Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Homily Notes Corpus Christi 25 May 2008

One day, many years ago, a traveling preacher arrived in town for a mission.
While he was on the way to the stadium before his evening mission
he wanted to stop at the post office and mail a letter.
He ended up getting completely lost, and finally decided to ask for directions.
He came upon a boy walking on the sidewalk and asked him,
“Son, can you tell me the way to the post office?”
The boy replied,
“Sure. Just turn around and go back down the street to the first light.
Turn left, and it’s down a block or two on your right.”
The preacher said,
“Thank you very much, young man!”
“By the way,” he continued – handing the boy a flyer for the mission –
“I’d like to invite you to a mission tonight,
where I’ll tell you how you can find your way to Heaven.”
“Fat chance,” the boy said. “You can’t even find the post office!”

According to our own unique vocations,
we are all called to preach the Gospel by the witness of our lives
and in so doing, to help one another find the path to Heaven.

We make poor guides and inadequate witnesses…if we ourselves are lost.

Today’s feast is a celebration of the source and summit of the life of the Church…
that reality which is the foundation of all the Church is and all she does
that which grounds us and keeps us from getting lost in our lives…
the most holy Body and of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

The Church finds in the Eucharist a fountain of grace, a source of unity,
and living presence of Jesus Christ, who alone shows us the way to holiness.

Today’s celebration of the Most Holy Body and of Christ
originated with a vision of Saint Juliana,
a young Belgium , in the year 1209.
Juliana was an Augustinian nun, known for her virtue
and devotion to the Lord and the Church.
One day she heard the voice of the Lord from heaven saying to her:
“…a feast is wanting to my Church Militant, which I desire to establish.
It is the feast of the…Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.”

The Lord revealed to Juliana that by this feast He desired
faith in the Blessed Sacrament to be confirmed,
the faithful strengthened on the path to virtue,
and reparation made for irreverence shown to the Eucharist.

Juliana explained her vision to two bishops,
one of whom later became Pope Urban IV.
Corpus Christi was first made a local celebration in the Diocese of Leige
before Pope Urban IV declared it a universal observance
on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.
On this feast, we give thanks for the presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist
in this Mass and in every Mass…
on this altar and on every altar of the world.

For the Lord is truly present with us,
and He who said to His disciples before His Ascension
“I am with you always”
is with us always in His Eucharistic presence in the tabernacle.

We experience Christ's presence in the Eucharist in three ways:

First, we adore Him
Saint Augustine: “Before we can receive Him, we must first adore Him.”
During Mass, before Communion,
the priest elevates the Host or Chalice or both four separate times.
These are moments of adoration,
moments when we gaze upon the Lord and say:
“I believe in you. I love you.”

This adoration which we experience in the Mass continues outside of Mass
and is intimately united to the Mass.

It is good for us to adore the Lord outside Mass and to spend time in His presence.

From the year 120, bishops were reserving the Eucharist they consecrated
so that it could be transported to other bishops
and then consumed by them as a sign of unity within the Church.
By the year 325, the Eucharist was being reserved in churches
so that it could be taken to the sick
and adored by the faithful.

Of course the Mass is pre-eminent in our lives
and our obligation to attend Sunday Mass comes first.
Yet, Eucharistic Adoration is an expression of our desire to remain with Jesus
whom we first encounter in the Mass.

The piety of the Church is intimately connected to the activity of the Church.
Prayer is not opposed to the work of the Church.
Instead it is the very source of strength and grace for all we do.

Mother Theresa…recognized as one who worked so hard for the Church
and for the good of others
also made a daily Holy Hour.

My own vocation to the priesthood cam in part as I spent time before the Bl. Sac.
and my priestly work is sustained by the time I spend with the Lord
in the Eucharist.

The men and women of our who spend time in prayer
are a source of strength for all that we do.

I encourage you all to come and be nourished by spending time with the Lord.

Second we receive Him.
Jesus becomes one with us as we receive His own body and .
We pray that we may be always one with Him in every moment of life
and that our hearts may beat as one with His
so that we may journey through life together with the Lord.

Third, we carry Him.
We carry Jesus, whom we have received
into our homes and workplaces and schools
that we may be transformed and come to see His face in one another.

The processions often held in parishes on this feast are an image of this reality.

We adore Him, We receive His, we carry Him with us…always…
that we may find the path to Heaven and never be lost!
As we honor Jesus present in the Eucharist in a unique way today, we renew our faith in the Eucharist and pray that we, too, might be strengthened on the path to holiness. We give praise and thanks for this sacred banquet…in which Christ is received, the memory of His Passion is renewed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.

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