 14:07
It is only
because God himself is the eternal dialogue of love that he can speak and be
spoken to. Only because he himself is relationship can we relate to him; only
because he is love can he love and be loved in return. Only because he is
threefold can he be the grain of wheat which dies and the bread of eternal
Ultimately, then, Corpus Christi is an expression of faith in God, in
love, in the fact that God is love. All that is said and done on Corpus Christi
is in fact a single variation on the theme of love, what it is and what it
does. In one of his Corpus Christi hymns Thomas Aquinas puts it beautifully:
love does not consume: it gives and, in giving, receives. And in giving it is
not used up but renews itself.
Since Corpus Christi is a confession of faith in
love, it is totally appropriate that the day should focus on the mystery of
transubstantiation. Love is transubstantiation, transformation. Corpus Christi
tells us: Yes, there is such a thing as love, and therefore there is
transformation, therefore there is hope. And hope gives us the strength to love
and face the world.
Perhaps it was good to have experienced doubts about the
meaning of celebrating Corpus Christi, for it has led us to the rediscovery of
a feast which, today, we need more than ever.
Pope Benedict XVI Benedictus
- Sunday, 26 June 2011 21:53
Here’s the Pope’s Angelus address from earlier today. Notice the key points.
Today in Italy and other countries Corpus Domini is
celebrated, the feast of the Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of
the Lord, which he instituted with the Last Supper and which is the Church’s
most precious treasure. The Eucharist is like the beating heart that gives life
to the whole mystical body of the Church: a social organism entirely founded on
the spiritual but concrete link with Christ. As the Apostle Paul states: “Because
there is one bread, we, although many, are one body: all of us in fact
participate in the one bread” (1 Corinthians 10:17).
Without the Eucharist the
Church simply would not exist. It is the Eucharist in fact that makes a human
community a mystery of communion, able to bring God to the world and the world
to God. The Holy Spirit, which transforms the bread and wine into the Body and
Blood of Christ, also transforms into members of the Body of Christ those who
receive it with faith, so that the Church is truly the sacrament of the unity
of men with God and of men with each other.
In a culture that is ever more
individualistic — like that in which Western societies are immersed and which
is spreading throughout the world — the Eucharist constitutes a kind of “antidote,”
which operates in the minds and hearts of believers and continually sows in them
the logic of communion, of service, of sharing, in a word, the logic of the
Gospel. The first Christians, in Jerusalem, were an evident sign of this new
way of life because they lived in fraternity and held all of their goods in
common so that no one should be indigent (cf. Acts 2:42-47). Where did all of
this come from? From the Eucharist, that is, the risen Christ, really present
with his disciples and working with the power of the Holy Spirit. And in the
succeeding generations, through the centuries, the Church, despite human limits
and errors, continued to be a force for communion in the world. We think
especially of the most difficult periods, the periods of trial: What did it
mean, for example, for countries that were under the heal of totalitarian regimes
to have the possibility to gather for Sunday Mass! As the ancient martyrs of
Abitene proclaimed: “Sine Dominico non possumus” – without the “Dominicum,” that is, the Sunday Eucharist, we cannot live. But the
void produced by false freedom can be dangerous, and so communion with the Body
of Christ is a medicine of the intellect and will to rediscover taste for the
truth and the common good.
Dear friends, let us call upon the Virgin Mary, whom
my predecessor, Blessed John Paul II defined as a “Eucharistic woman”
(Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 53-58). In her school our life too becomes fully “Eucharistic,”
open to God and to others, able to transform evil into good by the power of
love, which fosters unity, communion, fraternity.