Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

6/6/2010 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Eucharist is an immense miracle

The Feast of Corpus Christi reminds us that we possess an immense treasure.  When a Catholic priest takes a little piece of unleavened bread and repeats the words that Jesus spoke at the Last Supper, "This is my body", and when he takes a small of amount of wine in a chalice and says, "This is my blood", the bread is no longer bread and the wine is no longer wine.  At every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we participate in a marvelous miracle, the miracle called, in the Latin Rite, transubstantiation.  East or West, the mystery is still the same; words cannot express it. 

The Eucharist is called Holy Communion.  Jesus himself, through the Eucharist, grants to us the most powerful experience of intimacy possible within our earthly existence.  As Pope Benedict explained, 'And that is what is really happening in Communion, that we allow ourselves to be drawn into him, into his inner communion, and are thus led finally into a state of inner resemblance'.

The Eucharist is called Holy Communion. Jesus himself, through the Eucharist, grants to us the most powerful experience of intimacy possible within our earthly existence. As Pope Benedict explained, "And that is what is really happening in Communion, that we allow ourselves to be drawn into him, into his inner communion, and are thus led finally into a state of inner resemblance".

Highlights

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/6/2010 (4 years ago)

Published in Living Faith


'CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (CATHOLIC ONLINE) - Most of the time, we need constant reminders of the immense gifts that God continually bestows upon us.  The Eucharist is an immense miracle, but sometimes we need to be reminded just how amazing this miracle really is.  One such reminder 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. The Feast of Corpus Christi reminds us that we possess an immense treasure.  When a Catholic priest takes a little piece of unleavened bread and repeats the words that Jesus spoke at the Last Supper, "This is my body", and when he takes a small of amount of wine in a chalice and says, "This is my blood", the bread is no longer bread and the wine is no longer wine.  At every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we participate in a marvelous miracle, the miracle called, in the Latin Rite, Transubstantiation.  East or west, the mystery is still the same; words cannot come close to expressing it. It is a gift to be received. Last week we reflected upon the mystery of communion.  Our Triune God is a communion of persons.  We can see the image of this communion stamped into all of existence.  Human nature, marriage, the family, human society and the Church are all icons of the Triune God who is a communion of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  The Eucharist is called Holy Communion.  Jesus himself, through the Eucharist, grants to us the most powerful experience of intimacy possible within our earthly existence.  As Pope Benedict explained, "And that is what is really happening in Communion, that we allow ourselves to be drawn into him, into his inner communion, and are thus led finally into a state of inner resemblance". What intimacy!  When Jesus comes to us, he comes to us as communion.  God and man become one.  He comes to us as the divine lover.  His communion with us is more intimate than the intimate union of husband and wife or a mother with her unborn child.  We cannot even begin to fathom the depth of God's love for us.  His love is so immense that he himself is defined as love.  "God is love" (1 John 4: 8, 16).  The Holy Eucharist is the most visible sign of God's love for each of us.  Jesus loves us so much that he cannot leave us.  "And know that I am with you always until the end of time" (Matthew 28: 20).  Let us recall then the words from the first encyclical letter written by Pope John Paul II, "Man cannot live without love.  He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it".   As we consider the mystery of God's unconditional love we are reminded that love defines the very purpose of our existence too.  The purpose of our life can be summed up with only one word: love.  ".since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another" (1 John 4: 11). The human person cannot live without the experience of divine love and human love.  The human person cannot live without the experience of divine intimacy and human intimacy.  The human person cannot live without communion.  Man becomes fully realized in communion because he is created for communion by a God who is the most perfect communion. This is why Pope Benedict calls the Church a "Eucharistic fellowship".  This is why the Catechism says that, "No one can believe alone, just as no one can live alone. I cannot believe without being carried by the faith of others, and by my faith I help support others in the faith" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 166). As I mentioned last week, I firmly believe that after every Eucharistic Celebration, whenever possible, there should always be some kind of fellowship activity.  Moreover, sprinkled throughout the liturgical year, there should be well organized social activities that provide an opportunity for the entire parish to come together for fellowship. How can we begin to live in our parish family the community life that we are supposed to live?  First, start by forming the habit of seeing Jesus in each person.  This will certainly help when you do not feel like talking to someone.  Jesus is hidden in every individual.  Secondly, no one should be seen as a stranger.  We are all brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus.  Thirdly, if you are shy, acquire a new virtue.  Force yourself to be outgoing.  In this way, you will be sure to make new friends.  Fourthly, be universal in your charity.  Do not avoid anyone.  Do not form clicks. Do not stick to your own age group or your own nationality.  If we really do what we are suppose to do, parish life can become a powerful experience.  We can really experience the Church as a "Eucharistic fellowship".   It is the Eucharist that brings us together and forms us into one body, not the praying of the Our Father.  We have a proper liturgical gesture that expresses our unity.  Before we receive Holy Communion, we exchange an external sign of fraternal charity with the sign of peace.  Peace, unity, and fraternal charity are all fruits of the Eucharist.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Living Faith

Abolish death penalty and life imprisonment, Pope Francis declares Watch

Image of The Vatican recently eliminated life imprisonment from its own penal code, Pope Francis noted.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Calling for the abolition of the death penalty as well as life imprisonment, Pope Francis soundly denounced what he called a "penal populism." The world's prescribed cure for crime - punishment, should never overtake the pursuit for social justice, he says. LOS ... continue reading


Making a Difference - Newly beatified pope championed justice and peace

Image of Pope Paul VI addresses the UN during his 1965 appeal for peace.

By Tony Magliano

With numerous armed conflicts raging in various parts of the world, and the Vietnam War worsening, Pope Paul VI on Oct. 4, 1965 proclaimed before the U.N. General Assembly: "No more war, war never again. It is peace, peace which must guide the destinies of peoples and ... continue reading


'War does not begin in the battlefield. Wars begin in the heart,' Pope Francis says Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis addressed the topic of war. With the majority of the world engaged in some sort of battle, and it's up to the individual to realize that major conflicts begin with little things. LOS ... continue reading


Finding the Path to Peace Through Forgiveness Watch

Image of For he (Jesus) is our peace, he made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his Flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God, in one Body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it. He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father- St Paul

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In 1999 I was a part of Project Reconciliation led by a true peacemaker, paralyzed police officer Detective Steven McDonald. This trip was a part of Steven McDonald's mission of preaching peace through forgiveness. It had the goal of helping to heal the wounds ... continue reading


The Parable of the Rich Man: Becoming Rich in What Matters To God

Image of

By Deacon Frederick K. Bartels

What leads to permanent and lasting happiness? As Jesus points out, becoming "rich in what matters to God" is the key. When we place God first, and love our neighbor as another self, we soon begin to experience a perceptible, lasting happiness that is not of this ... continue reading


Pope Paul VI closer to sainthood with beatification by Pope Francis Watch

Image of Pope Paul VI cleaned house, abolishing the pontifical court and simplifying the Curia, the Vatican's administrative arm. Pope Francis is continuing his predecessor's effort to reform to this day.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis cleared the process for sainthood for Pope Paul VI after his beatification over the weekend. Pope Paul VI led the Catholic Church through internal reform during a tumultuous time of social and political change before his death in 1978. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


We Need Courageous Bishops: Ignatius of Antioch is a Model Watch

Image of Ignatius of Antioch - I know what is to my advantage. At last I am becoming his disciple. May nothing entice me till I happily make my way to Jesus Christ! Fire, cross, struggles with wild beasts, wrenching of bones, mangling of limbs-let them come to me, provided only I make my way to Jesus Christ. I would rather die and come to Jesus Christ than be king over the entire earth. Him I seek who died for us; him I love who rose again because of us.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

We need Bishops like Ignatius in this new missionary age of the Church. There is a literal assault on marriage and the family in much of the West. Yet, what the Church has to offer on the truth about marriage and the family paves the path to a future of true ... continue reading


Need a chapel? Pope Francis to rent Sistine Chapel for charity Watch

Image of Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity. The decision marks the first time that the chapel has ever been rented out for charity. It will be used for a private concert hosted by Porsche. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Vatican has announced ... continue reading


On World Food Day, a reminder of Pope Francis' mission for the Church Watch

Image of It's time to ensure that everybody has enough.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today is World Food Day and we are all called to do what we can to feed others. This year's World Food Day falls during Pope Francis' 'Week of Action' where all Catholics are called to pray and act to feed the world's hungry. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Today, ... continue reading


Pope Francis: The only thing that counts for Jesus is 'faith working through love' Watch

Image of Pope Francis related former Jesuit leader Father Arrupe's lesson in humility in his recent talk.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis reiterated in his morning homily that faith is not about appearances and superficially following Church laws. The Pontiff said that God wants to see a faith that inspires action and is "working in charity" and making sacrifices for others. LOS ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2014 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. Chrysanthus was an ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter