“This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 1Corthians 11:24
This weekend we celebrate The Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, more commonly known as the Feast of Corpus Christi; the importance of this day cannot be underestimated. Throughout the world on this day, the faithful take the opportunity to profess their faith publicly, mostly by participating in processions through their town squares, openly praying and singing hymns, following behind a Monstrance that holds the Eucharist. Having seen this very public testimony with my own eyes, I can’t imagine that the faithful would have this wrong; the Eucharist is not just a symbol. The faithful accept the truth of this certain reality, that the Body and Blood, the Soul and Divinity of Christ Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist.
In today’s Gospel reading Luke recounts one of Jesus’ greatest miracles, the feeding of the five thousand. In this account, Jesus is teaching the multitudes but the day is running short, and the Twelve urge Jesus to dismiss the crowd so that they might go find provisions in the nearby villages and farms. Jesus responds to them by saying, “Give them some food yourselves.” Lk 9:13. This is not the response they expected, they had but five loaves and two fish, which is not nearly enough for them all. As we know, Jesus takes the bread and the fish, says the blessing, breaks them and all are feed. The significance of this miracle is not that he feeds the crowd but rather the importance of the blessing that Jesus offers in the breaking which is a foreshadow of the Last Supper; the moment when he himself instituted the Eucharist. St. Paul in today’s 2nd reading hands down to the Corinthians this same tradition, which we now call the Eucharistic Prayer; he says, “I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 1Cor. 11:23-24. In our own modern Liturgy, the presiding priest still offers this same prayer at every mass.
In September of 2008, a group of men from the ACTS ministry started a weekly Holy Hour at our parish; this was our first attempt of having regular Eucharistic Adoration in the Blessed Sacrament. Those early days of Holy Hour were very humble times, sometimes there were not enough people attending to share the decades of the Rosary. Nevertheless, the group persisted and eventually attendance started to pick up. Over the years many people have come and gone; some who were regulars have moved away, others have passed on; but the one constant is my friend Deacon Roy Amo. Rain or shine, he is there faithfully serving the parishioners, leading us in prayer, offering Benediction, and giving counsel. These days Deacon Roy is a little older, he’s a little slower, he suffers from some mobility issues which cause him great pain while walking or even standing; but he is there every Thursday night without fail. What causes a man like Deacon Roy to endure such personal suffering just to preside at Holy Hour? Why exactly is it so important for him to be there? My friend Deacon Roy would crawl on broken glass to be before the Blessed Sacrament, and he would do it because he knows the truth about a certain reality, that the real presence of our Lord Jesus is in the Eucharist. Just as the faithful all over the world on this day, who publicly profess their faith in the True Presence, so does Deacon Roy, through his faithful action and his devotion to Adoring Christ in person, in the Blessed Sacrament.
Today in the United States we also celebrate Father’s Day, a time to honor those men to whom we owe so much. We are grateful for our Dads. We honor these men who molded us, who provided for us and protected us. We appreciate their wisdom, and their guidance. We respect their moral strength and their fidelity to their families. We love these men who loved our mothers first. Happy Father’s Day to all our Dads, especially to those who are no longer with us.
Diaconate Candidate 2024