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Eucharist not an invention of the Church


WORD ALIVE

FR. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD

Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ or CORPUS CHRISTI, a Latin term which means literally “Body of Christ.”

One might ask, “Why does the Church put so much importance on the Eucharist or the Mass? Why not try other kinds of worship like finding God in nature or praying while commuting in the LRT or bus?

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That’s all fine. But what Jesus had told us to do explicitly is to come together like in the Last Supper, partake of the Eucharistic meal, doing it “in memory of Me” (Lk 22,19-20).

The Eucharist, therefore, is not an invention of the Church nor an idea of the popes. It’s simply and clearly the mandate Jesus bequeathed to his disciples more than 2000 years ago and to us, his succeeding followers.

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During the height of Covid pandemic, a nun in a nearby convent called me to request for consecrated hosts. She said: “Father, it’s been a long time we have not received Holy Eucharist in our community. Please consecrate some hosts in your private Mass and we will pick them up.” We haven’t attended Mass for a long time due to the long lockdown.”

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That’s just one instance which shows how numerous Catholics really value the Mass and the reception of Holy Communion. Sadly, however, there are others who forget their other Christian obligation that should be linked to the Eucharist and, that is, their social obligation.

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There’s a wealthy lady who owns many businesses. Religious statues and antique images adorn the walls of her mansion.

The lady goes to Mass daily and receives Holy Communion. Her workers, however, cannot appreciate her piety because, with all her wealth, she doesn’t give the legal wage that’s due to them. They grumble, saying: “Ang amo namin ay dasal ng dasal; masama naman ang asal” (Our manager is very prayerful but her practice is flawed).

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Why is it that some attend Mass and receive Holy Communion regularly, but do not change like that rich business woman? One reason is that personal conversion is not AUTOMATIC. The effect of the Eucharist is not achieved just by doing the sacramental rite. The sacrament becomes effective ONLY in so far as the recipient exerts effort TO RESPOND AND LIVE up to the sacramental grace.

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Finally, let’s not forget Jesus’ words in today’s gospel: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life eternal and I will raise him up on the last day” (Jn 6, 53).

If eating Christ’s flesh and drinking his blood in Holy Communion is a guarantee for eternal life after death, wouldn’t you do everything to follow His call?

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Today is Father’s Day. Let me quote some comments I gathered from sons and daughters about their fathers.

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“I am proud to be your son Tay. No matter how successful life can be, or how difficult it is, a million thanks to you. The love you gave to us children is an expression and affirmation of priceless commitment as a father. I may be still young then when you left this earthly place but the lessons you shared are wisdom. — Alexander V. Lapore

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Dear Papa, I may not have expressed my love for you while you were alive but I love you and thank you for your love, sacrifices and I pray we’ll be together someday in heaven with our heavenly Father. — Ferdie Gathchalian Reyes

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Papa Gerry, thank you sa lahat ng sacrifices mo sa amin and pag-aalaga at pagtatrabaho, pagpapsensya sa amin. Kung bibigyan ulit ako ni God ng second chance na pumili ng tatay, walang pag aalinlangan ikaw pa rin po papa ang pipiliin ko. I love you po. — Camille Angelyn Sia Agrimano.

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Dear Papa, maalaala ko nung bata pa ako, binilhan mo ako ng bagong sapatos. Tinanong kita bakit di mo nalang palitan ang tsinelas mong sirang sira na? Pero sabi mo, “Masaya ako na makita kong masaya ka.” Sa musmos kong kaisipan, naramdaman ko and tunay na pagmamahal mo. — Erlita Cabal Roberts.

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Support seminarians and sick indigents. A benefactor wrote me: “Father. I would like to sponsor a seminarian and help the sick indigents you’re supporting. This is my way of giving back some of the blessings the Lord has given me.”

Please “give back some of the blessings God has given you.” Donate an amount for the “poorest of the poor” we’re helping, or sponsor a seminarian’s schooling.
For inquiry, e-mail me at: belsvd@gmail.com.



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