Corpus Christi: Body and Blood of Christ

Understand the difference: Transubstantiation; Tran-signification; trans-finalization; Catholic belief in Real Presence and transubstantiation (Term from St. Thomas Aquinas). 
Why bread and wine:
  1. Creator God is also the provider God, provide food and sustenance to the creation (also protector and the facilitator): in the desert: manna and water. Parents who bring up children have also similar responsibility.
    Food; sacraments from bread, water, oil, wine; daily necessities; grace is built on nature
  2. We never forget to eat: Nothing becomes so biologically part of us. We become what we eat. Junk food, not caring for God's creation. Bodies neglected. Abortion, old people, children abandoned. Our younger years are spent losing health to make wealth and our older years are spent losing wealth to get health.
  3. Food is nourishment (energy), life, growth and gives joy and is eaten in fellowship, Companion = the one who breaks bread with me (Latin meaning) Food is best taken in fellowship: companion; sharing
  4. Food should be eaten as a family. Unity
  5. It takes sacrifice to prepare it
  6. Many ingredients to make it; complementing
  7. Food has to be broken down to assimilate or digest – process of breaking
  8. How can we each become Eucharistic people? Don’t adore and worship hours bodies – naked, vulgar  - on the screens of computer and TVs, but a little time with the Lord in the Eucharist. What do we hunger for? What tables do we sit to fulfil that hunger?
  9. Each sacrifice is an expression of becoming body & blood. We live by what we get, but we give life by what we give.
  10. Social Dimension: Aren't we surprised on Holy Thursday to note that the reading was not the institution of the Eucharist, but washing of the feet. Again today, the context was the multiplication of the loaves. We become what we eat. We become part of the mission of Jesus. It's about mercy and justice.
Tony Kayala, c.s.c.


Gospel text: John 6:51-58

Michel de Verteuil
General comments
Body of CtEarlier in this same chapter of St John’s gospel, Jesus presented himself to the people as”bread come down from heaven.” Here he pushes the metaphor further: he gives them his flesh to eat and his blood to drink.
You may find the metaphor strange, but you should try to enter into it so that it becomes part of your prayer. Remember that in Bible meditation it is not sufficient to get the message of a passage; you must get into the words themselves and grow to love them so that you feel moved to repeat them many times.
The metaphor has its origins in “flesh and blood”, a biblical expression that means the reality of a human being with special stress on his or her weakness or limitations. For example, when in Matthew 16 Peter made his act of faith, it did not come from “flesh and blood,” but as a gift from  God.  So too St Paul warned the Ephesians that their struggle was not merely against “flesh and blood”, but against heavenly forces.
Therefore, when Jesus says that he gives his flesh to eat and his blood to drink, he  is saying three things.
– The first is that he gives himself totally to others; every part of his being is at their service; it is the same as saying, “This is my body, given for you.”
– Secondly, he is inviting people to deep union with himself, to “have his spirit coursing through their souls so that they can know the passion of his love for every one,” as we sing in the hymn  “To be the Body of the Lord.”
– Thirdly, he wants them to unite their weakness and their sufferings with his, so that they can experience his strength and his courage. As he would say to them at the Last Supper, “In the world you will have trouble, but be brave, I have conquered the world.” When we eat his flesh and drink his blood, our own flesh and blood are ennobled. St Paul says in 2 Corinthians: “We carry with us in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus too may always be seen in our body.”

Last SThe passage is therefore a meditation on Jesus as teacher, leader and guide. In all three roles he does not stand outside of people, he wants to share their lives and to have them share his.
Now this tells us something about God; whereas we tend to imagine God in heaven looking down on us but not getting involved in the movement of our history, Jesus shows God entering into flesh and blood with us.

But the passage also tells us about human relationships. In your meditation remember with gratitude people who have been Jesus for you – a parent, a spiritual guide, a friend, a national leader. Naturally you will feel the passage calling you to growth in your relationships.
Finally a good meditation on this passage will help you to appreciate the Eucharist. It will show you why Jesus chose to be present in the Church under the form of bread and wine.
To meditate deeply on this passage, take one section at a time and enter into it, letting it speak to your experience. I suggest the following divisions:

– Verses 51 and 52: the people are questioning the very possibility of someone giving
himself totally, as Jesus claims to do. Their response is cynical, but is it not typical of the way many would respond today?
– Verse 53 invites us to think of people who have no life in them, and to go to the root
cause: they have never experienced, or perhaps never let themselves experience, the kind of selfless love that Jesus gives.
– Verse 54 introduces a theme that appears several times in this chapter: deep relationship with God in Jesus lifts us up beyond the limitations of time and history.
– In verse 55 we remember that there is false food and drink and to recognize them we can look at what relationship with Jesus does to us.
– Verse 56 teaches us the effect of love, the love of Jesus, as well as of all those who love selflessly.
– In verse 57 we see another effect of selfless love. Here, as frequently in St John’s
gospel, Jesus’ relationship with his followers is similar to his relationship with his Father – “As the Father has sent me so I am sending you; as the Father loves me so I have loved you.”
– In verse 58 we see again the theme of the newness of Jesus’ teaching.

Prayer reflection
Lord, we remember with gratitude the day when we realized for the first time
that following Jesus meant eating his flesh and drinking his blood.
Up to then it was a matter of believing abstract truths –
that Jesus was truly God and truly man,
that there were three persons in God and seven sacraments.
That kind of faith was not a source of life for us.

Then one day we knew that we had to lay down our lives
– caring for a wayward child;
– working for reconciliation in the work place and being attacked by both
workers and employees;
– forgiving someone who had hurt us deeply.
At that moment we knew that Jesus on the cross was present within us,
and the strange thing was that we felt an inner strength and freedom.
and we were certain that no matter how low we fell he would raise us up.

Lord, being self-centred  has become like a first principle of living today.
People will argue with one another that it is not possible for us
to give our flesh to be eaten,
and yet there can be no life in the world without selfless giving,
not in nature, not in families, not in any society.

Lord, we pray for those who are mourning for a loved one.
Remind them that Jesus gave them his flesh to eat and his blood to drink
and he will raise them up on the last day.

“I should like to set down here my own belief. In so far as I am willing to be made an instrument of God’s peace, in that far have I already   entered into eternal life.”  ...Alan Paton
Lord, we thank you for those who eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus
and therefore already have eternal life.

“We need the eyes of deep faith to see Christ in the broken bodies and dirty clothes under which the most beautiful one among the sons of men hides.”   ...Mother Teresa
Lord, help us to receive Jesus when he comes to us in flesh and blood.
silent prayerLord, you give us food and drink so that we might live more freely and creatively.
Yet we nourish ourselves with many things that are not life-giving at all,
but rather clutter up our lives and keep us in bondage.
We pray that your Christ may be Jesus today,
giving the world real food and drink.

Lord, we thank you for the people who have touched our lives;
when we read the story of Jesus, we see them living in him,
and when we remember their stories, we see Jesus living in them.
Truly they have eaten his flesh and drunk his blood.

Lord, we speak too much when we pray.
Teach us to remain silent
so that we become conscious of Jesus present within us
and the life he draws from you may well up in us too.

Lord, we think today of those who see their spouses destroying themselves
with bitterness, envy and false pride.
With anguish in their hearts, they say to them,
as Jesus said to his followers,
“Unless you allow yourself to receive my selfless love, 
              you will not have life within you.”

Lord, we pray for the people of South Africa, Ireland, Afghanistan, and East Timor.
For generations, their ancestors have eaten the bread of suspicion,
fear and hatred, and they are dead.
We thank you that you are raising up new leaders in those countries,
and they, like Jesus, are offering their people a different kind of nourishment,
based on reconciliation and sharing,
bread come down from heaven,
so that they can eat it and live.

Thomas O’Loughlin
Introduction to the Celebration
Since the very first days of the church — before St Paul had set out on his journeys or any of the gospels were written — our brothers and sisters have been gathering every week for this sacred meal. But when we routinely do anything, we often lose sight of just how wonderful it is. So today we are reflecting on just how wonderful it is to be called by the Lord to gather in his presence, to be his guests at his table, and to eat and drink from his wonderful bounty. In this banquet we become one with Christ, and are transformed into being his Body, and his Blood flows in all our community’s veins, giving us the strength to be his withesses in the world and to inherit the life that never ends.

Homily notes
 1. Words should help us to draw out;the significant in our lives. Words should be the seeds of meaning within us and between us. Words should be precious in letting us see the wonder and goodness of the Father.
2. Unfortunately, words also can obscure reality for us. They can bury us under so many layers of accumulated confusions that we struggle to see what is really important. In a communications age, words can be the vehicles of disinformation like never before and can confuse the chasm that should exist between the genuine, the true, the important, and the illusions of salesmen, marketers, and spin-doctors. Words also can so fascinate us with their own magic that we fail to move beyond them to the realities they exist to highlight for us. Words should be illuminating, but they are often like a fog, and indeed sometimes a smokescreen separating us from reality.
3. What has this to do with the Eucharist? Well, the Eucharist is a sacrament, a sign, a mystery; and as such it should convey meaning and truth and authenticity and life. And so it always involves words: words, firstly, in the actual celebration, the words of thanksgiving and prayer to the Father that justify the name of ‘The Eucharist’; and, words too that talk about what we are doing, explaining our actions to ourselves and to others. These words of explanation and exploration of meaning are what we call’ theology’. We see the process right from the start of the Christian journey: each week the community gathered and in its eating and drinking offered its prayer of thanksgiving. Then we see theologians explaining why this is significant: firstly, Paul writing to the Corinthians explaining it in terms of becoming one with the Christ, then the Didache in terms of the final banquet of the regathered Israel, then Mark explaining it in terms of a pre-existing understanding of the Passover (and in explaining a weekly meal in terms of an annual meal leaving a theological time ­bomb that went off in Calvin’s hands 1400 years later!), then John in terms of the manna in the desert, and on and on and on until we reach some of the books on the Eucharist that are on your shelves or the pamphlets in the church’s book-rack.
4. But today we face a problem with all these words. For many the words about the Eucharist make no sense. The gathering makes no sense; its does not enhance their grasp of life or of the goodness of God. Just think of these two facts. First, English and Welsh hierarchy figures for Mass attendance showed a fall of 130,000 between 2002 and 2005. People are expressing their ‘theology’ (i.e. their understanding of what we are doing, whether it is an adequate theology or not) with their feet. Second, the fastest growing Christian groups are the evangelical churches where the Eucharist is not considered central or significant (and which in some groups is even considered superstitious). Yet the statisticians point out that between 25% (Catholics bishops’ figures) and 33% (the evangelical missionaries’ figures) of South Americans now for­mally call themselves ‘Evangelicals’ as distinct from ‘Catholics’. And, this is a pattern of movement that is not confined to Latin America. When we consider the centrality of this meal, since the very first days of the church, that was the bonding force of the little groups with their Lord whose resurrection they proclaimed, then the poverty of such a jejune (literally) non-Eucharist centred theology cannot but be a cause of sadness.
meal5. That the Eucharist and its language are seen as meaningless, boring, or irrelevant either to life in general or the life of discipleship is, of its nature, a complex problem with many causes; and it is possible that it is beyond our ability to do anything about most of these causes. However, some parts of the problem are of our making and can be addressed. One of these is that many celebrations obscure the basic and original structure of this gift that Jesus gave us. This obscuring takes place in that we concentrate on all the various levels of meaning that have accumulated over the centuries such that participants cannot experience the answer to that constant human question: ‘What’s this about?’ – nor can teachers give a concise explanation that might answer that question. Such accumulations of secondary issues are a normal part of human life and the constant bane of every group activity, and so common is it that we have the classic image of ‘the tail wagging the dog’ to describe the problem. In the case of the Eucharist this can take many forms: the celebration becomes primarily linked to the availability of a priest rather than the needs of a community; it becomes a teaching session and prayer service plus getting Holy Communion rather than the Lord’s Banquet; the questions of who can or cannot receive become the central issue – and for a great many people this is the sole question that concerns them about the whole affair ­rather than encountering the risen Christ; the Eucharist (the name for an action) becomes subsumed under the notion of Holy Communion (a commodity) or the Blessed Sacrament (an object); and for many, priests included, it is hard to think of ‘sacrament’ as the name of an activity of a group rather than of a ‘something’ usually had by an individual.
6. So what can one do to address the problem? The starting point is to remember that the Eucharist is the collective meal of the community of the baptised. So why not meet for the Eucharist on this day in the community hall rather than the church building? Then stand around for the whole event rather than be formally lined up in the way one might for a class or a meeting where discussion is dominant. This is a gathering, an assembly, a celebration of who we are in Christ, not a meeting to transact business. Recall the gathering at some ‘reception’, people stand and mingle, they get to know each other, they recognise they have a common reason for being there: they are not seated in rows. Then they can gather around a single table that is the Lord’s. Words like ‘altar’ are secondary: they derive from a second century attempt to explain what we are doing as we gather at the one table. It was basic to the message of Jesus that there was a welcome at his table, there was room there for the poor, the outcasts, the strangers, the sinners, and unloved. This gathering of those who are reconciled and given new life (i.e. the baptised) is the pattern for the whole life of the church, both now and eschatologically. So everyone should be able to gather around that table, and know they have as much right to stand there at the Lord’s invitation as the mob of concelebrating priests one sometimes sees huddling round it. A decent-sized dining table, that is still clearly recognisable as such (i.e. not covered to make it look like’ an altar’), is ideal. It is also worth recalling those lines from Eucharistic Prayer I (which date from the time before we had formal churches) that say: ‘Remember your male servants (famulorum) and your female servants (famularum), indeed, the needs ofall who are standing around.’
Then we come to the basic activity of thanking the Father in Jesus. We often recite this as if its purpose was to ask God to consecrate elements on the table (and as such it becomes the skilled work of the priest alone). Presented in that light there is little adequate answer to the question someone asked me after the Eucharist recently: why does the priest not get all this done before-hand so that it is ready to give to us after the readings? It is strange how the culture of fast-food outlets matches the old practice of ‘Mass and Communion (from the tabernacle, of course)’. So there has to be attention to the tone of the Eucharistic Prayer that it is recited as prayer directed to the Father thanking him for all he has given us in his Son. Use Eucharistic Prayer II as it is crisp and its theology elegant, and note that in the Missal of Vatican II there are no ‘words of consecration’, but an ‘institution narrative’ – there lies the core of the renewed theology of the council and it has major implications for how the Eucharistic Prayer is voiced at every celebration. We are recalling the Last Supper as part of our prayer and so justifying why we are now praying in this way (this recollection format is part of every collect: we praise the Father because of something that has occurred) not pronouncing a sacral formula. After all, in the final analysis, it is the gathered people that must be consecrated to become the body and blood of Christ.
Then we come to the basic form of the meal: Jesus used a single loaf from which each received a share, and passed around a single cup from which each drank. This is the basic symbolism of this particular meal: a common life as one body which is Christ (the one loaf), and a common destiny (see Mk 10:38-9; Jn 18:11) which is in Christ (the one cup). This eating and drinking by the gathering is, of its nature, a confusing and lengthy business, but that is fine. After all we are there to engage in just that activity.
7. This is a radical way to celebrate this feast (and the homily would be to point out that we are doing it this way to remind ourselves on this day of our eucharistic basics. There will be those who object, threaten to go the the next parish where the priest is sound, and indeed some who write to the bishop (or further afield) to ‘just let him know what’s happening’. This is, in every community, a well identified and easily quantified group and so they receive a lot of attention lest they be upset; however, that other group who are just drifting away without a word are not easily identifiable and are only quantifiable through statistics. In addressing those who day by day are being lost to the Eucharist, I suspect there is some guidance in Mt 18:12-3.
John Litteton
Gospel Reflection
HostOn the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, it is appropriate to reflect on three essential Catholic teachings about the Eucharist: the link between the Eucharist and the Church, the Eucharist as sacrifice, and the Eucharist as Real Presence.
First, there is an intrinsic link between the Eucharist and the Church. Sharing the Eucharist requires belonging to the Church and vice versa. Understanding such a relationship between the Eucharist and the Church, which is central to Catholic teaching, has serious implications for people who receive Holy Communion.
There is a necessary connection between what Catholics do when they assemble for the celebration of Mass and what they do as members of the Church in other aspects of their daily lives. If they do not perceive such a connection, then it is probable that there will be many areas of inconsistency with gospel values and Catholic doctrine in their lifestyles.
The Church is most truly itself when it celebrates the Eucharist. But this truth presumes a unity between what Catholics say they believe and how they live. So faith and morality are inextricably bound up and we need to live in religious and moral harmony with the Church if we are to celebrate the Eucharist authentically.
Christ CrucifiedThe reception of Holy Communion implies that a person is in full communion with the Catholic Church and its beliefs. Receiving Communion is a sign of unity in faith and love with both the local church (and the local bishop) and the universal Church (and the Pope). While there are members of other ecclesial communities — various other Christian denominations seeking to follow Christ — who often wish to receive Holy Communion in Catholic churches and who argue that, because of our common belief in the divinity of Christ, we are, in a sense, in communion, the Catholic Church teaches that this communion is imperfect because it is incomplete. Hence there is genuine difficulty about Eucharistic sharing between Catholics and other Christians. But this does not deny that elements of holiness and truth are evident in other Christian communities.
Secondly, the Eucharist is a sacrifice. When the Eucharist is celebrated, the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ becomes effectively present for his people who are members of his Body, the Church. In describing the Eucharist as a sacrifice, the Catholic Church is not — as many other Christian traditions have often interpreted — denying the unique saving work of Jesus Christ when he died on Calvary.
There is a need for a renewed emphasis on the sacrificial understanding of the Eucharist among Catholics because such an understanding is at the very heart of the Eucharist. Traditionally, the Eucharist has never been understood merely as a service. No service can replace the sacrifice of the Mass. This is because the sacrifice of the Mass is the unbloody re-presentation of Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice on Calvary.
Thirdly, Catholic faith accepts that the ‘real’ and ‘substantial’ presence of Christ is found in the Eucharist in the sense that the Eucharist is the supreme form of Christ’s presence and his inner reality. This belief that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, that there has been a change in the substances of bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, provides the basis and the imperative for adoration of and reverence for the reserved Blessed Sacrament. This is why Catholics are exhorted to spend time praying before the Blessed Sacrament.
Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life. He is the Living Bread that has come down from heaven to give life to the world (see Jn 6:51). Whoever eats the Bread of Life will have eternal life.
How do we deal with this basic Catholic teaching about the Eucharist? The teaching of the Church is the teaching of Christ. Can we, therefore, accept and believe the Church’s teaching about the Eucharist? The Church teaches that the Eucharist is the summit of the Christian life. It is appropriate, then, when receiving Holy Communion, to repeat the prayer of one of the multitude following Jesus: ‘I do have faith. Help the little faith I have’ (Mk 9:23).

For meditation
I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.Anyone who ears this bread will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world. (Jn 6:51)

Fr Donal Neary, S.J
The feast today highlights the central place of the Eucharist in Christian life, our faith that God becomes present in a real way in ordinary bread and wine – food for the journey of life in the bread, energy and joy for the journey of life in the wine. and the wine of the coming of the Lord. Bread and wine were very much part of the ordinary food of the people of his time, and also of their religious life. People would remember the bread in the desert and the wine of the coming of the Lord.  
Each time we come to Mass, we take part in a real way in the death and resurrection of the Lord, The sacrifice of Christ on the cross and his resurrection is ‘made resent’among us. It is a place and time  of grace.
So our Eucharist today is not just to commemorate something that happened many years ago.It is our commitment to Christ in his people, and our faith in his real presence among us in the Eucharist and in each other.
Jesus ask us o share the bread and cup, to proclaim this ‘mystery of faith’ for all time, We proclaim today that the Jesus of the tabernacle is the Jesus within all of us. Let’s be amazed that within each of us, God dwells in Jesus Christ.
From The Connections:

Today’s celebration of the Body and Blood of the Lord originated in the Diocese of Liege in 1246 as the feast of Corpus Christi.  In the reforms of Vatican II, the Corpus Christi festival was joined with the feast of the Precious Blood (July 1) to become the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord.  We celebrate today Christ’s gift of the Eucharist, the source and summit of our life together as the Church.
In the “bread of life” discourse in John’s Gospel, Jesus’ revelations concerning his Messianic ministry take on a Eucharistic theme.  The image of Jesus as “bread from heaven” echoes two dimensions of the same First Testament image: the wisdom of God's Law nourishing all who accept it and God's blessing of manna to feed the journeying Israelites.

The gift of the Eucharist comes with an important “string” is attached: it must be shared.  In sharing the body of Christ, we become the body of Christ.  If we partake of the “one bread” (Reading 2), then we must be willing to become Eucharist for others -- to make the love of Christ real for all.
Our coming to the table of the Eucharist is even more than just reliving the memory of Christ’s great sacrifice for our redemption -- in sharing the Eucharist we re-enter the inexplicable love of God who gives us eternal life in his Son, the Risen Christ.
In celebrating the Eucharist, we make our parish family’s table the Lord’s own table, a place of reconciliation and compassion.
From Fr. Jude Botelho:

Today's reading alludes to all kinds of sacrifices the ancient Jews offered. Blood was used as a sign of the Israelites' 'covenant', a special word the Hebrews borrowed from others. It was a pact or contract, between unequal parties, like the king and his subjects; a pact freely entered into, binding perpetually, and sealed in blood. Moses is referring to the pact and covenant with God and this pact was sealed with a sacrifice, offered to God alone. Moses splashed the blood on the altar and he splashed the remaining on the people, binding the two together. The people honour the pact by agreeing to keep the commandments and being faithful to God, in return for his protection of them. Furthermore the people identified with the sacrifice by eating a portion of the victim being offered. Meal sharing was regarded as very sacred in antiquity. By eating, one signified acceptance of, and respect for the person providing the meal.

Food for the Journey
I traveled to a place in the northern tip of Ireland one night to say Mass for a Prayer Group. It was a wild wintry night and, when the Mass was over, I was anxious to get on the road for home. As I dashed towards the car, I was stopped by an elderly lady, and I wasn't too please at the prospect of having to listen to her tale of pains and aches, while I was impatient to get going. I was very taken aback when she handed me a small boat-shaped basket, filled with triangular sandwiches, with all kinds of fillings. The basket was covered with cling film. "I just thought, Father, you might like to eat those on your journey home." She turned and went back into the church. For once I was stuck for words..! I still have the basket on my desk as I write here now. When I look at it I think of the Eucharist, 'food for the journey.'
Jack McArdle in 'And that's the Gospel Truth"

In today's gospel we have Mark's account of the Last Supper, and the longest part, has to do with the preparation for the meal. This was no haphazard, hurried, get-together but a sacred event. Jesus was continuing something that had been going on as the Jewish way of offering worship and thanks for their deliverance since they left Egypt. What He did in the Upper Room was, first of all, an adaptation of the Passover of the past. The Passover meal was also an anticipation of Jesus' offering of himself and a commemoration for the people of the future. In addition to being an adaptation of the past and an anticipation of the future, what Jesus did at the Passover was important for what he was doing now. He was signing the covenant with his own blood which will be poured out for mankind. Our taking part in the Eucharist required preparation of both body and soul. The Eucharist is not something that we come to watch, rather it is something we come to do. We have to become personally responsible for our presence at the Eucharist and not make it dependant on the priest who is presiding. Certainly, the priest can help enormously in getting us involved and in breaking the word meaningfully but if I am not disposed nothing will help. Thus a meaningful celebration of the Eucharist would mean not only an open disposition and reverent celebration of the ritual but also letting the Eucharist affect our attitudes and life.

The Body of Christ is not only our redemption, it is our task!
In his sermon 'The Weight of Glory', C.S. Lewis wrote: 'Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to our senses." "Christ's body is hidden in the least of us as it is under the appearances of bread and wine. Both require an uncommon and daring faith.  When we labour for human rights, when we shelter the poor, when we dismantle the bombs, when we protect the unborn, when we reach out to the criminal, we do these things not as political activists or social workers. We do them not as liberals or conservatives. We do them as people who worship the incarnate God. The body and blood of Christ is not only our redemption. It is our task!"
John F. Kavanaugh

This will be enough for me!
In Ingmar Bergman's classic film, The Seventh Seal, the quest for God is set against a medieval world threatened by plague. After fighting in the crusades a knight makes his way to his native land. He survives a shipwreck, but death lets him know that he is doomed to die within a certain time. The knight wins a little more time at a game of chess, but he is sick at heart: he wants to believe in God, yet he cannot manage by himself to reach faith. He seeks for signs of God's presence, but there is none he can see. It is the time of the Black Death; God seems to be absent from the troubled streets of every town and village. On his journey the knight meets a peasant couple and their child, and shares a simple meal with them. The only food they can manage to gather is wild strawberries -this they share together with fresh milk. The love in the young couple's welcome, the fruit of their love in the sleeping child, Mikael, all this is greater than the food and drink they share. In the simple actions of sharing the meal the knight sees the presence of a love that has eluded him. In that meeting place the darkness begins to lift from the knight. He has been gifted with more than food; he has been graced with more than fellowship. He prays his thanks when he says: "I shall remember this moment. The silence, the twilight, the bowls of strawberries and milk, your face in the evening light. Mikael sleeping, Jof with his lyre. I'll carry this memory between my hands as carefully as if it were a bowl filled to the brim with fresh milk. And it will be an adequate sign. It will be enough for me!"
Denis McBride in 'Seasons of the Word'

Retelling the Story
On a hill near Cape Town, South Africa, just below the famed Table Mountain, a gun is fired every day at noon. The hill is known as Signal Hill. The firing of the gun once served a beautiful purpose. It signaled that a ship, on its way to or from India, had arrived in the harbour with a cargo of goods, and was in need of supplies of food and fresh water. A beautiful exchange resulted. There was receiving and giving. But that was a long time ago. The purpose no longer exists. Yet the gun is still fired dutifully every day. However, the firing is now little more than an empty ritual. Once it had a beautiful meaning. Now the meaning has gone out of it. Most of the local people ignore it. Visitors are told, 'If you hear a loud bang at mid-day, don't worry. It's only the gun going off.' However the ritual still has one thing going for it. Most people know the story behind it. If that story were to be lost, then the ritual would become poorer still. The Eucharist celebrates a wonderful event - the gift which Jesus made of his life on our behalf. Every time we celebrate the Eucharist we tell that story again. But like anything that is repeated over and over again, there is a danger that it may become just a ritual.

Flor McCarthy in 'New Sunday & Holy Day Liturgies'

Christ -the primary focus
Leonardo da Vinci was 43 years old when the duke of Milano asked him to paint the Last Supper. He worked on it slowly and with meticulous care to detail. He spent much time making the cup that Jesus held as beautiful as possible. After three years he was ready to show it, and he called a friend to come and see it. He said, "Look at it and give me your opinion." The friend said, "It is wonderful. The cup is so real I cannot take my eyes of it!" Immediately, Leonardo took a brush and drew it across the sparkling cup. He exclaimed as he did so: "Nothing shall detract from the figure of Christ!" Christ must be the primary focus of a Christian's life!
John Rose in 'John's Sunday Homilies'

God Always Comes...
Once upon a time there was a Rabbi. Whenever he wanted God's presence, he went to a special place in the woods, lit a fire, said some prayers, and did a dance. Then God would appear to him. When he died, his disciple did the same. If he wanted God's presence, he went to the same spot in the woods, lit the fire, and said the same prayers, but nobody had taught him the dance. It still worked. God appeared. When he died, his disciple carried on the tradition. If he wanted God's presence, he went to the same spot in the woods and lit the fire, but he didn't know the prayers, nor the dance, but it still worked. God came. Then he died. He also had a disciple. Whenever he wanted God's presence, he too went to the same place in the woods, but nobody had taught him how to light the fire or say the prayers or do the dance, but it still worked, God appeared. In the end, he died, but he too had a pupil. One day this pupil wanted God's presence. So he searched for the place in the woods, but couldn't find it. And he didn't know how to light the fire or say the prayers or do the dance. All he knew was how to tell the story. But it worked. He discovered that whenever he told the story of how the others had found God, God would appear. In essence, this story explains how the sacred ritual, liturgy, works.
Ronald Rolheiser in 'In Exile'

Jesus, Bread of Life
Brennan Manning, an American Franciscan priest, tells this story of his mother, a lady in her mid-seventies in Brooklyn. Mrs. Manning's day centred on her daily Eucharist. Because she began her voluntary stint at a drug detoxification centre each morning at 7.30 a.m., the only mass she could reach was at 5.30 a.m. Across the road from her lived a very successful lawyer, mid-thirties, married with two children. The man had no religion and was particularly critical of daily church-goers. Driving home from a late party at 5 am one January morning, the roads glassy with ice, he said to his wife: "I bet that old hag won't be out this morning", referring to Mrs. Manning. But to his shock, there she was on hands and knees negotiating the hill up to the church. He went home, tried to sleep, but could not. Around 9 am he rose, went to the local presbytery and asked to see a priest. "Padre," he said, "I am not one of yours. I have no religion. But could you tell me what do you have there that can make an old woman crawl on hands and knees on an icy morning?" Thus began his conversion along with his wife and family. Mrs. Manning was one of those people who never studied deep religious books, never knew the big theological words, but she knew what it is to meet Jesus in Holy Communion. Jesus Christ is the bread of life. What more could we want?
Sylvester O'Flynn in 'The Good News of Mark's Year'

From Father Tony Kadavil's Collection:

1: Holy Communion in outer space: Astronaut Mike Hopkins is one of the selected few: he spent six months on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2013. And though he was thrilled when he was chosen for a space mission, there was one Person he didn’t want to leave behind: Jesus in the Eucharist. Hopkins had been received into the Church less than a year before his launch. After a long wait, he was finally able to receive Our Lord at each Mass. Facing the prospect of being off the planet for half a year, he decided he had to find out if Jesus could travel with him. It turns out he could — and he did. Hopkins says, “In 2011, I got assigned to a mission to the International Space Station. I was going to go up and spend six months in space, starting in 2013. So, I started asking the question, ’Is there any chance I can take the Eucharist up with me into space?’ The weekend before I left for Russia — we launch on a Russian rocket from Kazakhstan — I went to Mass one last time, and [the priest with permission from his bishop] consecrated the wafers into the Body of Christ, and I was able to take the pyx with me. NASA has been great. … They didn’t have any reservations about me taking the Eucharist up or to practicing my Faith in orbit. The Russians were amazing. I went in with all my personal items, and I explained what the pyx was and the meaning of it to me — because for them, they, of course, saw it just as bread, if you will, the wafers — and yet for me [I knew] it was the Body of Christ. And they completely understood and said, “Okay, we’ll estimate it weighs this much, and no problem. You can keep it with you.” All these doors opened up, and I was able to take the Eucharist up — and I was able to have Communion, basically, every week. There were a couple of times when I received Communion on, I’ll say, special occasions: I did two spacewalks; so, on the morning of both of those days, when I went out for the spacewalk, I had Communion. It was really helpful for me to know that Jesus was with me when I went out the hatch into the vacuum of space. And then I received my last Communion on my last day on orbit in the ‘Cupola, ’which is this large window that looks down at the Earth, and that was a very special moment before I came home.” (
Fr. Tony ( L/20

2: Eucharistic celebration in the second century One of the most important of the Greek philosopher-Apologists in the early Christian church, Justin Martyr, in his writings, represents one of the first positive encounters of Christian revelation with Greek philosophy; his writings provide the basis for a theology of history. Of the Eucharistic Celebration he says, “No one may share the Eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of Baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ. We do not consume the Eucharistic Bread and Wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for we have been taught that as Jesus Christ our Savior became a man of flesh and blood by the power of the Word of God, so also the Food that our flesh and blood assimilates for its nourishment becomes the Flesh and Blood of the Incarnate Jesus by the power of His own words contained in the prayer of thanksgiving. The apostles, in their recollections which are called Gospels, handed down to us what Jesus commanded them to do. They tell us that He took bread, gave thanks and said: Do this in memory of me. This is my Body. In the same way He took the cup, He gave thanks and said: This is my Blood. The Lord gave this command to them alone. Ever since then we have constantly reminded one another of these things. The rich among us help the poor and we are always united. For all that we receive, we praise the Creator of the universe through his Son, Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Spirit. On Sunday we have a common assembly of all our members, whether they live in the city or the outlying districts. The recollections of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as there is time. When the reader has finished, the president of the assembly speaks to us; he urges everyone to imitate the examples of virtue we have heard in the readings. Then we all stand up together and pray. On the conclusion of our prayer, bread and wine and water are brought forward. The president offers prayers and gives thanks to the best of his ability, and the people give assent by saying, “Amen.” The eucharist is distributed, everyone present communicates, and the deacons take it to those who are absent. The wealthy, if they wish, may make a contribution, and they themselves decide the amount. The collection is placed in the custody of the president, who uses it to help the orphans and widows and all who for any reason are in distress, whether because they are sick, in prison, or away from home. In a word, he takes care of all who are in need. We hold our common assembly on Sunday because it is the first day of the week, the day on which God put darkness and chaos to flight and created the world, and because on that same day our Savior Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For he was crucified on Friday and on Sunday he appeared to his apostles and disciples and taught them the things that we have passed on for your consideration. (Office of Readings in the Breviary for Easter III Sunday. [Taken from the first apology in defense of the Christians by Saint Justin Martyr, Cap. 66-67: PB 6, 427-431; St. Justin, Martyr was born ca 100, Flavia Neapolis, Palestine, now called Nāblus. During the reign of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, he was arrested and tried; “he openly confessed his Faith, refused to sacrifice to the gods … was scourged and beheaded with six other Christians”1 in Rome, Italy, ca 165. His feast is celebrated June 1. 1Richard C. McBrien, Lives of the Saints: From Mary and St. Francis of Assisi to John XXIII and Mother Teresa (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2001), p. 222-2 ].
Fr. Tony ( L/20

3: The greatest work of art in St. Peter’s Basilica: “One of the seminarians who gives tours of St. Peter’s told me of an interesting incident. He was leading a group of Japanese tourists who knew absolutely nothing of our Faith. With particular care he explained the great masterpieces of art, sculpture and architecture. He finally concluded at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel trying his best to explain quickly what it was. As the group dispersed, an elderly man, who had been particularly attentive stayed behind, and said, ‘Pardon me. Would you explain again this “Blessed Sacrament?’ Our student did, after which the man exclaimed, ‘Ah, if this is so, what is in this chapel is a greater work of art than anything else in this basilica.’” [Msgr. Timothy M Dolan in Priests of the Third Millennium, (2000) p. 226.] Today’s feast of Corpus Christi is intended to make us value and appreciate the worth of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.Fr. Tony ( L/20

4: Communion on the moon: The Lord’s Supper ensures that we can remember Jesus from any place. Apollo 11 landed on the moon on Sunday, July 20, 1969. Most remember astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first words as he stepped onto the moon’s surface: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” But few know about the first meal eaten on the moon. Dennis Fisher reports that Buzz Aldrin, the NASA Astronaut had taken aboard the spacecraft a tiny pyx provided by his Catholic pastor. (It was probably after his second marriage, that he became a Presbyterian
Aldrin sent a radio broadcast to Earth asking listeners to contemplate the events of the day and give thanks. Then, blacking out the broadcast for privacy, Aldrin read, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit.” Then, silently, he gave thanks for their successful journey to the moon and received Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, surrendering moon to Jesus. Next, he descended on the moon and walked on it with Neil Armstrong. [Dan Gulley: “Communion on the Moon”: 
Our Daily Bread (June/July/August 2007).] His actions remind us that in the Lord’s Supper, God’s children can share the life of Jesus from any place on Earth — and even from the moon. God is everywhere, and our worship should reflect this reality. In Psalm 139 we are told that wherever we go, God is intimately present with us. Buzz Aldrin celebrated that experience on the surface of the moon. Thousands of miles from earth, he took time to commune with the One who created, redeemed, and established fellowship with him. (Dennis Fisher) &(
(Notes: Buzz Aldrin Catholic or Presbyterian???? Dear Fr. Tony, I read your anecdote ‘Communion on the Moon’ with some amusement. Buzz Aldrin was Roman Catholic. He was an altar server to an uncle of mine Fr. Dennis Barry in St. Martin’s Church, La Mesa, California. My uncle said Mass in his hotel room with Buzz as the altar server the day before his trip to the Moon, and I have photographs of that Mass with Buzz holding the wine and water at the Offertory. My uncle gave Buzz the Body of Christ to take to the Moon with him and that was his first ‘meal on the moon’. I later met Buzz Aldrin at my uncle’s funeral in La Mesa in 1986. So, Buzz was not a Presbyterian. Thank you for your splendid service and keep up the good work. God Bless. Fr. Eddie Collins. The Presbytery, O’Rahilly Street, Clonakilty, Co Cork, Fr. Tony ( L/20

5. Do you think two cases of whiskey are enough?” There was to be a Baptismal party for the new baby of a soldier and his wife at their home on an Army base. Before the ceremony the chaplain took the new father aside. “Are you prepared for this solemn event?” he asked. “I guess so,” replied the soldier. “I’ve got two hams, pickles, bread, cake, cookies…” “No, no!” interrupted the chaplain. “I mean spiritually prepared!” “Well, I don’t know,” said the soldier thoughtfully. “Do you think two cases of whiskey are enough?” Beyond all that we hunger for physically, is our hunger for spiritual nourishment. Sometimes people aren’t even aware that this exists. But Jesus realized this hunger and instituted the Holy Eucharist to feed our starving souls. (Harold Buetow in “God Still Speaks: Listen!”)

33 Additional anecdotes

1)The priest and the skeptic: Here is an interesting story that illustrates the skepticism of an unbeliever with regards to the Eucharist and the tremendous wisdom that a believer draws from it.  A man came to a priest and wanted to make fun of his faith, so he asked, “How can bread and wine turn into the Body and Blood of Christ?” The priest answered, “No problem. You yourself change food into your body and blood, so why can’t Christ do the same?” But the objector did not give up. He asked, “But how can the entire Christ be in such a small host?” “In the same way that the vast landscape before you can fit into your little eye. ” But he still persisted, “How can the same Christ be present in all your churches at the same time?” The priest then took a mirror and let the man look into it. Then let the mirror fall to the ground and broke it and said to the skeptic, “There is only one of you and yet you can find your face reflected in each piece of that broken mirror at the same time.” (Lectio Divina). Fr. Tony ( L/20

2) “All we really need in our convent is the Tabernacle.” The former archbishop of San Francisco, John Quinn, loves to tell the story of the arrival of Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity to open their house in the city. Poor Archbishop Quinn had gone to great efforts to make sure that their convent was, while hardly opulent, quite comfortable. He recalls how Mother Teresa arrived and immediately ordered the carpets removed, the telephones, except for one, pulled out of the wall, the beds, except for the mattresses taken away, and on and on. Explained Mother Teresa to the baffled archbishop, “All we really need in our convent is the tabernacle” [Msgr. Timothy M. Dolan in Priests of the Third Millennium (2000), p. 218.] Fr. Tony ( L/20

3) The Eucharistic piety that converted St. Elizabeth Ann Seton: Two hundred years ago, a beautiful, young, Episcopalian woman accompanied her husband, a merchant, to Italy, leaving four of their five children at home with family members. They had sailed for Italy, hoping that the change in climate might help her husband, whose failing business had eventually affected his health adversely. Tragically, he died in Liverno. The grieving young widow was warmly received by an Italian family, business acquaintances of her deceased husband. She stayed with them for three months before she could arrange to return to America. The young widow was very impressed by the Catholic Faith of her host family, especially their devotion to the Holy Eucharist: their frequent attendance at Mass, the reverence with which they received Holy Communion, the awe they showed toward the Blessed Sacrament on feast days when the Eucharist was carried in procession. She found her broken heart healed by a hunger for this mysterious Presence of the Lord, and, upon returning home, requested instruction in Catholic Faith. Soon after being received into the Church, she described her first reception of the Lord in the Eucharist as the happiest moment of her life. It was in St. Peter’s Square on September 14, 1975, that Pope St. Paul VI canonized this woman, Elizabeth Ann Seton, as the first native-born saint of the Unites States. The Eucharist for her was a sign and cause of union with God and the Church. Fr. Tony ( L/20

4) “I will not permit Christ to return to Albania as long as I am in charge.” Mother Teresa was given a reception by the cruel Communist dictator, Enver Hoxha, who ruled Albania for 40 years from 1945 to 1985. He imposed atheism as the official religion in 1967. The possession of a Bible or cross often meant a ten-year prison term. Welcoming Mother Teresa in 1985, he stated that he appreciated her world-wide works of charity, and then added, “But I will not permit Christ to return to Albania as long as I am in charge.” In her reply after thanking the president for the reception Mother said, “Mr. President, you are wrong. I have brought not only the love of Christ into my native land but also the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist right into your presidential palace. I am allowed to carry Jesus in a pyx during my visit of this Communist country where public worship is a crime. I keep Jesus in the consecrated host in my pocket. Jesus will surely return to this country very soon.” Communist rule collapsed in Albania in 1992, and Christians and Muslims reopened their Churches and mosques for worship. The non-Communist president of Albania, Mr. Ramiz Alia, awarded Albanian citizenship to Mother Teresa during her visit to her liberated home country in 1992. Mr. Alia also created a “Mother Teresa Prize” to be awarded to those who distinguished themselves in the field of humanitarian and charitable work. Fr. Tony ( L/20

5)  Blessed Imelda, the Patron saint of First Communicants: Blessed Imelda Lambertini had a remarkable experience of this love. She lived in Bologna, Italy, in the 1300s. She had wanted to be a nun from the time she was a little girl, and she joined that Dominican convent at the age of nine, to better prepare herself for the day when she would take the habit. Her greatest desire was to receive Holy Communion, but in those days, you had to be at least twelve-years-old to do so. Imelda begged for an exception to the rule, but the chaplain refused. She kept praying for special permission. Her prayers were miraculously answered on the Feast of the Ascension in 1333. After Mass, she stayed in her place in the chapel, where one of the nuns was putting away the sacred vessels. Suddenly, the nun heard a noise and turned towards Imelda. Hovering in mid-air in front of Imelda as she knelt in prayer was a sacred host, the Blessed Eucharist, shining with a bright and forceful light. The frightened nun ran to find the chaplain. By the time the chaplain arrived, the rest of the nuns and other onlookers had crowded, awe-struck, into the chapel. When the priest saw the shining, hovering host, he put on his vestments, went over to the girl, took the miraculous host in his hands, and gave her Holy Communion. Some minutes later, after the crowd had dispersed, the mother superior came over to Imelda to call her for breakfast. She found the girl still kneeling, with a smile on her face. But Imelda was dead. She had died of love, in ecstasy after receiving Christ in the Eucharist. He had longed to be with her even more than she had longed to be with him. Blessed Imelda’s body is incorrupt, and you can still see it today in the Church where she is interred, in Bologna. She is the patron saintof First Holy Communicants.(E-Priest)
Fr. Tony ( L/20

6) “Jesus Christ gave a lasting memorial!”: One of his Catholic disciples asked the controversial godman Osho Rajneesh about the difference between Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, and Jesus Christ. Rajneesh told a story to distinguish between Buddha and Christ. When Buddha was on his deathbed, his disciple Anand asked him for a memorial and Buddha gave him a Jasmine flower. But as the flower dried up, the memory of Buddha also dwindled. Jesus Christ, however, instituted a lasting memorial (without anybody’s asking for it), by offering to God his Body and Blood under the appearances of bread and wine and commanding his disciples to share his Divinity by repeating the ceremony. So, Jesus continues to live in his followers while Buddha lives only in history books. On this feast, as on Holy Thursday, we reflect on the importance of the institution of the Holy Eucharist and priesthood. [Osho Rajneesh claimed that he was another incarnation of God who attained “enlightenment” at 29 when he was a professor of Hindu philosophy in Jabalpur University in India. He had thousands of followers for his controversial “liberation through sex theology,” based on Hindu, Buddhist and Christian theology].Fr. Tony ( L/20

7) Precious gift: We are all familiar with the situation of the little boy who wants to give his father a birthday present but does not have any money to buy one. His father, realizing his son is too young to make any money, slips him five bucks so that he can do some shopping the next time they are in town. The big day comes, and the little boy proudly presents his father with a beautifully wrapped, birthday gift. He is so very happy and proud of himself. So is his father — proud and happy to have such a loving son. God gave us His Son so that we could give Him back as a gift and become once again His sons and daughters. Jesus Christ was placed in our hands so that we could have a Gift, the best of gifts. During each Eucharistic celebration, we give this precious Gift back to God the Father. (Fr. Jack Dorsel). Today we celebrate the feast of the Eucharist. Fr. Tony ( L/20

8) The Eucharistic miracle at the tomb of St. Christina in Bolsena, Italy: Today we are reminded of a miracle that took place in 1263. A German priest, Peter of Prague, stopped at Bolsena while on a pilgrimage to Rome. He is described as being a pious priest, but one who found it difficult to believe in Transubstantiation. While celebrating Mass at the tomb of St. Christina, located in Bolsena, Italy, he had barely spoken the words of Consecration when blood started to seep from the consecrated Host and trickle over his hands onto the altar and the corporal. The priest was immediately confused. At first, he attempted to hide the blood, but then he interrupted the Mass and asked to be taken to the neighboring city of Orvieto, the city where Pope Urban IV was then residing. The Pope listened to the priest’s story and gave him absolution for his lack of Faith. He then sent emissaries for an immediate investigation. When all the facts were ascertained, he ordered the Bishop of the diocese to bring to Orvieto the Host and the linen cloth bearing the stains of blood. With archbishops, cardinals and other Church dignitaries in attendance, the Pope met the procession and, amid great pomp, had the relics placed in the cathedral. The linen corporal bearing the spots of blood is still reverently enshrined and exhibited in the Cathedral of Orvieto, Italy. Pope Urban IV was prompted by this miracle to commission St. Thomas Aquinas to compose the liturgical prayers in honor of the Eucharist. One year after the miracle, in August of 1264, Pope Urban IV introduced the saint’s compositions, and by means of a papal bull instituted the feast of Corpus Christi. (Fr. Eugene Lobo, S.J. Rome).
Fr. Tony ( L/20

9) Another Eucharistic miracle: A famous Eucharistic miracle that of Lanciano, Italy, which took place in the year 700. A monk who feared he was losing his vocation was celebrating Mass, and during the consecration the host turned into flesh and the wine turned into blood Despite the fact that the miracle took place almost 1300 years ago, you may still see the flesh in a monstrance which is exposed every day and the blood in a glass chalice. (The glass chalice is beneath the monstrance on the right.) I also had the privilege of seeing that Eucharistic miracle during my time in Italy. The blood has congealed and is now in five clots in the glass chalice. In 1971 and 1981 a hospital laboratory tested the flesh and blood and discovered that the flesh is myocardium, which is heart muscular tissue, so we could say it is the heart of Jesus, the Sacred Heart, and the blood is of the blood group AB. In 1978 NASA scientists tested the blood on the Turin Shroud and interestingly also discovered that it is of the blood group AB. (The Sudarium, Face Cloth of Christ, in John 20:6 is also of the blood group AB.) Despite the fact that human flesh and blood should not have remained preserved for 1300 years, the hospital lab tests found no trace of any preservatives. One final interesting point about the five blood clots in the chalice is that when you weigh one of them, it is the same weight as all five together, two of them together weigh the same as all five. In fact, no matter what way you combine the blood clots individually or in a group to weigh them, they always weigh the same. (This shows that the full Jesus is present in a particle of the Eucharist no matter how small.) These are two Eucharistic miracles I have seen and which have been authenticated by the Church after investigation. (Fr. Tommy Lane). Fr. Tony ( L/20

10) Blood Brothers: Jesuit Ignacio Ellacuria of El Salvador, Franciscan Maximilian Kolbe of Poland, Sr. Rani Maria an Australian missionary, and Graham Staines murdered in north India, appear very diverse in their lifestyles, yet little divided them in death. All these are martyrs who shed their blood that others might live. They represent modern ‘bodies of Christ.’ Today, celebrating the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, we could reflect on the Sacramental symbols of Blood and Body and our Christian calling. -Some years ago, Jesuit philosophers of Satya Nilayam in South India, formed a group called “Blood Brothers,” comprised of students who were willing to donate blood regularly. Indeed, we are all truly “Blood brothers and sisters,” saved by the supreme sacrifice of our elder Blood Brother, Jesus. Moreover, Martyrs like Ellacuria, Kolbe, Staines and Rani Maria are but representatives of a long list of “Blood brothers and sisters” whose life was truly Eucharistic. May the Corpus Christi called “Church” be ever willing to break itself and bleed in selfless service of society at large. (Francis Gonsalves in Sunday Seeds for Daily Deeds; quoted by Fr. Botelho). Fr. Tony ( L/20

11) The Blessing Cup: Leonardo da Vinci was 43 years old when the Duke of Milan asked him to paint the Last Supper. He worked on it slowly and with meticulous attention to detail. He spent much time making the cup that Jesus held as beautiful as possible. After three years he was ready to show it, and he called a friend to come and see it. He said, “Look at it and give me your opinion.” The friend said, “It is wonderful. The cup is so real I cannot take my eyes of it!” Immediately, Leonardo took a brush and drew it across the sparkling cup. He exclaimed as he did so: “Nothing shall detract from the figure of Christ!” Christ must be the primary focus of a Christian’s life. (John Rose in John’s Sunday Homilies; quoted by Fr. Botelho).
Fr. Tony ( L/20

12) “Are you guys Dominicans?” Fr. Denis likes to tell a story about an American paratrooper in World War II who got entangled in a tree and couldn’t get down. He was terribly afraid that he had come down behind enemy lines and would be killed. Then two men dressed in civilian clothes came by so the GI quickly called out, “Can you tell me where I am?” “Indeed, we can,” said one – “You are up in a tree.” There was a long pause, and then the paratrooper asked suspiciously, “Are you guys Dominicans?” “Yes, but how could you tell?” The GI replied, “I knew because what you say is perfectly true – but it doesn’t help me to get out of this tree!” Likewise, to describe Catholic belief about the Holy Eucharist by saying that it is the Body and Blood of Christ is true, but not very helpful — unless we are convinced of this truth, appreciate this great gift, and experience it in our lives. Fr. Tony ( L/20
13) St. Padre Pio’s prayer of thanksgiving after Mass.
“Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You.  You know how easily I abandon You.
Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often.
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life, and without You, I am without fervor.
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light, and without You, I am in darkness.
Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.
Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You.
Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much, and always be in Your company.
Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.
Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of love.
Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late, the day is coming to a close, and life passes; death, judgment, eternity approach. It is necessary to renew my strength.
Fr. Tony ( L/20

14) “The Mass is Heaven on earth!” Scott Hahn was a Protestant minister, who had for twenty years studied the Book of Revelation. He admits that in trying to study Revelation, he felt like a person standing before a locked door, searching for the right key on a keychain. There was no key that fit, until he linked the Book of Revelation to the Mass. And that, in his opinion, is the right key. His experience thereafter was so inspiring that a year later, he asked to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church. This in a nutshell, is his thesis: The key to understanding the Book of Revelation is the Mass. Stated differently; the Mass is the only way a Christian can truly make sense of the Book of Revelation. Today, Dr. Scott Hahn, a happily married man and father of six children, is a Professor of Theology and Scripture in a University and the Director of the Institute of Applied Biblical Studies. –Scott Hahn is candid and realistic when he observes that, for most Catholics, the Sunday Mass is anything but Heavenly. In fact, he frankly adds, it’s often an uncomfortable hour, punctuated by babies screaming, bland hymns sung off-key, meandering and pointless homilies, and people dressed as if they were going to a party, picnic or football game. Yet, this is his conviction: “When we go to Mass every Sunday, we go to Heaven. And this is true of every Mass we attend, regardless of the quality of the music or the fervour of the preacher. The Mass –and I mean every single Mass –is Heaven on earth.”
(James Valladares in Your Words are Spirit, and They Are Lifequoted by Fr. Botelho).

15) Body of Christ? Sometime ago I was in Washington, D.C. in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. A dozen or so pilgrims came out of the grandiose basilica. They had participated in a Mass, they had received Holy Communion, forming with Jesus, his Body and Blood. I saw them, and I even saw a blind man who had received Communion with them. They came out of the Church together with him. He walked among them tapping the pavement in front of himself with his stick. He did not see them since he was blind but he must have been aware of them all talking excitedly, feeling a bit lost in a strange place. They did not see him, either, though they were not blind. He ended up in the midst of them. Someone stepped on his cane, bending it, while he was pushed on. They left him alone trying to straighten his cane. They had all been to Holy Communion together in Jesus, who said of all of them: “This is My Body, this is My Blood!”  Yet, when it came to everyday life, that reality got lost; the Body did not seem to have been formed. They were not really in communion. They did not really form His Body, our Body. Did they? Do we? (Joseph G. Donders in Praying and Preaching the Sunday Gospel; quoted by Fr. Botelho).
Fr. Tony ( L/20

16) What are they hungry for? An American priest was invited to take part in a youth rally in Canada. About 700 young people were camping out in a large park for the weekend. Their program included workshops on such topics as dating, sexual morality, drugs, peer pressure and meditation. The organizers felt that the least popular workshop would be the one on meditation. They were in for a big surprise. It was the best attended workshop of the weekend. At one point in that workshop, the priest giving it sensed a profound presence of the Holy Spirit and invited the 200 participants to pray together. The response was amazing. Afterwards the priest said, “It was one of the most moving experiences in all my years of priestly ministry.” Then alluding to the image in today’s Gospel he said: “There’s a whole mountain-side full of young people out there who want to eat, but there’s no one to feed them. There’s a whole mountain-side full of young people out there who want to pray but there’s no one to teach them.” The priest’s remark merely paraphrases what Jesus said in Matthew’s Gospel. (Quoted by Fr. Botelho) Fr. Tony ( L/20

17) Source of Christian heroism: I’d like to begin this Corpus Christi homily with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi. He asked a question regarding Fr. Damien: “The political and journalistic world can boast of very few heroes who compare with Father Damien of Molokai. The Catholic Church, on the contrary, counts by the thousands those who, after the example of Damien, have devoted themselves to the victims of leprosy. It is worthwhile to look for the sources of such heroism.” That’s a great question: What is the source of the heroism of people like St. Damien DeVeuster of Molokai and his successor, St. Marianne Cope? We get the answer this Sunday. In today’s readings, St. Paul tells how Jesus took bread and said, “This is my Body that is for you,” and with the chalice of wine, “This Cup is the New Covenant in My Blood.” Then St. Paul concludes, “As often as you eat this Bread and drink this Cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.” When we receive Communion – the Body and Blood, soul and Divinity of Jesus – we mystically enter his death and Resurrection. That should give us strength – strength to spend our lives in service. Now, you and I are not St. Damien or St. Marianne, but the Eucharist calls us – like them – to give our lives for others. Fr. Tony ( L/20

18) “What kind of joke is this?” A priest I heard of, if he sees people leave Mass early, stops them and reminds them that only one person left the Last Supper early! Well, I am not going to do that, but I am tempted to do what St. Philip Neri did: He saw someone leaving Church right after Communion, and he sent servers with candles and bells to accompany the man. The guy stormed back into the Church and confronted the priest. “What kind of joke is this?” he demanded. St. Philip Neri said, “It’s no joke. The rules of the liturgy say the Blessed Sacrament should be treated with reverence. You left the Church immediately with no prayer of thanksgiving. You were carrying the Blessed Sacrament within you. So, I asked the boys to accompany you to honor Him.” — After Communion you and I are tabernacles – the physical presence of Jesus continues in us for a brief time. That’s why we have the Communion hymn, a time of silence, the Communion Prayer – and even the announcements – to build up the Body of Christ in practical ways. I encourage you to use well the time after Communion to say thanks, to express your gratitude. (Fr. Phil Bloom).
Fr. Tony ( L/20

19) “Body of Christ” A modern tourist in cities like Paris and Rome, and particularly the latter, cannot but be struck by the extraordinary number of Churches and their close proximity to each other. They all derive from the devotion to Corpus Christi which originated in the twelfth century and whose feast we celebrate today. It began in the city of Liege in Belgium, under Bishop Robert Thourotte of Liege, persuaded by St. Juliana of Cornillion. Urban IV in 1264 extended the feast to the Universal Church. After Urban’s death, October 2, 1264, the feast was restricted to certain areas of France, Germany, Hungary, and northern Italy, but in 1317 Pope John XXII (served August 7, 1316 through December 4, 1334), reintroduced the Feast to the Universal Church (Instruction by Pope Benedict XVI at the General audience celebrated in St. Peter’s Square, November 17, 2010).
By the fifteenth century, Corpus Christi had become the principal feast of the Church almost everywhere. Every city, town and village held its Corpus Christi procession. In some places it became the social event of the calendar. Months were spent preparing for it. Guilds competed with each other to provide the most colourful contribution. Cities like Paris had their timber-built houses arranged in narrow streets, where humans and animals lived closely together in squalor. In such a world, it was little wonder that the Corpus Christi devotion had such enormous appeal. What greater protection could they ask for than the Body of Christ, carried in procession through their streets to inoculate them against all kinds of infections?
After well over a thousand years of Christianity, the Real Presence, Christ’s continuing presence in the consecrated Bread, came to dominate the devotional life of the people. New devotions were developed such as visits to, and Exposition and Benediction of, the Blessed Sacrament. The idea that no place was too good to house the Body of Christ, led to the building of larger and more ornate churches. It became the age of the great Cathedrals, like Notre Dame and Chartres in France. Changes were introduced into the Mass itself to reflect this new devotion; in particular, the elevation was introduced after the consecration. For medieval Christians, there were real and down-to-earth reasons why the Body and Blood of Christ should be raised. Blindness was a common affliction then, and people believed that looking at the Body of Christ was the best protection against it. Bowing to popular pressure, the Church permitted it. The elevation of the chalice was an after-thought because the Church feared that the people might believe Jesus was present in only one species. This background helps to explain the close proximity of Churches in cities like Paris and Rome. Elevations were much in demand and people rushed from one Church to another just to watch the elevation. Such Eucharistic devotions dominated religious practice right down to the Second Vatican Council. There the Church wisely decided that the Mass needed to be restored as the centre of Eucharistic devotion and, perhaps unwittingly, the other forms were down-graded. Within a generation, visits, Benedictions, Expositions and Corpus Christi processions had virtually disappeared. The Bread remained, the circuses had gone. And we are the poorer for it. (Rev. Liam Swords) Biblical IE. Fr. Tony ( L/20

20) History of the feast: In 1246, Bishop Robert Thourotte of the Belgian diocese of Liège, at the suggestion of St. Juliana of Mont Cornillion (also in Belgium), convened a synod and instituted the celebration of the feast. From Liège, the celebration began to spread, and, on September 8, 1264, Pope Urban IV issued the papal bull Transiturus, which established the Feast of Corpus Christi as a universal feast of the Church, to be celebrated on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday. At the request of Pope Urban IV, St. Thomas Aquinas composed the office (the official prayers of the Church) for the feast. This office is widely considered one of the most beautiful in the traditional Roman Breviary (the official prayer book of the Divine Office or Liturgy of the Hours), and it is the source of the famous Eucharistic hymns “Pange Lingua Gloriosi” and “Tantum Ergo Sacramentum.” For centuries after the celebration was extended to the universal Church, the feast was also celebrated with a Eucharistic procession in which the Sacred Host was carried throughout the town, accompanied by hymns and litanies. The faithful would venerate the Body of Christ as the procession passed by. In recent years, this practice has almost disappeared, though some parishes still hold a brief procession around the outside of the parish Church. While the Feast of Corpus Christi is one of the ten Holy Days of Obligation in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, in some countries, including the United States, the feast has been transferred to the following Sunday. (Fr. Hoisington).
Fr. Tony ( L/20

21) Pope Benedict XVI’s preference for receiving Holy Communion on tongue: “I am not opposed in principle to Communion in the hand; I have both administered and received Communion in this way myself. The idea behind my current practice of having people kneel to receive Communion on the tongue was to send a signal and to underscore the Real Presence with an exclamation point. One important reason is that there is a great danger of superficiality precisely in the kinds of Mass events we hold at Saint Peter’s, both in the Basilica and in the Square. I have heard of people who, after receiving Communion, stick the Host in their wallet to take home as a kind of souvenir. In this context, where people think that everyone is just automatically supposed to receive Communion — everyone else is going up, so I will, too—I wanted to send a clear signal. I wanted it to be clear: Something quite special is going on here! He is here, the One before whom we fall on our knees! Pay attention! This is not just some social ritual in which we can take part if we want to.” Fr. Tony ( L/20

22) Visiting the Tabernacle (with a quotation from St. Peter Julian Eymard): This is why Catholics still practice the ancient tradition of making frequent visits to the Eucharist throughout the day. Even in big cities today, when you go into a Catholic Church, you can almost always find someone kneeling before the altar where the Tabernacle is kept. The red candle burning near the tabernacle (the Sanctuary Light, or Presence Lamp), is a constant reminder that Christ is truly present there, and His love is burning for us. This is also why Catholics still have the tradition of making the sign of the cross when they drive by a Catholic Church. Even if we don’t have time to stop and make a visit to our Lord, to thank Him for His blessings and tell Him all our needs and sorrows, by making the sign of the cross we show our Faith in and appreciation for His constant, miraculous presence. St Peter Julian Eymard [AYE-mard], who lived in France in the 1800s, beautifully explains how Christ’s constant Presence in the Eucharist shows, without a doubt, that Jesus’ love for us, even for the most hardened sinner, has no limits. Speaking of Jesus in the Eucharist, St. Peter says: “He loves, He hopes, He waits. If He came down on our altars on certain days only, some sinner, on being moved to repentance, might have to look for Him, and not finding Him, might have to wait. Our Lord prefers to wait Himself for the sinner for years rather than keep him waiting one instant.” (E-Priest). Fr. Tony ( L/20

23) Saints’ favorite food: Throughout the history of the Church, God has made the power of the Eucharist clear in many ways.
• For example, some of the saints have gone for long periods of their lives in which their only food was the Eucharist. I know it sounds hard to believe. If there were only one or two cases, it would be reasonable to be skeptical. But it actually happens every couple generations, as if God wants to make sure we don’t forget what’s really going on in the Eucharist.
  • In the 1300’s, St Catherine of Siena often went for months at a time living solely on the Holy Eucharist.
  • In the 1400s, St Nicholas of Flue, Switzerland’s great native saint, spent the last 19 years of his life as a hermit. He would give spiritual advice all day and pray all night. For those 19 years, he was unable to eat any food. The Holy Eucharist was his only nourishment.
  • In April, 2004, Pope St. John Paul II beatified Blessed Alejandrina Maria da Costa, a Portuguese peasant girl. Paralyzed at age 14, she spent her life offering her sufferings and prayers to God for the conversion of sinners. She died in 1955, at age 51. For the last 13 years of her life, Alejandrina ate and drank nothing except her daily Holy Communion. Since she lived in the age of modern science, she gave rise to countless medical studies, none of which has found a natural explanation. (E-Priest). Fr. Tony ( L/20

24) St Juliana Falconieri’s Miraculous Final Communion: All the saints realize how much we need this divine nourishment. St Juliana Falconieri [fahl-cone-YAIR-ee] had a particularly passionate devotion to this truth of our faith. Juliana lived in Florence, Italy, in the early Renaissance. When she was 14, her mother began arranging a marriage for her. As soon as she found out, she objected, explaining that she wanted to consecrate her life to Christ. At first her mother resisted, but Juliana’s vocation was undeniable, and eventually she took the habit as a Third Order Servite. Later, she helped start a new Order of Servite nuns, dedicated to prayer and serving the sick. Throughout the long, hard years of foundation, she received Holy Communion three times a week – much more often than was normal for those times. But in her later years, chronic sickness made her unable to consume anything solid. Even while on her deathbed, frequent fits of vomiting made it impossible for her to receive Communion. But when she knew her last hour had come, she was inflamed with a desire to receive Holy Communion one last time. So, she asked the priest to lay a corporal (the white cloth put on top of the altar for the liturgy of the Eucharist) on her chest and place the consecrated host on top of it. No sooner had the Eucharist been laid over her heart than it disappeared, being miraculously consumed directly into her body. She died soon after, and as they were preparing the body for burial, they found the sign of the cross that had been on the host emblazoned on her skin. Ever since, the Servites have kept an image of a shining host on the left front side of their habits. The Eucharist is Food from Heaven, given to us by Christ to bring us to Heaven. (E-Priest).
Fr. Tony ( L/20

25) Two fundamental needs: Ethiopia suffered a terrible famine during the years 1984 to 1986. Cardinal Hume of Westminster tells us about an incident that happened when he visited Ethiopia in the middle of the famine. One of the places he visited was a settlement in the hills where the people were waiting for food which was likely to arrive. He was taken there by helicopter. As he got out of the helicopter a small boy, aged about ten, came up to him and took his hand. He was wearing nothing but a loincloth around his waist. The whole time that the cardinal was there the little child would not let go of his hand. As they went around, he made two gestures: with one hand he pointed to his mouth, and with the other he took the cardinal’s hand and rubbed it on his cheek. Later, the cardinal said, “Here was an orphan boy who was lost and starving. Yet by two simple gestures he indicated two fundamental needs or hungers. With one gesture he showed me his hunger for food, and with the other his hunger for love. I have never forgotten that incident, and to this day I wonder whether that child is alive.”(Flor McCarthy in New Sunday & Holy Day Liturgies; quoted by Fr. Botelho). Fr. Tony ( L/20

26) How can God be present in a tiny host? Some time ago, a street-corner preacher who knew how to make religious truths come to life was faced by a hostile crowd. “How,” one of them demanded, “is it possible for bread and wine to become the Body and Blood of Christ?” The preacher looked calmly at the stout questioner for a moment and answered, “You have grown somewhat since you were a child and have more flesh and blood than you had then. Surely, if a human body can change food and drink into flesh and blood, God can do it too.” “But how,” countered the heckler, “is it possible for Christ to be present in his entirety in a small host?” The preacher glanced up at the sky and down at the street before them and answered, “This city scene and the sky above it is something immense, while your eye is very small. Yet your eye in itself contains the whole picture. When you consider this, it won’t seem impossible for Christ to be present in his entirety in a little piece of bread.” Once more the heckler attacked. “How, then, is it possible for the same Body of Christ to be present in all your Churches at the same time?” The preacher’s answer: “In a large mirror you see your image reflected but once. When you break the mirror into a thousand pieces, you see the same image of yourself in each of the thousand fragments. If such things occur in everyday life, why should it be impossible for the Body of Christ to be present in many places at once? Just tell me, what isn’t possible for God? (Harold Buetow in God Still Speaks: Listen!— quoted by
Fr. Botelho). Fr. Tony ( L/20

27) A Missionary Gets Muddy: The Eucharist is one of the great proofs of God’s trustworthiness – Christ faithfully present through the ups and downs of twenty centuries and counting. A true story about a missionary illustrates this well. Fr. Meehus was working in a small village in rural China during the Sino-Japanese war. As Japanese soldiers neared the village, the priest led his congregation of orphans into hiding in the nearby hills. Safe in a cave, he counted eighty children – everyone was there. Then one of the boys spoke up, “Father, someone is missing.” They counted again – still 80. But the boy insisted. The priest asked, “Who is it, who’s missing?” The boy answered, ” We left Jesus in the Tabernacle.” Father moaned – in his rushed escape, he had forgotten to bring the Blessed Sacrament. He made a quick decision. He had the children smear him with mud, telling them that he was going to be a commando (which they thought was fun). Then he went out, slipped through enemy lines, crept to the Church, and tip-toed up to the Tabernacle, praying in the silence of his heart: “Jesus, I’m sorry I have to come for You this way; You might not recognize me with all this mud… I am in disguise now, but this is really and truly the one who has held You in his hands many mornings at Mass.” And in his heart, the priest heard God answering him: “Of course I recognize you… I am in disguise too. A lot of people don’t recognize Me either; but in spite of appearances, I am Jesus, your friend, and I hold you in My hands from morning until night.” When the soldiers left, the priest and his congregation carried Jesus in a triumphant procession back to the Tabernacle. When trusting God is hard, a glance at the Eucharist – the sign of God’s faithfulness – can make all the difference. (Adapted from Msgr. Arthur Tonne’s Stories for Sermons).
Fr. Tony ( L/20

28) Retelling the Story: On a hill near Cape Town, South Africa, just below the famed Table Mountain, a gun is fired every day at noon. The hill is known as Signal Hill. The firing of the gun once served a beautiful purpose. It signaled that a ship, on its way to or from India, had arrived in the harbour with a cargo of goods, and was in need of supplies of food and fresh water. A beautiful exchange resulted. There was receiving and giving. But that was a long time ago. The purpose no longer exists. Yet the gun is still fired dutifully every day. However, the firing is now little more than an empty ritual. Once it had a beautiful meaning. Now the meaning has gone out of it. Most of the local people ignore it. Visitors are told, “If you hear a loud bang at mid-day, don’t worry. It’s only the gun going off.” However, the ritual still has one thing going for it. Most people know the story behind it. If that story were to be lost, then the ritual would become poorer still. The Eucharist celebrates a wonderful event – the Gift which Jesus made of his life on our behalf. Every time we celebrate the Eucharist, we tell that story again. But like anything that is repeated over and over again, there is a danger that it may become just a ritual. (Flor McCarthy in New Sunday & Holy Day Liturgies; quoted by Fr. Tony Kayala). Fr. Tony ( L/20

29) God Always Comes…Once upon a time there was a Rabbi. Whenever he wanted God’s presence, he went to a special place in the woods, lit a fire, said some prayers, and did a dance. Then God would appear to him. When he died, his disciple did the same. If he wanted God’s presence, he went to the same spot in the woods, lit the fire, and said the same prayers, but nobody had taught him the dance. It still worked. God appeared. When he died, his disciple carried on the tradition. If he wanted God’s presence, he went to the same spot in the woods and lit the fire, but he didn’t know the prayers, nor the dance, but it still worked. God came. Then he died. He also had a disciple. Whenever he wanted God’s presence, he too went to the same place in the woods, but nobody had taught him how to light the fire or say the prayers or do the dance, but it still worked, God appeared. In the end, he died, but he too had a pupil. One day this pupil wanted God’s presence. So, he searched for the place in the woods, but couldn’t find it. And he didn’t know how to light the fire or say the prayers or do the dance. All he knew was how to tell the story. But it worked. He discovered that whenever he told the story of how the others had found God, God would appear. In essence, this story explains how the sacred ritual, liturgy, works. (Ronald Rolheiser in In Exile; quoted by Fr. Tony Kayala).
Fr. Tony ( L/20

30) Jesus, Bread of Life: Brennan Manning, an American Franciscan priest, tells this story of his mother, a lady in her mid-seventies in Brooklyn. Mrs. Manning’s day centered on her daily Eucharist. Because she began her voluntary stint at a drug detoxification center each morning at 7.30 AM, the only Mass she could attend was at 5.30 AM. Across the road from her lived a very successful lawyer, mid-thirties, married with two children. The man had no religion and was particularly critical of daily Churchgoers. Driving home from a late party at 5 am one January morning, the roads glassy with ice, he said to his wife: “I bet that old hag won’t be out this morning”, referring to Mrs. Manning. But to his shock, there she was on hands and knees negotiating the hill up to the Church. He went home, tried to sleep, but could not. Around 9 AM he rose, went to the local presbytery and asked to see a priest. “Padre,” he said, “I am not one of yours. I have no religion. But could you tell me what you have there that can make an old woman crawl on hands and knees on an icy morning?” Thus, began his conversion along with his wife and family. Mrs. Manning was one of those people who never studied deep religious books, never knew the big theological words, but she knew what it is to meet Jesus in Holy Communion. Jesus Christ is the bread of life. What more could we want? (Sylvester O’Flynn in The Good News of Mark’s Year; quoted by Fr. Tony Kayala).
Fr. Tony ( L/20

31) Film –Eat Drink Man Woman A retired master-chef, affectionately called Uncle Chu, lives with his three daughters and has lost his sense of taste. He is a widower of sixteen years and enjoys cooking for his family. There is a crisis at the restaurant where he worked, and he is called back to supervise a major banquet before it becomes a disaster. He saves the day but will not return to work full-time. Eat Drink Man Woman is a story of a family and its strained relationships. The recurring images of food and cooking give it a sensual texture that brings the emotional issues down to earth. It also celebrates the exquisite nature of food and of the love that goes into its preparation. Those who sit at the Taipei table at the special meal respect the daughter and her new husband, who is a Christian, and she leads them in a prayer of blessing. These are people, like people everywhere, who are seeking their place in the kingdom of God. The Chu family lives amid tension and their relationships are at various times estranged. They, like so many families the world over, are like the crowds in the Gospel because they need healing. The numerous cooking and eating sequences of the film remind us that food is a blessing. Jesus blessed food and while he gave only loaves and fish to feed the crowds, “they all ate and were satisfied.” (Peter Malone in Lights, Camera, Faith! Quoted by Fr. Botelho.)
Fr. Tony ( L/20

32) Eucharistic Mystery: St. Thomas Aquinas, perhaps the most famous philosopher and theologian, was a great devotee of the Eucharist. He wrote the liturgy of the feast and many hymns associated with the feast, like “Tantum Ergo Sacramentum,” are accredited to St. Thomas Aquinas. One night when he was praying in the Dominican Chapel in Naples, the sacristan concealed himself to watch the saint in prayer. He saw him lifted up in the air, and heard Christ speaking to him from the Crucifix: “Thomas, you have written well of me. What reward would you have?” “Lord, nothing but yourself,” replied Thomas. His request was granted. On December 6, 1273, when he was celebrating Mass in the same chapel, he had some profound mystical experience. We do not know what it was, but after Mass, Thomas said to his long time secretary, “God has revealed such great things to me that whatever I have written so far seems so much straw to me.” This prolific writer put down his pen, and never wrote again. Two months later he died at the age of forty-nine. (John Rose in John’s Sunday Homilies; quoted by
Fr. Botelho). Fr. Tony ( L/20

33) Oscar Romero: When installed as Archbishop, Oscar Romero was just a conservative churchman unaware of the massive repression against poor Salvadoran campesinos, the peasant victims of State-sponsored violence. Stunned by the murder of his Jesuit friend, Rutilio Grande, a “prophet of the poor” in BCC’s and sugar plantations, Romero courageously called for cessation of violence and criticized national leaders, many of whom were Christians. Thereafter, he received death-threats. A day before his murder, Romero said, “If they kill me, I will rise again in the people of El Salvador!” On March 24, 1980, Romero preached, “This Eucharist is an act of faith…May this Body immolated and this Blood sacrificed for humankind nourish us also, so that we may give our body and blood, like Christ, for our people.” Minutes later, while raising the chalice during consecration, Romero was shot dead. (Francis Gonsalves in Sunday Seeds for Daily Deeds). 
Fr. Tony ( L/20