The Eucharist that Christ instituted at the Last Supper is a combination of the typical Synagogue service and the animal sacrifices that occurred only at the Temple in Jerusalem. The word “sacrifice” comes from two Latin words meaning “to make holy.”
When we are gathered together for public worship, the Church invites us to act as a body of unity. In public worship, we sing, stand, bow, kneel, and pray in unison. It is by this unison that we exemplify the unity of the Church itself.
We are invited to learn more about what we do at our weekend worship in this Year of Eucharist Revival. We need to be careful during this Eucharist revival not to place too much emphasis on processions and adoration instead of worshiping well. We are first and foremost a Eucharist community.
In the Catholic Church, and in Christianity itself, it is recognized that there are, in general, two types of prayer. These two types have their origin in our ancestral Jewish heritage. And the two types are colloquially called public and private worship.
When we are willing to accept Jesus into our lives, everything else starts to make sense. When others don’t understand the Church or the Lord, let’s be patient. Love is patient. Sometimes it has to hide before it is revealed.
“Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Jesus is capable of giving us rest because he is the one who forever reposes in the heart of God the Father. He is “yoked” to the Father in his divinity. But he is humbly “yoked” to us, sharing in our humanity.
As we continue throughout this year of Eucharist Revival, I’d like to help us develop a better understanding of what we do at worship. There are certain things: responses, singing, postures, etc., that we are invited to accomplish as a body of worshipers.
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Jesus’ words to his disciples this Sunday, when he says, “Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” Fear, in this sense, refers to where we find our deepest identity and our highest love. That’s why Jesus says next that when we acknowledge him before others, he will acknowledge us before the Father. It doesn’t mean we’re brash or boastful. But rather we unhesitatingly and humbly embrace our identity as followers of Jesus and children of God the Father.
This week scripture tells us, “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few.” Look again: there is spiritual fruit hanging all around us! The lonely ready to be visited. The sick ready to be healed. The forgotten ready to be remembered. So, let’s ask the Lord to send laborers to get to work. And he will. He might send you and me.
Saint Paul says of the Eucharistic bread, “Is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” For Paul, the answer is obvious. Yes, it is exactly that. Which is why he can say, “we, though many, are one body.” Jesus is truly, really, and substantially present in the Holy Eucharist.
Imagine if we spoke of the mighty deeds of God in a way that everyone could understand. That’s precisely what the Holy Spirit descends upon us to do. Ask Him to come as a tongue of fire to you once again, and He will. Then speak!
Eternal rest grant unto Monsignor Vince, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. May his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
This Sunday we hear Jesus say, “I will not leave you orphans.” God doesn’t leave us alone like spiritual orphans. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is the Holy Spirit, who is also called the Spirit of Adoption. He chooses us to be His children, to share God’s life forever. He gives us a future filled with hope.
To be part of a priesthood is to offer a particular sacrifice in order for the community to survive and thrive. Jesus is the great high priest because he offers the one perfect sacrifice which heals and perfects the entire human race.
The readings focus our attention to the voice of the risen Jesus Christ. Comparing his disciples to sheep and himself to a shepherd, he says, “They recognize his voice.” He speaks to us and wants us to respond. When we hear his voice, we follow.