|The Mass and the Mystical Body of Christ!|
Of all the gestures, actions,
decisions, operations, motions in the life of the human person, by far the greatest
(beyond comparison) is to receive Jesus, the Lord and God into the very depths
of your soul in the greatest of all Sacraments: HOLY COMMUNION!!!
The Bread of Life, the Bread of the
Angels, Corpus Christi, food for the journey, energy and strength on the
Highway to holiness, Our Comfort, Friend, Guide, Light, Support and fortitude,
spiritual manna, Our eternal life—all of these and many more can be mentioned
are short names, titles or descriptions for Jesus, truly present in Mass in Holy Communion. We can call it the “Sacrament
VALUE OF ONE HOLY COMMUNION. Nobody on earth could ever compare one Holy
Communion to any other created reality. However, reflect on this: the entire
created universe from the stars, planets, immense oceans, and lofty mountains,
and starry skies, as well as all of the fish in the seas and animals populating
the earth cannot equal even one, just one Holy Communion!!!
|Mass and the sacrifice on Calvary|
The reason is simple but very sublime!
One Holy Communion is GOD HIMSELF!!!
Holy Communion is not some vague or abstract symbol, as non-Catholic
religions assert! No one Holy Communion is God Himself. God is the origin of all
that exists and the purpose of our existence! God created all of us out of
love, to love Him in this life so as to be with Him and to love Him for all eternity
GOD’S HUMILITY! How humble God is that he becomes one of us.
By Mary’s “Yes” the second Person of the Blessed Trinity became like us; He
became man. He became like us in all things except sin. Still more, Jesus the
Son of Mary, after leaving this earth in His glorified Body, wanted to stay
with us always even until the end of time.
The last words of Jesus in the Gospel
Matthew were: “And behold I will be with you always even until the end of time.”
(Mt. 28: 20 ) If Jesus went up to heaven then how can He still be with us and
even until the end of time, until the end of the world? The response: in His
Mystical Body which is the Church that He established as the primary Sacrament
|The priest acts in the person of Christ|
GREATEST SACRAMENT. However of all of the Sacraments the greatest
of all of the Sacraments is the most Holy Eucharist. Why? Because the most Holy
Eucharist is really God; it is really Jesus Christ the Bread of life. The Holy Eucharist is truly and substantially
the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ! Even the smallest
consecrated Host, even half of the Host, even a small particle of the
consecrated Host is still Jesus the Lord, Kind and God of the universe!
UPGRADE/IMPROVE YOUR HOLY COMMUNIONS:
The success of the party depends on
the prior preparation; sports success depends on the prep and warm-up and
mental attitude and discipline; a good and loving courtship terminates in a
loving and permanent marriage. The same
can be applied to a fervent and worthy reception of Our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ in Holy Communion.
|How do we treat our guests??? And Jesus the Guest of our soul???|
Another analogy! Receiving a guest!
There are very many different ways that we can receive a guest into our home.
Here are a few! You could receive a
guest against your will—sometimes due to circumstances, this is the case. Or
you could receive a guest with resistance and begrudgingly. Then you can receive a guest willingly with
the doors of your home wide open! Still
more you could receive a guest by preparing the night before, with great joy,
to receive such a guest you really long to have in your home and share a meal
with. Finally, upon the knowledge of a special guest coming, you clean the
whole home the day before, prepare the food and the meal that you know your
guest enjoys most; put on the back-ground music that the guest enjoys listening to; and finally, decorate the home with
balloons and attractive and joyful banners.
We have portrayed a whole series of ways or manners that a guest could
possibly be received—from the worst imaginable scenario to the best of bests!
|Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart!|
JESUS THE GUEST OF OUR INTERIOR HOMES
(OUR SOUL). This analogy of receiving a
guest into one’s home can easily be applied to receiving Jesus into our
souls. Examine your conscience now: what
type of reception do you give the Eucharistic Lord Jesus when you receive Him
into your home/soul when you receive Him in Holy Communion? How is He received? Accept the challenge to
examine your Eucharistic reception. Why?
As was said earlier, this is the most important action that you can
possibly do in your life. This being the truth, we should all make a concerted
effort to improve and upgrade the efficacy of our reception of the Eucharistic
Lord. How then can we apply this
principle to receiving the Lord of the universe into the inner recesses of our
soul? Following are ten practical suggestions that can be of immense help!
|Can you identify with this Sunday Mass goer???|
FAITH. How easy it is for our faith
to decline, to get weak, or even to disappear.
Sad to say that the biggest religious group in USA are non-practicing
Catholics! Let us pray with fervor: “Lord
I do believe but strengthen my faith!” Faith is like a seed planted in the
ground. May our faith grow, blossom and flourish until we reach heaven!
APPRECIATION. In relationships, especially in marriages,
one of the greatest perennial dangers is to start to take the spouse for
granted. This can be lethal to any marriage. The same thing can insinuate
itself into our relationship with the Eucharistic Lord: we can become accustomed
or used to Mass and Holy Communion—even among daily communicants- and start to
take the Lord for granted. In the Diary
of Mercy in my soul, by Saint Faustina, Jesus complains that there are souls
that receive Him with no love, but rather as if
He were a mere object. Jesus states that He would prefer not to be received
than to be received like a mere object and out of mere routine, to be received
mechanically! There is a plack with
these words in many sacristies, which serves as a reminder to priests to celebrate
every Mass with faith and fervor: “Priest,
man of God celebrate this Mass as if it were your first Mass, last Mass and
only Mass.” We should receive every Holy
Communion as if it were our first, last and only Holy Communion.
|Scrub your soul be confession|
CLEAN THE HOUSE. Make a good
sacramental Confession. The saints and
the church teach us that the cleaner and more pure the soul the more abundant
the graces in receiving Holy Communion. If you like, a dirty glass pane
prevents the sun from entering the room fully. Likewise, a dirtied or sullied
soul will block the full and powerful presence of the Eucharistic Lord in His
entirety from inundating the soul!
It is doubtful that we would show up late for the last game in the World
Series, or a graduation ceremony, or even an expensive and exquisite meal in a
glamorous restaurant. Should we not then be early to welcome the King of Kings
and the Lord of Lords into our hearts? What do you think? Coming late for Mass
disturbs others, disturbs the priest and dampens one’s over-all participation in
the Mass. Let us avoid cutting corners and selling God cheap!
|Late for Mass again!!!|
REVERENCE. Moses was commanded to take off his sandals
before the burning bush that was a mere symbol of the Eucharistic Presence.
Isaiah complained that he was impure in the midst of an impure people. His lips
had to be purified by the burning coal.
How much more reverence we should manifest in front of the Real Presence
and the Eucharistic Lord. He is not a
symbol but a Real Person! If a King merits the greatest reverence and respect,
what about the King of the universe the Eucharistic Lord?
INTENTIONS! The Parish priest usually has his specific
intentions in every Mass. This does not negate the fact that you cannot have
your own private intentions. Three suggestion to help you to live the Mass more
fully : 1) Offer Mass for a deceased person that might be detained in
Purgatory, for his quick release or at least alleviation of his suffering. 2)
Conversion of sinners. We all have in mind family members, relatives, friends,
fellow-workers who seem to have forgotten about God or are angry at God and
have for many different reasons drifted away from the Church. Offer your Holy
Mass and Holy Communion so that they will return. These lost sheep may return
to the Good Shepherd if you take the effort to pray for them and place them on
the altar in Holy Mass. 3) Personal conversion. We all struggle with the flesh;
we all struggle with our own demons; we all struggle with the seduction of the
world and its deception and many allurements. In Holy Communion why not beg the
Lord Jesus that He would grant you the grace of a true HEART TRANSPLANT!!! Indeed you do receive the Body, and Blood of
Jesus. That means you receive His total Body and that includes His Heart. Ask
Jesus to give you His Sacred Heart and beg His Sacred Heart overflowing with
the flames of love to consume all that which is in your heart which is
displeasing to Him. Fervent and frequent Holy Communion is the short-cut to
|Excellent guidelines to participate well in Holy Mass!|
PARTICIPATE. In Mass we are not called to be passive
observers as if it were a play, a show or an opera. On the contrary we are
called to participate fully, actively, and consciously. (Vatican II,
Sacrosanctum Concilium, Dogmatic
Constitution on the Liturgy) We are called to listen attentively to the Word of
God, respond to the Word, and to sing with all our hearts in praise and worship
of the Lord. When silence is called for we enter into profound silence where we
will meet the Lord. As the prophet reminds: “Be silent and know that I am the
MARY’S HEART AND YOURS. While approaching Holy Communion we should
humbly beg the Blessed Virgin Mary—as Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta reminds
us—to lend us her Immaculate Heart so that we can receive Jesus with the utmost
purity, humility and burning love. This
is truly a key to upgrade and improve our Holy Communions—to receive Holy
Communion through the Heart of Mary. St. Pope John Paul II makes a beautiful
parallel. He compares Our Lady’s “Yes” or fiat in the Annunciation to our “Amen”
when we receive Jesus in Holy Communion. The result is the same: receiving
Jesus into the heart. Our Lady’s yes resulted in the conception of Jesus in her
womb. Our “Amen” in Holy Communion results in Jesus’ Eucharistic Presence
taking root in our heart, mind and soul!
|Our Lady and the Eucharist|
THANKSGIVING! After Holy Communion we should spend some
time in rendering thanks to Jesus for this greatest of all gifts—His Body,
Blood, Soul, and Divinity in Holy Communion. There is no greater gift! In a
home visitation and a friendly meal, a guest who has even the least of manners
will thank the hosts for having invited him. Should we not abound in
thanksgiving to Jesus for humbling Himself to descend into our miserable
interior home that we call our soul? Let
us join our hearts, minds and voices with the Psalmist and acclaim: “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for
His mercy endures forever.” Indeed God rejoices in a grateful heart. Let us
cultivate and attitude of gratitude!
|Mary is a living Tabernacle-- Corpus Christi|
10. EUCHARISTIC APOSTLE.
Given that you have encountered the greatest treasure in your life, the pearl
of infinite value, you should be motivated to the fullest extent possible to
bring Jesus to others and to bring others to Jesus! Take Our Lady as an example! After conceiving
Jesus in her womb in the Annunciation, she went in haste to bring Jesus to her
cousin Elizabeth who in her old age was with child. Mary hurried to bring Jesus
to others. After you have received Jesus in Holy Communion and given Him a
worthy thanksgiving, now it is time to become a fiery Apostle and to bring the
Lord Jesus to others. Preach by your example but also by your word. Invite
others to Church, to confession, to Mass and Holy Communion. Become a
missionary! The harvest is rich but the laborers are few. You right now are
called to work in the vineyard with the Lord; you are called to go fishing with
the Lord and to save souls. One of the most efficacious tools to save souls is
to help the wandering sheep, the stray Catholics, to come back to Church, make
a good Sacramental Confession and then to receive the Lord Jesus in Holy
Communion. Venerable Archbishop Fulton Seen expresses it this way: “First come and then go!” First we should come and receive Jesus with
great fervor, faith and love; then we go out to the whole world to bring this
good news of salvation to every living being!
In conclusion, we should be overflowing
with joy and gratitude for the most sublime gift of the Holy Eucharist. The
Holy Eucharist is truly and substantially the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus.
There is no greater action we can possibly do while we live on earth than to receive
the Eucharist worthily. Jesus’ promise for receiving Him frequently and
worthily should fill all of us with immense joy. Jesus consoles us with these
words: “I am the Bread of life. Whoever
eats my Body and drinks my Blood will have everlasting life and I will raise
Him up on the last day.” (Bread of Life discourse: Jn. 6: 22-71) Heaven is ours
if we receive Jesus here on earth with faith and burning love!