“Growing in the experience of ‘the greatest love story of all time that is contained in a Tiny White Host!’”
(Based on the Solemnity of Corpus Christ – the Body and Blood of Christ)
The initial years of the 20th Century saw communists seizing a Catholic parish and imprisoning the priest in his own rectory near the church. After being locked up in his own house, the priest looked out the window and was horrified to see the anti-Catholic militants enter the church.
Once inside, they went into the sanctuary, broke open the tabernacle and in an act of desecration, threw down the ciborium – scattering the Sacred Hosts on the floor.
The priest knew exactly how many Hosts had been in the ciborium: Thirty-two.
However, the communists either failed to notice, or did not pay any attention to a small girl who had been praying at the back of the Church.
She saw everything.
That night the girl returned, and slipping past the guard at the rectory, entered the Church where she made a Holy Hour.
After her Holy Hour, she went into the sanctuary, and kneeling down, bent over and received Jesus in the Holy Communion with her tongue (Since at that time, it was not permissible lay-people to touch the Sacred Host with their hands)
Each night, the girl returned to the church to make her Holy Hour and received Jesus in Holy Communion on her tongue, just as she did the first night.
On the thirty- second night, after having consumed the last Host, she accidentally made a noise that awoke the guard who was asleep at his post by the priest’s residence.
From his bedroom window, the priest could only watch in horror as the heartrending scene unfolded before his eyes!
The girl tried to run away…
…. But the guard chased her, grabbed her, and beat her to death with the butt of his rifle!
The little girl had a heroic martyrdom – all because of her tender and deep love for the Holy Eucharist!
It was this incident that would inspire Archbishop Fulton Sheen – one of the greatest 20th century proponents of the Catholic Church – to spend one hour each, daily, before the Holy Eucharist
The daring action of that little girl inspired the heart of another fervent soul, Fulton Sheen, who would go on to influence millions to love Jesus in the Holy Eucharist!
How is our love for the Holy Eucharist?
Today we solemnly celebrate the Great Feast of the Corpus Christi – the Body and Blood of Jesus.
The Catechism of the Church teaches, “In the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained” (#1374).
On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus with His chosen disciples, celebrated the Passover Meal, taking the bread and wine, solemnly declaring, “This is my Body” (Mk 14: 22) and “This is my Blood” (Mk 14: 24)
The following day, Jesus would carry out this sacrifice of offering Himself for the expiation of the sins of the world, on Mount Calvary.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist is the perpetual continuation and adoration of the sacrifice of Calvary.
The Holy Mass is not another sacrifice.
The Holy Mass is not a repetition of the sacrifice of Calvary.
The Priest at the Holy Mass is not offering a different sacrifice.
The Holy Mass is the same sacrifice of Jesus.
The Holy Mass is the perpetual continuation and adoration of the sacrifice of Calvary.
The Priest at the Holy Mass is Jesus Himself, the High Priest and Victim of the Sacrifice.
What is our understanding, love and commitment to the Holy Mass?
In the Holy Eucharist, we have the promise of the Emmanuel God, “I am with you always, till the end of the age” (Mt 28: 20) being fulfilled.
We live in times when…
… there is a lot of indifference growing
… there are several newer problems and crisis cropping up
… the anxiety and uncertainties caused by the pandemic are taking a toll on us
We live in a situation of faith where…
… there is a tendency to dilute many of the spiritual values
… there is a strong opposition to living holy and sanctified lives
In all such struggling moments and trying situations, we have an answer and solution in the Holy Eucharist.
The Eucharist is the story of a God who longs to dwell with us and in us.
The Eucharist is the saga of a God who is madly and passionately in love with us.
From the Cross, our Blessed Lord cried, “I thirst” (Jn 19: 28b)
Shall we not respond, with a positive affirmation, to this cry of the Lord?
It’s also good to quickly go through some “unnoticed” parts of the Holy Mass – and realize its significance, in order to understand and love the Holy Mass, more deeply and devoutly.
THE INTRODUCTORY RITE:
The Opening Prayer:
Called as the ‘Collect’, this prayer, gathers together all the intentions, and unites with the prayer of the High Priest, Jesus Himself.
An action to do: Use the moment of silent, to bring before the Lord all intentions and prayers
LITURGY OF THE WORD:
Signing ourselves on the forehead, lips and the chest
We seek His Help to cleanse our minds, lips & hearts, that we may worthily receive Jesus, the Word into our lives!
An Action to do: Use the moment, to truly have clean thoughts (mind), sincere words (lips) and honest feelings and deeds (heart)
a. The Offering of Bread and Wine
The Gifts, represent fruits of our labour. As the gifts, we pray, that we too be changed into His Body and Blood.
An Action to do: Use to moment, to offer our entire life to the Lord – just as we are – with all our situations, struggles, aspirations and hopes.
b. The mingling of a drop of water in the wine by the Priest
The water represents, our littleness, which is totally mingled with the wine, signifying, our intention to be one with the Divine Lord
An Action to do: Use the moment, to sincerely wanting to be united with the Lord and becoming more and more like Him!
c. The washing of the hands
The Priest – the representative of the People of God, cleanses himself and prepares, for the Most Holy Sacrifice of Calvary.
An Action to do: Use the moment, to repent of our sins and praying earnestly, never to fall into sin again!
a. Lift up your hearts
Our minds and hearts need to transcend our human worries, concerns and troubles, and be raised in heavenly contemplation
An Action to do: Use the moment, to ascend to the heights of glory, in order to recognise and be united to the Will of God in our lives.
The Church enlists (as per the Liturgical Season or the theme) the various ways in which the Lord has worked in human history. We (the Church Militant), seeking intercession for the Faithful Departed (the Church Suffering) join the beautiful choir of the saints and angels (the Church Triumphant) and angels, singing Holy Holy, Holy to the Most High God!
An Action to do: Use this moment of intense praise and Divine worship, to be longing to possess Heaven and to be filled with the radiance of this joy in this world.
THE COMMUNION RITE
The portion where the power of the Holy Spirit is invoked, so that the gifts of bread and wine, may be transformed into Divine Species.
An Action to do: Use this moment, to pray for the infilling of the Holy Spirit, that His Power may overshadow us
A small piece of the host is mingled with the Sacred Wine
Signifying the unity of the Body and Blood of the Lord pointing symbolising Resurrection, and also the Unity of the Body of Christ, the Church.
An Action to do: Use this moment, to pray for the grace to share in His Resurrection and to love the Church and be thankful for our Catholic Faith
THE HOLY COMMUNION
A moment when heaven touches the earth…when the Divine lowers itself to embrace the fallen Humanity, to raise it up to Divine status…
An Action to do: Use this moment, to be totally absorbed in the mighty ocean of God’s Mercy and experiencing the consummation of His Divine Love!
THE RITE OF THE DISMISSAL
We are asked to be the Eucharist to one another – breaking ourselves, in service!
An Action to do: Use this moment to pledge to be a True Missionary, giving His Love to all – in the little way, that we can!
There is nothing more beautiful on this earth, than the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist – the Holy Mass!
As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI says: “The Eucharist is our most precious treasure… it contains all the mystery of our Salvation!”
Let us truly “Experience and Enjoy the Eucharist!”
May we grow in the love of the Holy Eucharist, for, as Bishop Fulton Sheen says, “The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white Host”!
In this time of the pandemic, in case, due to restrictions, we are unable to physically receive the….
…. let us make this PRAYER OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION and experience the Merciful Love of the Eucharistic Lord:
“My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You, Amen”
Wish you a very Happy Feast of the Holy Eucharist!
May our Blessed Mamma of the Holy Eucharist, help & intercede for us, to love the Lord more!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
The Nestorian heresy regarded Christ as a human person joined to the divine person of God’s Son. Opposing this heresy, St. Cyril of Alexandria and the third ecumenical council, at Ephesus in 431, confessed “that the Word, uniting to himself in his person the flesh animated by a rational soul, became man.”
The Monophysites affirmed that the human nature had ceased to exist as such in Christ when the divine person of God’s Son assumed it.
Faced with this heresy, the fourth ecumenical council, at Chalcedon in 451, confessed: Following the holy Fathers, we unanimously teach and confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man, composed of rational soul and body; consubstantial with the Father as to his divinity and consubstantial with us as to his humanity; “like us in all things but sin”. He was begotten from the Father before all ages as to his divinity and in these last days, for us and for our salvation, was born as to his humanity of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.” (Cf. CCC # 466-467)