Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

6/11/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Jesus himself, through the Eucharist, grants to us the most powerful experience of intimacy possible within our earthly existence.

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.As we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi and call to mind the amazing example of  Blessed José Luís Sanchez del Río, how can anyone purposely miss Mass on Sunday, receive communion in the state of mortal sin, or not go to Confession on a regular basis and whenever necessary?  Viva Cristo Rey!

Highlights

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/11/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Sunday homily, catholic spirituality, Corpus Christi, Eucharist, Fr. James Farfaglia, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio, Cristeros, For Greater Glory, Body and Blood of Christ


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, Italy 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 Saint Christina, located in Bolsena, 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 Saint 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 Transubstantiation. 

Last week we reflected upon the mystery of communion.  Our Triune God is a communion of persons. 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 explains: "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" (God and the World, Joseph Ratzinger, p. 409).

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 the words from the first encyclical letter written by Blessed 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" (Redemptor Hominis, 10.1).  

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.

The experience of God's love has allowed the saints of the Catholic Church to do heroic acts of courage and love.  One example is that of the martyrdom of a young Mexican teenager by the name of José Luís Sanchez del Río.  His story is beautifully portrayed in the inspirational new movie, "For Greater Glory."

Historically, José Luís was born in Sahuayo, Michoacán on March 28, 1913. 

When the Cristero war began in 1926 as a popular uprising in response to the severe persecution of President Plutarco Calles against the Catholic Church, his brothers joined the rebellion.  His mother would not allow José Luís to follow his brothers, but she eventually relented when he was thirteen years old.  As depicted in the movie, José was the flag bearer for one of the Cristero troops. 

During a heavy battle, young José Luís was captured by Federal soldiers.  He was imprisoned, severely tortured and eventually executed. 

The soon to be martyr was brutally tortured by a soldier cutting the skin off of the bottom of his feet and then he was made to walk barefoot to his grave.  What is dramatically shown in the movie is historical.   

The Federal soldiers wanted the young Cristero to renounce his Catholic faith, but he valiantly refused.  "If you shout, death to Christ the King, we will spare your life." José would only shout,  "I will never give in. Viva Cristo Rey!"

When they arrived at the place where he was going to be killed, federal soldiers stabbed him numerous times with bayonets. The commander was so angry that he pulled out his pistol and shot the young Cristero. 

Moments before his death, the boy was able to draw a cross in the dirt and kissed it.

José Luís Sanchez del Río was martyred on February 10, 1928.  He was beatified on November 20, 2005.  The body of the young Cristero martyr rests at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Sahuayo, Mexico.

As we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi and call to mind the amazing example of  Blessed José Luís Sanchez del Río, how can anyone purposely miss Mass on Sunday, receive communion in the state of mortal sin, or not go to Confession on a regular basis and whenever necessary?  Viva Cristo Rey!

----- 

Father James Farfaglia is the Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, TX.  Visit him on the web to learn more about his book Get Serious - A Survival Guide for Serious Catholics which is now on sale at $9.95 per copy.  Special price for bulk orders are available.


---


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


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Living Faith

Two bishops dine and dialogue with peace activists

Image of War doesn't decide who is right, just who is left.

By Tony Magliano

During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops fall assembly in Baltimore, two bishops decided to forego the military chaplains dinner sponsored by the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains Office, and attended instead a simple supper and discussion on peacemaking. On the evening of ... continue reading


How do you raise a good, upstanding child? With daily prayers, weekly church attendance and the knowledge of God Watch

Image of Billy Graham, now 96, has reached out to millions with his joyous words of the truth of God and Jesus Christ.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Reverend Billy Graham, the world famous television evangelist and founder and chairman of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has said that the reason the world seems to be in such dire straits is that children are not being raised right. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Learning Lessons for Life from Zaccheus and that Sycamore Tree Watch

Image of Zaccheus climbed that tree in order to see the Lord, not to be seen by Jesus. He did not care what the crowd thought of a grown man climbing a tree! He went after the encounter with Jesus Christ with a childlike simplicity and a reckless abandon. Do we?

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Sycamore tree created a clear line of vision for Zaccheus. It helped him to rise above the crowd and see the Lord clearly. It placed him in the right position for the invitation that would follow. Jesus told him to come down for he was coming to his house! ... continue reading


Jesus Weeps and Calls us to Recognize His Visitation Watch

Image of The Cross, an instrument of torture, will become the sign of peace, for those who find their refuge under its shadow and embrace the One who stretches out His arms to embrace the whole world. There Jesus will deal definitively with the great enemy of peace, the sin which impedes it in each of our lives. With tenderness He looks out from the Mount of Olives and sees the Holy City of Jerusalem. How he loves that City. Then, Jesus weeps. He knows the City will soon be overtaken and destroyed by the armies of Titus. He weeps the tears of Love and cries compassion from His Sacred Heart

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Jesus shows His disciples - and He shows us us, because we are His disciples in this hour - the pattern of living in a continual communion with the Father. He invites them - and He invites us - into this very communion of love which He has with the Father, in the ... continue reading


Children deserve both father and mother, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of Children have the right to be raised by a mother and a father, Pope Francis said, emphasizing that

By CNA/EWTN News

Children have the right to be raised by a mother and a father, Pope Francis said, emphasizing that "the family is the foundation of co-existence and a remedy against social fragmentation." Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - The Pope made these remarks on Nov. 17 at ... continue reading


Here are 10 Very Interesting Facts About the Catholic Church You Probably Didn't Know! Watch

Image of Pope Francis commands the world's smallest professional army.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

How much do you know about the Catholic Church? Here are 10 fun facts you might not know. See how many you know and post your result in the comments! 1.    Vatican City has the highest crime rate in the world! With a population around 500 people and a ... continue reading


Study: Latin Americans abandoning Catholic Church for evangelical, Protestant churches Watch

Image of Protestants now make up 19 percent of the Latin American population, while another eight percent now profess no religious affiliation, a figure reaching 37 percent in Uruguay.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Catholic Church is losing members in Latin America at an increasing rate. According to the Pew research Center, many Latin Americans are leaving the church for Pentecostal, Protestant churches. There is even a growing number of Latin Americans who now ... continue reading


Living Faith: Learning How to See from a Blind Man Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The people to whom we are introduced in the Gospel accounts have been selected from among many others who encountered Jesus - for a real purpose. They can put us in touch with the Lord, with ourselves, and with the meaning of our own lives.Through prayerful ... continue reading


Itinerary for Pope Francis' Sri Lanka, Philippines trip announced Watch

Image of While in Sri Lanka the Pope will also pay a courtesy visit to the country's president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, hold a meeting with leaders of different religions, and will canonize Sri Lankan Blessed Giuseppe Vaz.

By CNA/EWTN News

Today the Vatican published the official itinerary for Pope Francis' upcoming visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, during which he is slated to spend roughly two days each in Colombo, Manila and Tacloban. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - Officially announced by ... continue reading


Click here to see your Inspirational Catholic Message of the Day!

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Here is your inspirational message of the day! We must remember that we need God in our lives to feel whole, complete, and confident in everything we do. If you don't feel that way right now, try inviting God in to be a part of what you're trying to do![media ... 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, Revelation 5:1-10
1 I saw that in the right hand of the One sitting on ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 149:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 9
1 Alleluia! Sing a new song to Yahweh: his praise in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:41-44
41 In reply Jesus said, 'Faithless and perverse ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 20th, 2014 Image

St. Edmund Rich
November 20: Archbishop of Canterbury England, who battled for discipline and ... 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