Happy and Blessed Feast Day of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Almost 2000 years ago, Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with His Apostles. "For on the night He was betrayed, He Himself took bread, and, giving You thanks, He said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to His disciples, saying: “TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT, FOR THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU". Then Jesus took the chalice and said, "...FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD,...DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME". This was the first Catholic Mass, and every time the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered, we are obeying Jesus command to DO THIS IN MEMORY OF HIM. The bread and the wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and a miracle takes place at every Mass. Although the physical appearance of the bread and wine does not change, their substances do. This is why we call this moment at Mass transubstantiation, for the "substances" of bread and wine are "transformed" through the power of the Holy Spirit and Jesus' Own words. Listen to the powerful words of St. John Vianney, whose image is in the sanctuary of Sacred Heart Church: “All the good works in the world are not equal to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because they are the works of men; but the Mass is the work of God. Martyrdom is nothing in comparison for it is but the sacrifice of man to God; but the Mass is the sacrifice of God for man." How can we grow in our appreciation of so great a GIFT? We can take time to adore Jesus in the Tabernacle of our church, or any Catholic church that we may visit. Regarding Eucharistic Adoration, St. John Vianney says: “I throw myself at the foot of the Tabernacle like a dog at the foot of his Master." My brothers and sisters, let us never take this GIFT of Jesus' Real Presence for granted, but through our reception of Him at Mass in Holy Communion, as well as in our prayers before His Real Presence in the church, let us strive to truly be a Eucharistic people. God Bless!
- Fr. Sistare
PS: As I prepare for my new assignment, many parishioners have asked me what they could give me. #1 Prayers, and #2 I do not expect anything, but if you desire, you can donate to the Pregnancy Center of Westerly (111 High St., Westerly, RI 02891).