Friday, August 21, 2015

Lord Jesus truly, physically present in the Holy Eucharist, we believe You are with us in the Blessed Sacrament. We believe You are inviting us to join with You in conquering the world in love for Your heavenly Father. But we are blind. Enlighten our minds. We are weak. Strengthen our hearts. Make us Apostles of the Eucharist in our day; make us Apostles of life through the Eucharist. Help us to understand the Eucharist now on earth by faith-as a prelude to seeing You, our Incarnate God, face to face, for all eternity. Amen. Holy Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, pray for us.

John 6;60-69, Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time. August 23rd, 2015.

Today we end our teachings on the Eucharist that Jesus gives us through St. John. For the past few weeks we have read from the same chapter, starting with the account of Jesus multiplying the loaves and fishes. Next, we read Jesus teaching his disciples about the meaning of the sign-the meaning of the multiplication- that he would do a greater miracle in giving us the bread of life from heaven. He explained that this bread would be his own flesh for the life of the world. This brought about some opposition, how could Jesus give us his own body and blood as food and drink? Jesus answered them by calling them to faith, that indeed he would give his own flesh as food. This would be done by his dying on the cross and resurrecting from the dead in His body. In the Holy Eucharist we receive His Resurrected Body which is no longer bound by space and time, which can longer suffer or be divided…we eat His flesh but do not tear it asunder…we drink His blood but can no longer kill Him.

Today, we read the last response of the vast majority of his disciples. They had enough. They must have thought something like this, “this Jesus giving us his own flesh as food is just too much.” They left. And even more of surprise, Jesus did nothing to try to get them to stay—He didn’t tell them that he meant it symbolically. The teaching was too hard for the majority of His disciples. Jesus had given them the gift of faith, but when the faith was tested, really believing and trusting in Jesus, in his words, in his divinity, they turned away (interestingly the verse is John 6;66—the Great Apostasy...Our Lady at Fatima and elsewhere warned about the great apostasy in our day).

In a sharp contrast to those who left, we read Peter’s profession of faith with the beautiful expression, "Master, to whom shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God." In other words, Peter was saying, I am not sure how you can give us your flesh and blood to eat, but we believe in you and trust your words because you are God who can neither deceive nor be deceived. Yes, Peter struggled with this truth but he opened himself to divine grace and allowed himself to be filled with the light of understanding by the Holy Spirit.

The two responses to Jesus’ teaching on the bread of life show an interesting contrast between Peter, who had faith and asked God to help him believe, and the other disciples, the majority, who did not believe, rejected grace and left, no longer following Jesus. But John gives us the response of another disciple at the end of this passage. In the very next verses, unfortunately which we did not read today, St. John gives us Jesus response to Peter’s act of faith when Jesus answers them, “Did I not choose you twelve? Yet is not one of you a devil?” He was referring to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot; it was he who would betray him, one of the Twelve.”

Many of the great saints have explained this passage by saying that St. John is revealing to us who Jesus meant when he said earlier in this gospel passage, “But there are some of you who do not believe. Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.” It was Judas.

Judas’ betrayal actually began when he rejected Jesus’ teaching on the Holy Eucharist but stayed in the company of the apostles. While the other disciples of Jesus at least left when they didn’t believe, Judas hypocritically stays with Jesus. The betrayal of Judas was really a denial and a refusal to accept in faith Jesus teaching of the Holy Eucharist--that Jesus is the Holy Eucharist. Later on, St. John in chapter 13th tells us that Judas receives the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper and because he doesn’t believe, he receives a sacrileges communion and satan enters into Judas.

For us as well as for Peter and the Disciples of Christ, faith in the Eucharist is the barometer of our Catholic faith. To believe in the Holy Eucharist is to believe in Jesus. To accept his teaching is to accept Christ himself. Every major break in Christianity has been over the meaning of the Eucharist. The vast majority of those who call themselves Christian no longer believe in the real presence at all or believe it incorrectly. There are hundreds of interpretations by protestants and sadly by some Judases in the Catholic Church of those words of Jesus “My flesh is real food, my blood is will drink,” “This is my Body…This is my Blood.” “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you will not have life you.” Only the Catholic Church in her infallible teachings understands these words correctly, that Jesus really meant what he said, because he is God who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

To believe in the Eucharist as a Who, that is, to believe that it is Jesus Christ, His whole person, physically, corporally, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, truly present is to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. To deny the reality of the Eucharist is really to deny Jesus and His One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church. Why? Because the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Church. Without the Eucharist there is no Church. And as one holy Jesuit priest told us, “Because without the Eucharist as a reality, there is no priesthood instituted by Christ, there is no sacrament of Holy Orders. In a word, there is no visible Church which Christ founded on the Apostles whom He ordained at the Last Supper in order that they might consecrate bread and wine to become the living Jesus Christ on earth in the Holy Eucharist.”

At the root of the great crisis in our Catholic faith today is a crisis of true faith, a crisis of faith in the Eucharist. Fullness of faith in Jesus is one in which a person believes with one’s whole mind and will, with one’s whole being that the Eucharist is Jesus Christ. We do not make any qualifications. The Eucharist is the exact Jesus who was conceived at Nazareth, born in Bethlehem, died on Calvary, rose on Easter Sunday, and ascended into Heaven on Ascension Thursday. A person with the fullness of faith is one who believes that although Jesus is in heaven, he is also just as truly still on earth. He is truly in every tabernacle and on every altar of the world in which, through a validly ordained Catholic priest acting in the person of Christ offers Holy Mass. Jesus uses the body and voice of the priest. It is Jesus through the priest who says the words of consecration making truly present the whole Christ, with his Humanity and Divinity, with His eyes and lips and hands and feet and His Sacred Heart. A person with the fullness of faith believes that without the priest there is no Eucharist, there is no Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and hence there is no way, no way to reach Heaven. Without the Mass salvation ends. A full faith believes that Jesus Christ is now offering Himself in every Mass. He is on earth, with His human body and blood, and human will. A person with true faith believes that we receive Him in Holy Communion. That we receive Him no less than the Apostles did in the Last Supper. That He is now gloried. His body enters our body, His soul enters our soul. A person with the fullness of the true and living faith believes that this is no mere symbolism or metaphor. It is real, really, truly.

We need to take this information and what we have learned from these past weeks listening to the Sixth Chapter of St. John to prayer and study. Yes this is a “hard saying” so we must, like St. Peter, we must beg God to help us in our struggle to believe, in struggle to understand more deeply the mystery of the Eucharist. We must all personally become very devoted to the Holy Eucharist as the real, true present of Christ, as the Sacrifice of the Mass, that is his sacrifice on Calvary and to the Eucharist as Holy Communion-Christ coming intimately, and truly into our bodies and souls. We must come to realization that there is no solution to the problems of the world, to the problems of the Church or to the problems in our families except through the Holy Eucharist.

We must all do everything in our power to promote by word and example a deeper faith in the Eucharist as Real presence, Sacrifice of the Mass and Holy Communion. We must prayer for a deeper understanding of the Blessed Sacrament especially among priest. And we must live lives of reparation, begging God to pardon and enlighten those who neglect the Holy Eucharist by deserting Jesus, or by distorting the truth about His true presence in the Holy Eucharist. We must ask God to renew our reverence for the Eucharist and our reverence when we are in the sanctuary of the Church in front of the tabernacle. And finally, and I mean this literally, we must pray for the grace to be ready to pay any price, to suffer any pain for our belief in the Holy Eucharist and to suffer for those who don’t believe or who believe and don’t love the Holy Eucharist-Jesus Christ.

Today in our midst, Jesus Christ wants to work great miracles in our lives, in our families, in our Church and in the world, even greater miracles than we hear about in the gospels. He wants to accomplish this by increasing our own faith, hope and trust in Him and most importantly increasing our love for Him in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus desires to totally give us this very day, His Sacred Heart, His complete self in Holy Communion in order to leave with us the gift of the Holy Spirit so that we could become more and more united with Jesus, being transformed into His image and likeness. And so becoming His other selves, united with Him in the marriage that St. Paul speaks about in our second reading (Eph. 5; 21-220, Jesus desires to use us as His instruments of Love and mercy for our world, which so desperately needs Jesus. But before Jesus can do this we have to give Him our YES, we must believe in Him, adore him, trust in Him and love Him in the Holy Eucharist by offering unreservedly our hearts to Him in return.

Let us pray, Lord Jesus truly, physically present in the Holy Eucharist, we believe that You are with us in the Holy Eucharist the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar—help our unbelief; increase our faith. We believe that You are personally inviting us to join with You in conquering the world by love for Your heavenly Father. But we are blind—enlighten our minds. We are weak—strengthen our hearts. Make us Apostles of the Eucharist in our day; make us Apostles of life through the Holy Eucharist. Help us by faith to understand the Eucharist now on earth, as a prelude to seeing You our Incarnate God, face to face, for all eternity—For Heaven truly is the Eucharist unveiled for those who believe. Amen. Holy Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, pray for us. Amen *This homily relies heavenly on a talk given by Fr. John Hardon).

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Holy Mary Mother of the Holy Eucharist pray for us, lead us to a deeper love for Your Son, Jesus, in the Holy Eucharist…Use me as your little child to save souls and transform out world. Amen.

John 6; 51-58 Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. August 16th, 2015

As we continue on the teachings of Jesus in the bread of life discourse, today, we have Jesus speaking very plainly to his hearers (and to us) about what He means that He Himself is the Bread from Heaven. There is no other way to take His words but literally, (which is probably why the early Christians got accused of cannibalism). But before we come to what Jesus says, it is good to take a step back and see just how Jesus has prepared his hearers (and us) to hear this message today so that we can accept it fully in faith, with our whole heart, mind, and will.

From the beginning to the end of Chapter 6 of St. John’s Gospel, we discover Jesus taking it step by step in order to help us to accept and so believe His teaching on the Eucharist. It is as if Jesus is slowly preparing the soil of our mind to receive the seed, which is the disclosure of the Great Mystery of the Holy Eucharist.

The first step is that Jesus lets us know that He alone knows our true hunger and so he multiplies the bread and the fish. Second, Jesus by his miracles shows that He is God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity and as such, has power over nature itself; and so, along with the multiplication of the loaves, He walks on water in the midst of a storm. Finally, after preparing us with these two great miracles, Jesus at the synagogue at Capernaum, springs on us “THE MYSTERY OF FAITH” when He says, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

In all of this step by step teaching, Jesus demonstrates His desire to meet all of our needs- from the most basic—food to keep our bodies alive in this world, to our more important spiritual need—food for our eternal life. By the way, this is food not only to keep our souls alive forever, but also food to glorify our bodies so that they too, like the body of the Virgin Mary, might be with us in heaven as well. Yesterday was the feast of the Bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary…We too, if we believe in the Eucharist, adore Jesus there, trust Him there and love Him there, we too will have a glorified body in heaven.

Jesus incredible teaching on the Holy Eucharist reminds us that our most profound need of all is to be loved by God-to be one with God. We are literally made for God, made for His love, made to love Him in return and serve Him in this life so that we can be happy in this life and in the next by becoming one with Him in a unending union of love. The Eucharist is the gift of the Love of God because it is truly the God who is Love in the flesh. This is the greatest of gifts of the Father to us, because it is the Gift of Jesus Himself. The Holy Eucharist is then the greatest Gift of Love-to us, who receive Him in faith. And we have to receive Him with faith!!! For Happy are those who are called to His supper and attend with faith!!!

As we penetrate the teaching of this Gospel, we discover that Jesus uses the power of His Divinity, not to scare us, but to actually manifest His divine infinite love for us. He wants to show us that nothing can block or inhibit this Love of His from reaching us in, through and with the Holy Eucharist—except if we chose not to believe. Unfortunately, the choice to not to believe, to not take Jesus-God at His Word, is shown by the people in our readings over the past few weeks. By their unbelief they failed to open their hearts and minds to Jesus and to the great gift of Himself offered to us in and through the Holy Eucharist. Last week they murmured, this week they complain by saying Jesus’ words were “Intolerable”.

Jesus today opens His heart of love and shares the great secret, the greatest of all secrets, that Jesus would give His very life for our salvation. He does this by giving us the gift of Himself, of His life in the Holy Eucharist. In John Chapter 6, Jesus foretells His self-offering and sacrifice of His flesh on the cross and at every Holy Mass in order to give it to us to eat for our salvation.

The Bread of Life is indeed His true flesh and blood, His complete self offering to us. His love for us has absolutely no limits. It is in the Holy Eucharist that we, living today, can receive personally Jesus’ gift of His life poured out for us. It is through the Holy Eucharist that we can not only be saved but become one with the entire Blessed Trinity in unending love.

The Holy Eucharist is a true miracle—It is the Miracles of all miracles…for the bread and wine at the words of Consecration are changed physically into the physical reality of Jesus Christ who is now bodily present-the bread no longer exists, only Jesus exists, whole and entire true God and true Man. With the Holy Eucharist, God not only personally has entered into the world, He is still here physically and He desires to enter into us so we might become one with Him-this is the greatest manifestation of God’s love for the world. Now, Love Himself has a direct and immediate, unfathomable intimacy and communion with our hearts…But we on our part have to believe and receive Him worthily by being in the state of grace, free from serious sin and in union with His Mystical Body on earth, the Catholic Church and Her teachings.

The Holy Eucharist is the only answer for our modern day troubles, It is the only answer to the deepest desires of our Heart, for it is not a It at all, but a Him, THE HIM, Jesus Christ our Lord and our God, who is the only savior of the world and so the only answer to the human condition. If we want to Change our world for the better we must adore the Holy Eucharist as the True and Living God physically among us in the flesh. “Without adoration there is no transformation (Cardinal Ratzinger).” In fact, our world is only transformed to the extent that we Catholics allow Jesus in the Holy Eucharist to transform us. And we can only be transformed to the extent that we offer our whole selves in response to the God who offers His whole to us in the Holy Eucharist. This is what the Holy Mass really is, the unique place for an exchange of Hearts…Where God offers anew His Sacred Heart to us and we in order to become one with Him offer our hearts to Him-the two hearts then can become One—the human with the Divine.

Let us end by always remembering that an age prospers or dwindles in proportion to its, faith in, hope in and love for to the Holy Eucharist.

O My God I believe in thee in the Holy Eucharist, I adore thee in the Holy Eucharist and I love thee in the Holy Eucharist. Please help my lack of believe, lack of adoration, lack of trust and lack of love as I beg pardon for those who do not believe, adore, hope and love thee in the Holy Eucharist. Amen…Holy Mary Mother of the Holy Eucharist pray for us, lead us to a deeper love for Your Son, Jesus, in the Holy Eucharist…Use me as your little child to save souls and transform out world. Amen.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Holy Mary, Mother of the Holy Eucharist, help us to love Jesus in the Holy Eucharist above all things and to offer our love, our hearts and our whole self to Him at this Holy Mass. Help those who are struggling with faith in the Holy Mass and the Holy Eucharist, obtain for them, for all us from Your Divine Son a deeper faith, complete and absolute trust and perfect love for our God for one another. Jesus I trust in Thee. Amen.

John 6:24-35 18th Sunday in Ordinary time. August 2nd, 2015.

In today’s Gospel we read the account of the people looking for food. We will continue to read from St. John, Chapter 6, for the next couple of weeks. If you recall, last week we read about the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. This week, we pick-up where we left off with this very enlightening passage where Jesus tries to teach the people that the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes is really a miracle to help them and lead them to faith in a much greater miracle, the Miracle of the Holy Eucharist. I think that the way Jesus teaches and leads the people is very instructive. So, let’s take a closer look and see what it might teach us.

First, the people question Jesus about how he had arrived in that place. Jesus doesn’t really seem to answer their question- he doesn’t say, “I crossed over here by land because you all wanted to take me off to Jerusalem and make me King.” Instead, Jesus responds with something unexpected. He looks into their hearts and sees their motives- they want only bread to eat. In other words, they mistakenly want only their earthly needs met; they want only a earthly messiah-a “bread king;” that is, a politician who would fulfill their earthly needs and desires and give them freedom; but not freedom in its truest since, the freedom to worship God by their holiness of lives, the freedom to live the truth, to choose the Good, the True and the Beautiful; but instead, they want freedom to do whatever they please.

And so, the people in today’s Gospel really want only a temporal leader, an earthly king-president that would only free them from the oppression of the Romans instead of freeing them from the worst oppression, the oppression to sin. You see, sin is the real oppressor, because it takes away true freedom, the freedom to love for the other’s sake alone, and instead imprisons one in disordered self-love.

And so, in the multiplication miracle, the people recognized merely a worldly sign. Could Jesus be the one to lead them to easy street and good times? They wanted Jesus to be a geo-political messiah that would bring bread, much like Moses had done in the O.T; and then lead them to the promise land flowing with milk and honey. But a “promise land” understood as only a land of economic peace and stability, instead of land of freedom to not only worship God privately, but to worship Him publicly, by living one’s faith publicly as a witness to the truth and beauty of the Gospel.

And so, the Divine Jesus reads their hearts, knowing they’re not understanding what the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves was really trying to teach them. He sees that they just want some free gourmet food to fill their bellies, but fail to understand that economic prosperity only comes from being a faithful and moral people, a people who are walking in the ways of God and in His Love. And so Jesus sees that they fail to see that their geo-economic problems, their oppression and slavery and terrible economic times, the evil in their day, were not the result of the Romans or any other enemy or worldly power, but were instead the result of their own infidelity to the Lord.

So, with great compassion, and understanding their true hunger, Jesus tells them to search for the Food that will give true life and freedom, the fullness of life here on earth ending in heavenly joy. Jesus tells them to search for heavenly food. With this food they would never be hungry again. Jesus wants to give them food to fulfill their deepest desire, food supernatural and eternal life- not merely temporal life.

Jesus was not the one to fulfill their earthly desire for a political leader, but he would go far beyond their earthly desires to the inner depths of man’s heart-to his deepest desire, which is to be loved, to be loved by Jesus the One who the Father has sent. Jesus wanted to be their King, but King of their hearts for He is the King of Love, the King who is Love, because He is the God who is love. In His Love, Jesus is the only One to fill all their desires earthly and heavenly.

Yet, the people respond with a question to continue to test Jesus, “How can we do the works of God? Well, for them the work of God meant very temporal or earthly realities; it meant to them merely being good people; that is doing the minimum in order that God wouldn’t get mad at them; it wasn’t a question of love, of giving of themselves totally to God and to neighbor without measure. So, Jesus confronts them and brings them back to Himself- the work of God is to believe in the One sent by the Father, which of course was Jesus himself; and then to live that faith out in love by doing the Will of the Father.

Again they continue, “but what sign can you give that we would have faith in you?” (Remember now that Jesus had just finished doing so many signs-miracles. He multiplied the loaves and fishes and cured many who were ill; he brought the dead back to life, walked on water, and yet they still did not believe, still did not trust, still did not love). They just would not give up their own ideas of who the Messiah should be. So they refer to Moses. After all they believed it was Moses who led them out of slavery and gave them bread to eat. They believed wrongly that the new messiah promised by Moses would merely lead them out of physical slavery and give them earthly bread. So it would be only this person, this earthly type of messiah, leader-president that the people would put their trust in.

Jesus cuts to the chase; HE counters and corrects them by saying it was not Moses who gave you food in the desert by my Father in heaven. It is my Father who gives you the real heavenly bread. God’s bread comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world.” They respond that they want this bread for the life of the world.

And this is where it seems, Jesus really goes too far- he tells them that He himself is the Bread of Life, and that, “the one who comes to me will never hunger and never thirst.” I do not think they could even begin to grasp what Jesus was saying to them, for they lacked faith. They just would not accept this teaching, in fact this is the only time in the Gospels were we are told, many of his disciples left and no longer believed in Him, “This is a hard saying who can believe it; that Jesus would give Himself, His true flesh and His true Blood as their True Food (cf. John 6;66…that’s right! 666!).

By looking more closely at the discourse in today’s Gospel we can discover that the more things change the more they stay the same. We too, even us who are followers of Christ, can too often look only for an earthly messiah and earthy leader as the only answer to our problems, as the only one who will fill our desires. Instead of looking to the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ truly present in the Holy Eucharist to fill the desires of our heart and to help us solve our problems, we instead turn to political leaders who promises to fill our desires by bringing about economic prosperity but yet political leaders who at the same time go against the Commandments and precepts of God.

However, as History proves over and over again, any leader who tries to build the kingdom of man without reference to the Kingdom of God, to God’s Laws and His Holy Church is following in the footsteps of other so-called earthly messiahs who promised the same-- nero; lenin, stalin, hitler; and Mao se tung... These false messiahs at first may have seemed to fixed the economy, but in the end destroyed it and the soul of their country; and in the process killed millions, born and unborn, while so many people looked the other way. Lured by the empty promises of their false messiah so many mistakenly put lesser issues before the non-negotiable issues of life, family, traditional marriage; and before, the freedom to worship God and freedom to follow their informed conscience, informed by God Truths-the teachings of His Holy Catholic Church and not their own opinions.

This is what is so extremely dangerous about our current situation. These are very troubling times, economically, politically, culturally. History shows that in tough times and in desperation, people will sadly too often turn to a charismatic leader for solutions, instead of God. And in the process, they end up losing their freedoms, many of them their lives, and even worse risk losing their soul and the soul of their country to follow this so-called “messiah.” And as a result, dignity of the human person is rejected and the most abhorrent crimes against humanity result…just look at the selling of baby parts by Planned Parenthood in our own day—grizzly on a level that at least is equal to, if not surpassing, the holocaust-the womb as become a killing field and a place of gruesome acts on the level of Joseph Mengele.

For us, deeper faith is the answer to all our problems; faith in Jesus, faith that Jesus is really, truly physically present in the Holy Eucharist and that He love us; the answer is deeper Faith in the Holy Mass as the source and summit of the graces we need to change and convert our country, our world, our families and ourselves. Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and through the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass wants to work miracles of grace in our world and our families; but He can only do so through the hearts of those who truly believe, through our faith, adoration, hope-trust and love in Him.

Faith is a gift we’ve been given but it needs to grow to maturity. It takes our personal effort to cooperate in Its growth. We need to work at it with all our heart and soul, mind and will, with all our strength, and not just on Sunday, but all week; 24/7/365, every day remaining of our live; Our Faith in Jesus and His true present in the Holy Eucharist needs to become our absolute priority. For Faith reminds us that this life is short and eternity is oh so long.

In the end, Faith grows by spending as much time as we can outside of Holy Mass with the One we love and who loves us, Jesus, the Bread of Life, truly present in the Holy Eucharist, kneeling before Him begging his mercy on us and on our whole world and the leaders of the world; and asking Him to increase our trust in Him and so our love in Him. Time in front of Jesus reveals to us who we really are, for better and for worse, so Faith grows as well by frequent reception of the Sacrament of Confession. And finally faith grows by desiring, studying and praying to know more about Jesus, about his teachings, which the Church gives us

Let us at this Holy Mass ask Jesus to strengthen our resolve and efforts to know our faith and to know and love the Holy Eucharist which is truly Jesus Christ. When we receive Him in the Holy Eucharist let us spend some time kneeling in our pew adoring and loving him, and asking him to help us to adore, love, trust and believe in him more. Let us spend some time with after Holy Mass, just a few minutes to thank Him for the great privilege of being able to not only attend Mass, but actually to receive Him, His Body, blood, Soul, into our body, blood and soul; His divinity into our humanity.

Holy Mary, Mother of the Holy Eucharist, help us to love Jesus in the Holy Eucharist above all things and to offer our love, our hearts and our whole self to Him at this Holy Mass. Help those who are struggling with faith in the Holy Mass and the Holy Eucharist, obtain for them, for all us from Your Divine Son a deeper faith, complete and absolute trust and perfect love for our God for one another. Jesus I trust in Thee. Amen..