Saturday, June 26, 2010

We have been created for greatness, that is, we have been created for Jesus.

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time June 27th, 2010

Our readings today point out what God demands of those who desire to follow His ways, from Elisha in the Old Testament to the disciples of Jesus in the New. The demand of God for His followers is really a call to Holiness. This call has been issued by God from the most ancient of times-“be holy as the Lord your God is holy.” In our own day, especially through the Second Vatican Council, God again gives this “universal Call to Holiness,” to all believers, young and old and in between.

Unfortunately, however, so many think holiness as a negative, as entailing a loss of freedom. In other words, they think holiness is basically life minus the fun. There was a recent survey given to a group of 5th graders, that I think illustrates this very well.

In this survey the 5th graders were asked to rank in order, the desirability of 35 listed careers. They were given such choices as doctor, teacher, lawyer and others. They were asked to list in order which ones they most wanted to be. Interestingly, one of the 35 vocations listed was saint. Any idea where saint was listed by these boys and girls?.... Sadly, it was second to the last—thirty-fourth! The only less desirable position was that of a…garbage collector. (No disrespect intended to Garbage collectors, even they can become great saints). When asked why saint was listed so low, the children said that being a saint was a negative, unhappy life.

Our Gospel today gives us the same choice as the survey of 5th graders. Each one of us is basically being asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up? Unlike the fifth Graders, today God is asking each one of us to answer, “I want to be a saint, I want to be holy!”

First we must ask the question, what is a saint- what does it mean to be holy? Well holiness is surely not something we can directly measure…we can’t weight this person or that person to see if their holy. Holiness instead is measured by how much we love God. Yes, we show our love for God by how we live our lives on the outside, but first and foremost our love for God is a disposition of our heart. Let me give you an example to illustrate what I mean.

St. Therese of Lisieux, also known as the little flower, on the outside seemed to be an ordinary nun living in her convent. On the outside there was really nothing special about her…saints in the real world do not have a heavenly look on their face, nor a halo over their head. St. Therese was so ordinary on the outside, that when the investigation started for her cause for sainthood, the nuns who knew her were rather shocked. Her?, they said. “There was nothing special about her!” She just did not meet any of the definitions of holiness that those nuns could see. Yet, her writings revealed a heart which was on fire with the love of God. She desired so very strongly and intensely to love God over and above all else. And so she did and became holy, became a great, in fact the greatest of saints. She did everything for love of God, even acts as mundane as scrubbing the floor. She taught that God doesn't expect us to do great things only small things with great love...this is sanctity.

Now that we have understood that holiness first and foremost consists in the love of God, and doing everything for love of Him, we discover what it really means to be a saint. It all begins with the heart, with desire. One saint said, “If we are honest, the reason we are all not already saints is because we really don't desire to be a saint.” We human beings too often instead desire pleasure, wealth, health and financial security, we think these things will bring us freedom..happiness. However, even when we have these things, we are still miserable. Look at the super rich and famous- are they the super happy? Would any one of us here really liked to have gone through what Tiger Woods recently went through?

And so we discover in the so often miserable lives of the rich and famous, that if we truly want to be free and happy, our first and greatest desire must be to love God and to love Him so much that we want to be a great saint. Again, a story from the life of St. Therese: She did not want to just barely get into heaven, as if it were the last pew in the Church. She never said, “I desire to be mediocre and lukewarm.” No, she desired to be not only a saint, but a great saint. She desired it with all her heart. She looked at all of the vocations within the Church- she wondered what she should be when she grew up- she wanted to be the greatest missionary, the greatest mystic, the greatest evangelist, the greatest one to help the poor. In the end, she desired to be love in the Church. And so, it is no accident that she is not only a great saint, but one of only two women to be named a doctor of the church because of the heights of her holiness.

Yes, it is true there is a negative in our answering God’s call for us to be holy. At least it appears to be a negative at first. Each and every one of us is being asked, demanded to give up anything that we cling to and love more than Jesus. How do we know if we are attached to something, and so love something more than Jesus? Sometimes this questions helps to clarify what I mean, “What is it in this life that we can’t live with out? If we answered with anything but Jesus, this thing is a possession we must rid our heart of.

We are to let go of it, however, only because things can never bring us true happiness, only Jesus can bring us true happiness. We let go of lesser things only to obtain something, Someone…much greater—God Himself; and in the end obtain all other things besides. You see, Jesus doesn’t want us to set our hearts on things that eventually pass away, He wants us to set our heart on Him, He who will never pass away. Our hearts were made for Him and not for things (things are only to be use to help us to draw closer to Jesus). We have been created for greatness, that is, we have been created for Jesus.

Back to St. Therese for an example, she let go of all her possessions in this life in order to obtain her Jesus and she became a saint, but far from this leading to a negative, unhappy life, as the fifth graders believed, she like all saints was incredibly happy, with a out of this world happiness. Mother Teresa of Calcutta in our times echoes the same thing. She lived as the poorest of the poor; she lived in a situation we would find abhorrent- yet she was the most joyful of persons. People who came in contact with her were absolutely overwhelmed by how joyful she was; they saw Jesus in her.

Now, I am not saying that we all must physically get rid of all that we possess, as did St. Therese and Mother Theresa and become a religious or monk. What I am saying, again, that interiorly, we must free our heart of all that we have placed before Jesus. We are to “let go” of our possessions, our idols, in order to obtain, like St Therese and Mother Theresa, the supreme possession which is Jesus Himself, He from Whom all good things come.

So now maybe this saint thing, this holiness thing seems more attractive to us, but what is it that still holds our heart back, what still keeps us from giving our whole self to Jesus? Perhaps, we think that holiness is not for lay people- if I desire to be Holy, then I have to be a priest or nun; its easy for you to talk about holiness father, after all, you’re a priest. Someone recently told me a parishioner was talking about me and said, “That Father Lange he wants us to be as holy as He is…I responded by saying, Good God No!, I want you to be holier than I am… Holiness is for everyone, there are no exceptions. In the Gospels, Jesus called all to come follow Him in Holiness. Many saints in our Church were lay people- starting with the early martyrs, who were almost all lay people.

Perhaps, in the end, we’re just plain afraid to desire to be holy. If I desire to be holy, it means I have to follow Jesus along the same path he trod and so I must pick up the cross and follow Him. This causes us to quake in fear- we are so weak. I think this is a natural reaction- we all fear suffering. Yet, look at our lives- suffering is already there. There is not one person in this Church today who has a suffering free life; there is not one person here who will escape suffering no matter how many possessions and money he may have.

So, if we decide we need to be Holy and to love God above all else, we can desire to be a great saint. Right here, right now in our parish and in our family- we can desire to be a saint- in the ordinary circumstances we find ourselves in everyday life. The grace of God is there for us, we just gotta wan it as the saying goes. We have to confess that we have not loved Jesus the way we should have in the past, but now, with the help of His grace, we want to love Jesus over and above all else to possess Him fully. This is what it means to be a saint; and this is the greatest vocation in life, this is where, and only where true and lasting happiness lies.

In our Holy Mass today, may we all desire to be great saints. We will receive the fullness of grace in Holy Communion to help us, for in Holy Communion we receive God Himself-Jesus, His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. May our Holy Communion today be an occasion where all our desires are met by the God that we receive hidden in the little white host.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Luke 7; 36-8;3 Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary time. June 13th, 2010

This past Friday we celebrated the great Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In fact, the whole month of June is dedicate to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. "To celebrate the Heart of Christ means to turn toward the profound center of the Person of the Savior, that center which the Bible identifies precisely as his Heart, seat of the love that has redeemed the world. (Sunday, June 24, 2002 Angelus address)."

Before this great solemnity was inaugurated the Church for many centuries had a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but this beautiful devotion took on a new life in the 1600s due to the visions of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690). Jesus appeared to her several times, and granted her the same privilege he had granted to St. John, and in a vision to St. Gertrude: St. Margaret Mary was allowed to rest her head upon Jesus' Heart.

In His message to St. Margaret Mary, Jesus requested to be honored under the figure of His Heart of flesh, as well as by frequent Communion, Communion on the First Friday of the month, and the observance of the Holy Hour. Jesus said to St. Margaret, ‘Behold the Heart that has so loved men . . . instead of gratitude I receive from the greater part (of mankind) only ingratitude . . .’, He then asked her for a feast of reparation on the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi.”

As I said in my Homily on Friday, Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is more than just a devotion to a pretty picture of Jesus. It is devotion to a person, the Divine Person of Jesus truly present in His Human body with His Human fleshy Heart in the Holy Eucharist. What husband would venerate a picture of his wife if she was standing right next to Him. And so while we are apart from Jesus in the Holy Eucharist we venerate His image, either the image of the Sacred Heart or the modern version of the Divine Mercy. But when we are in the presence of His very Person in the tabernacle or on the Sacred Altar our love and devotion should be poured out on Him because there He pours out His love on us.

And this is really the message of today's Gospel. Jesus wants the ointment or the perfume of our life poured out on Him. He wants to be the sole object of all of our devotion and love, for only in Him, only in His Sacred Heart can we find refuge and strength...Love!

Our Gospel today shows the beautiful affections of this sinful woman and the coldness and indifference of the Pharisee, a sinners love for the one who granted her forgiveness; and, the hardness of heart and lack of love of a prideful man who did think he needed to be forgiven of anything.

When a guest would enter a house in the time of Jesus three things were always done as good manners demanded. The host placed his hand on the guest's shoulders and gave him a kiss of peace, especially if that guest was a distinguished Rabbi such as Jesus. Cool water was then poured over the guest's feet to cleanse and comfort them, from the dust and the difficult and dusty roads of the day. And then either a pinch of sweet-smelling incense was burned or a drop of perfume of roses was placed on the guest's head. In this case none of them was done, thus showing the great ingratitude of Simon, in contrast to the sinful woman, who many believe was Mary Magdalene.

This woman was truly a bad woman, a notoriously bad woman, a prostitute. Nevertheless, she for her part made up, that is made reparation for the ingratitude of the heart of Simon and for her own sins. She had heard Jesus speak and had seen in Him the hand, the power, that could lift her from her pit of shame and despair. Round her neck she wore, like all Jewish women, a little phial of concentrated perfume; they were called alabasters; and they were very costly. She wished to pour it on his feet. It was all she had, and so it's pouring out signified the pouring out of her heart, all her love, herself to Jesus; in other words, the giving of her heart to the heart of Christ.

As she saw Jesus, tears came and fell upon his feet washing them. And then to comfort his feet she dried them with her hair. For a woman to appear in public in those days with her hair unbound was an act of the gravest immodesty, yet in this woman's case it signified, not immodesty, but that she had forgotten everyone but Jesus; He was now the sole object of her desires.

What was at the heart of the difference between this sinful woman and Simon. Well, Simon was conscious of no need and therefore felt no love, and so received no forgiveness. Simon's impression of himself was that he was a good man in the sight of men and of God.

The woman however was conscious of nothing else than her great need of Jesus and His forgiveness for her sins; and therefore she was overwhelmed with love for Him who alone could supply it, and so she received forgiveness for her great love.

If there is one thing that cuts man off from God it is self-sufficiency. The more we realize our complete dependence on God, our need for His forgiveness the better off we are; and strangely, the better we become. St. Paul spoke of the sinfulness of men, of whom, he would say, I am foremost. St. Francis of Assisi could say, "there is nowhere a more wretched and more miserable sinner than I." In fact, we could say, the greatest of sins is to be conscious of no sin; but a sense of need, the need for forgiveness, the need for the love of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist the more the door is open, the door of our hearts, to the forgiveness of God. Because God is love and love's greatest glory is to be needed.

Today we ask ourselves do we really see our great need for God and for His love and forgiveness? In what ways has our heart grown cold and indifferent as Simon's heart? Do we desire, as did the sinful woman, at this Mass and every Mass, to pour out the ointment, the perfume of our lives, of our love onto Jesus by offering in sacrifice our heart to His Sacred Heart fully contained in the Holy Eucharist?

This desire is shown by our faith, reverence and devotion to the Holy Eucharist. Last Sunday, close to 200 of you processed in the Corpus Christi procession proclaiming to the whole world your belief, adoration, hope and love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the whole Person of Jesus present in the Holy Eucharist. This by the way, is also what lies behind the offering and sacrificing of the best we have to beautify this sacred place with precious items to be used in the worship of God. I have notice as a priest that many times more than anything else you will be criticized for spending money for beautiful vestments and vessels and decorations for the sanctuary. We so many times decorate our own houses better than the house of God; we give the best to ourselves and give seconds to Jesus. What a shame.

But like the costly perfume ointment of the sinful women poured out onto Jesus' feet as a sign of her love and her great need for His love and forgiveness, doesn't beautiful things for the altar and the intensity and generosity our offering signify our great love for Jesus and our even greater need for his love and forgiveness. It was St. Francis of Assisi the apostle to the poor who said, "When it comes to the worship of God we need to use our very best to do so, our most precious metals and jewels, our finest linens and workmanship. When need to sacrifice these things, our best, not to mention our time and talent, for the worship of God, not because God needs them but because we do. The exterior beauties are like the ointment of the women, a sign of the interior offering of the beauty of our love our hearts to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. This is why if we don't practice stewardship and give generously of our time, talent and treasure we are not loving Jesus; for again, love is shown by deed, not by sweet words.

And doesn't our time spent before the heart of Jesus present in the tabernacle or on the altar at Mass or at Holy hours show our love for Jesus. Jesus ask us for our love, he who has loved us so much. Just think of the love of God that would find a way to keep His human fleshy heart on earth in order to remain with us and with which to love us and save us. Isn't it sad, in fact, reprehensible, that this love is in most cases met with indifference and ingratitude. Let that never be the case with us.

Jesus asks for Holy Hours and frequently communion, which also implies frequent confession in order to make up for the indifference of the hearts of so many men. Does our love for Him make reparation for so many others lack of love; is it strong enough? Maybe he will grant to us, the gift of resting our head upon His Heart; but only if we place ourselves frequently in the presence of His human fleshy heart and believe, adore, hope and love, begging pardon for those that do not believe, adore, hope and love His Sacred heart truly present in the Holy Eucharist the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.

Let us ask our Blessed Mother to help us to pour out the ointment of love onto Jesus by offering our hearts, and so all that we have and are, totally at this Mass in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus to our heavenly Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit. And then, it will no longer be our heart that beats in our chest, but Jesus Heart that beats within us.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Not to believe this is to fail to understand the Love of God which propels Him to give Himself to us as our heavenly food.

Solemnity of Corpus Christi

In the past we have spoken about how we are to be perfected in agape love in this life in order to be able to share now, and fully in the life to come, the inner life and love of the Blessed Trinity, Father Son and Holy Ghost. Today, we speak of the very source of this love…the pierced heart of Christ truly present in the Holy Eucharist; the Holy Eucharist is truly the human heart of Christ pierced out of love for us in order to show us the Father’s love. And so Corpus Christi is the feast of God's love; the feast of the Holy Eucharist in which we celebrate the Body and blood of Christ truly made present at each and every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. If we really knew what the Holy Mass is and what the Holy Eucharist is, we would die of joy just to think about it, much less to be present at it.

In order to help us, to the extent we can, understand this greatest of all God’s gifts-the Holy Eucharist, there have been literally hundreds of what is known as, “Eucharist Miracles” throughout the centuries. We are in fact here at St. Patrick's working on getting a display of all 160 documented Eucharistic Miracles. This display, which would be printed in high quality and on vinyl could be an new apostolate of St. Patrick's dedicate to spreading Eucharistic adoration, not only in our parish, but in other parishes as well, as anywhere we could by displaying them. If after looking at the miracles if you are interested in helping us to fund this apostolate, let me know.

We have examples of just seven of those 160 documented miracles in the back of Church today. Please take a look after Mass..
Today, I want to share just one of these Eucharistic Miracles with you that occurred in the village of Blanot France.

The village of Blanot is situated in a long, narrow valley surrounded by picturesque mountains. Inconspicuous because of its location, it was nevertheless favored by God, who honored it with a Eucharistic miracle. The physical evidence of this event is still preserved in the church in which it occurred.

Before relating the miracle, it would be best to recall the manner in which Holy Communion was distributed in the 14th century and still is in many, many places yet today. In fact this way is really considered to be the most reverent. This is by the way a practice that the Church desires us to return, in fact it was never meant to be discontinued.

During Holy Mass, when the time approaches for the distribution of Communion, the communicants approach the altar railing which separates the body of the church from the holy of holies, the sanctuary. Taking their places side by side along the length of the railing, the faithful kneel to show and express their humility and faith.

Then, two altar boys approach the railing and take their places one at each end. Reaching down for a long linen cloth that hangs the length of the railing on the side facing the sanctuary, each takes his end of the cloth and flips it over the top of the railing. The communicants then place their hands beneath the cloth, following a 6,000 year old spiritual law of both the Old and New Testament, that only consecrated hands touch consecrated and so sacred things.

The priest, holding the ciborium containing the consecrated Hosts, approach one end of the railing and distribute the Hosts as he moves along its length. At the time of the miracle this was the way in which Holy Communion was received at Blanot. and still is at the Extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Mass.

The miracle occurred on Easter Sunday, March 31, 1331, at the first Mass of the day, which was offered by Pastor of the Parish. Because of the solemn occasion, two men of the parish named Thomas and Guyot were also serving in addition to the altar boys. At Communion time the two men approached the altar railing, took their places at each end and turned the long cloth over the railing. The parishioners took their places, held their hands under the cloth and waited for the approach of the priest.

One of the last to receive was a woman named Jacquette. The priest placed the Host on her tongue, turned, and started walking toward the altar. It was then that both men and a few of the communicants saw the Host fall from the woman's mouth and land upon the cloth that covered her hands. As the priest was then placing the ciborium inside the tabernacle, one of them men approached the altar and informed the priest of the accident. The priest immediately left the altar and approached the railing; but instead of finding the Host, he saw a spot of blood the same size as the Host. The host had dissolved into visible blood.

When the Mass was completed, the priest took the cloth into the sacristy and placed the stained area in a basin filled with clear water. After washing the spot and scrubbing it with his fingers numerous times he found that, far from becoming smaller and lighter, it had actually become larger and much darker.

On removing the cloth from the basin he was surprised to find that the water had turned bloody. The priest and his assistants were not only astonished, but also frightened, and exclaimed, "This is the Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ!" and then fell to their knees in adoration. The priest then took a knife and, after washing it, cut from the cloth the piece bearing the bloody imprint of the Host. This square piece of cloth was reverently placed in the tabernacle.

The Hosts that remained in the ciborium after the distribution of Holy Communion on that Easter Sunday were never used, and were carefully reserved in the tabernacle. The reason for this is not known, although one might speculate that the priest wished to avoid a possible repetition of the prodigy.

In 1706 these Hosts, preserved in good condition after 375 years, were taken in a five-hour procession around the parish of Blanot in observance of the anniversary of the miracle. Taking part in the ceremony were many prelates and a great many people of the parish and the surrounding areas. At the conclusion of the procession, the silver ciborium holding the Hosts was returned to the golden box in which it was kept. This was carefully placed in the main tabernacle of the church. To this day, each year on Easter Monday, according to ancient custom, the relic of the Eucharist Miracle is solemnly exposed in the church of Blanot.

This brings us to today's great feast. Corpus Christi is the feast in which each of us should examine our faith in the true presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. We should also examine our love for Jesus there, and see if that Love is carry out in deeds, mainly by examining how we are receiving Jesus. Are we receiving Him with the utmost reverence, devotion, and love, as if we truly believe that the Host is indeed Jesus, our Lord and our God?

The Church is again working to restore again the most reverent way to receive Jesus, as at the time of the Eucharistic Miracle of Blenot. We for our part have to be careful we are not receiving Jesus irreverently or carelessly. And so; it is out of love for Jesus, and pastor care and concern for you, that today I ask all of us to examine the way we receive Him in the Holy Eucharist. And so on this beautiful feast day, I think it would be a good opportunity to take some time to go over proper reception. The Eucharist is too great gift to tolerate any depreciation or ambiguity.

Shortly after Vatican II the U.S. Bishops asked Rome for a temporary permission to allow the faithful to receive communion in the hand; Rome granted this temporary proviso but only if those who wish to receive communion in the norm of the Universal Church, which is kneeling and on the tongue, would not be prevented from doing so.

The bishops said if the Holy Communion was to received on the hand, the following procedure was to be followed by all who chose to do so.
* Proper reception on the hand…-If you receive on the hands, you hands must be elevated and made into a throne to receive a king, because you are receiving a King, THE King--Jesus. You should bow reverently as the person in front of you receives Jesus. Then step up and receive Him saying Amen after the priest says the "Body of Christ."; and then step immediately to the side, so as not to hold up the line (making a act of reverence if you wish after you receive Jesus; and place Him in your mouth.

Some things to avoid in order to prevent improper reception on the hand:

*It is not permissible to say anything but "amen." Not, "I believe", not "my Lord and My God; not "Amen Father." or "thankyou." But only amen. All these things are contained in the "Amen."
*Do not place Jesus in your mouth as you walk off. This is disrespectful and the priest can't tell if you received Jesus, for some sneak into Mass to steal the Sacred Host. Simply Receive, step to the side, place Jesus in your mouth first and then walk off.
*Hands too low; If the Eucharist is God, then we should not receive
Him at our waist, not to mention it kills my back to bend over to
place Jesus in your hand. Jesus should be received with your hands in
front of your face. This is the beginning of what we hope for to see God
face to face, not waist to face.
*Flap Jack Jesus.
*The Jesus Shuffle…totally irreverent and risks dropping
Jesus…dropping Jesus doesn’t hurt Him, but hurts our belief. Right
Handed receive on the left and pick up with right and vice versa.
*Hands not open
*Hands at an angle (what do I do with this).
*Thumbing. Thumb onto Host and onto my finger (this is annoying)
*Hand to mouth
*The sneak attack….No grabbing, not just wrong, it’s impolite…
*And if you do receive Jesus on the hand, please make sure you check your hand for particles….the Church teaches that the smallest of particles is the whole Jesus (we heard this in the sequence; which should be studied by everyone by the way) and so if there are particles on your hand and you don’t pick them up and consume them, they fall to the ground to be trampled on…again it doesn’t hurt Jesus, it hurts us, because if we believe its him, we don’t want to have him fall on the ground, it hurts our belief; and we are responsible for any lost particle if we are not at least making an attempt to make sure none fall on the ground…

Of course, the other way to receive communion is on the tongue. In fact, the Church has recently said that this is the preferred way, the most reverent way to receive Jesus; "For if a the name of Jesus every knee shall bend what about before the very Person of Jesus?".

The Church says, that (the) manner of distributing Holy Communion by which the minister himself would place (the Eucharist) on the tongue of the communicants must (continued to) be observed, not only because it rests upon a tradition of many centuries, but especially because it is a sign of the reverence of the faithful toward the Eucharist. The practice in no way detracts from the personal dignity of those who approach this great Sacrament and it is a part of the preparation needed for the most fruitful reception of the Lord’s body…

By the way, one of the greatest supporters of communion on the tongue was Mother Theresa of Calcutta. She felt that nothing has destroyed the belief of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist more than communion in the hand. Many people want to receive Jesus on the tongue but feel uncomfortable or self-conscience, that’s okay, pray about it.

Let's speak of proper reception on the tongue"
Say amen; open your mouth (wide) stick out your tongue and say clearly "amen" Let the priest place Jesus on your tongue and then simply pull back your tongue and then close your mouth.

Some things to avoid in order to prevent improper reception on the tongue.
*Not opening your mouth
*Not sticking out your tongue (the only time you can stick out your tongue at a priest and get away with it.
*Avoid biting the host with your teeth or tongue (I have known priest to lose fingers :o) . )
*Biting down with lips. (might not lose fingers but nonetheless yuk!)
*Biting down with your front teeth on your tongue.
*Saying amen after you receive on the tongue (risk accidently spitting Jesus out; besides it is not polite to talk with Jesus on your tongue!)

I want to add here, even more important to the proper reception of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, is not just whether you receive Him on the hand or on the tongue, but whether you receive Him with your soul clean, that is in the state of grace with no mortal sins on your soul. We have to use the Sacrament of confession regularly if we are going to, not only to receive the fruits of grace from the Eucharist, but avoid doing ourselves harm by receiving improperly. St. Paul told the Corinthians, “That the reason why many of them were weak and ill, and some had died was because they were eating the Eucharist to their condemnation because they were not discerning that it was the Body and Blood of Christ.” And so if you not in the state to receive, it is okay to stay at your pew and make a spiritual communion, asking Jesus to come into your soul spiritually and telling Him how much you desire to receive Him. Not every one needs to come up to receive communion, its okay not to receive, if you not in the proper state.

One final point about our Eucharistic reverence and that is silence in Church. Because Jesus is truly present at all times in this Church in the Holy Eucharist, we must keep a reverential silence in this sacred place. The place to visit is in our beautiful and big vestibule; and not in the this Sacred Place. And so out of respect for Jesus Eucharist presence and for those who are praying to Him, please keep silence in this Sacred place, not only during Mass, but before and afterwards as well.

Thank you all very much for your humility shown by your openness to what I have just said. Now I want you to be at peace as you receive Jesus today, I don’t want to approach nervously, I am not going to yell at anyone who makes a mistake…but I am asking that you just try to receive, as I know you want to, to receive Jesus with as much reverence and devotion as you can, but most importantly with as much love as you can…

Let us ask the Holy Spirit through the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist to help us to receive Jesus with as much love as possible…We are not just receiving a piece of blessed bread in Holy Communion we are receiving a Person, A Divine Person, God Himself, Jesus, His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Not to believe this is to fail to understand the Love of God which propels Him to give Himself to us as our heavenly food. And so this day, let us cry out with firm faith and hearts full of love, “O Lord I am not worthy to receive you under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed….