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

Take the Catholic Online Thanksgiving Challenge! Watch

Image of Reaching out to others is precisely the way to show that we are thankful for what we have.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a holiday filled with family and food, often spent on televised parades and football, and naps after lunch. Kids play in the yard or the streets as everybody generally has a good time. However, this is not the case for millions of ... continue reading


Pope says he's willing to speak to Islamic State - says nations are likewise guilty of 'terrorism' Watch

Image of After addressing the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, Pope Francis also told journalists that the threat of terrorism was not the only horror weighing on the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Asked about the possibilities of discussion with Islamic State, Pope Francis said, "I never count anything as lost. Never. Never close the door. It's difficult, you could say almost impossible, but the door is always open." The Pontiff went forward to say that ... continue reading


Unborn, terminally ill and elderly are treated as objects in Europe, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of If we uphold the dignity of the person we are acknowledging the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Despite talk of human rights, too many people are treated as objects in Europe: unborn, terminally ill, and the elderly," Pope Francis said. Speaking at the European Union Parliament in Strasbourg, the pontiff said that "We're too tempted to throwaway lives we ... continue reading


Church recognizes six new saints as Pope Francis canonizes in Sunday ceremony, speaking about how we too shall be judged Watch

Image of Indian well-wishers gather at the Vatican for the Canonization ceremony.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has canonized six new saints, two Indians and four Italians, praising their lives as "extraordinary" and reminding us all that we will be judged by how we treat others. VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis recognized six new saints on Sunday, ... continue reading


Pope says church must extend help to immigrants, 'so that all may be treated as children of God' Watch

Image of The world must now recognize the advantages of migration. Host countries get new workers to meet production needs,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking to the 300 participants in the Vatican-sponsored World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants, the Pope says that the Catholic Church "is a mother without limits and without borders." He says that the church must welcome and assist all of God's children, ... continue reading


Feast of Christ the King and Advent: What Does it Mean? Watch

Image of The Church really IS the Mystical Body of the Risen Christ. That Body is inseparably joined to the Head. Jesus Christ is alive, he has been raised, and he continues His redemptive mission now through the Church, of which we are members. As we choose to actually live our lives liturgically, not just go through the motions, we can move through life in the flow of the liturgical calendar. We can experience the deeper mystery and meaning of life, now made New in Jesus Christ, the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6,7) Jesus Christ is King! Jesus Christ is meant to become the Lord of our whole lives, and inform the very pattern of how we live them.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

On November 23rd we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Liturgical Church year offers to each of us consider the creature which is called time, receive it as a gift and begin to really live differently. Yet, for ... continue reading


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


'God always forgives, but the earth does not,' Pope warns Watch

Image of The Pope urged the world's leaders to rein in their greed and help the hungry.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A doomsday scenario in which Mother Nature would exact her revenge is possible, even likely, Pope Francis warns. The pontiff was speaking out against the exploitation of natural resources for profit. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pope urged the world's ... continue reading


Pope Francis' special message: Why Poverty? 'And while we speak of new rights, the hungry remain'

Image of When we give our loaves and fishes to Christ, there is no end to the Good that can come from it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has asked the world to do more to help those who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Despite gains made in infrastructure and outpourings of food, too many people with plenty have done too little to help. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With ... 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


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 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9
1 After this, I saw another angel come down from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2014 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of Persia and a ... 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