……from your Pastor’s Desk

The Eucharist and SCUBA

People have commented that when I raise the Host after Consecration – I hold it up longer than most priests.  Well, if I do, I am not doing it for dramatic effect!

When I hold up the Eucharist after the Consecration, you and I spend a moment in adoration. At that moment I know that you and I are exactly on the same page. The ‘Disciple Makers Index Survey’ showed that 82% of Catholics “strongly agree” that the “Eucharist really is the body and blood of Jesus” (As Mother Church teaches). For that reason we worship Jesus in the Mass and we come to Adoration to spend time with him, truly present. When we worship Jesus in the Eucharist, it is important that we ask for faith to see below the surface.

Let me make a comparison:  Seven years ago, I took up Scuba Diving. Since I had grown up near the Jersey beach, I was familiar with ocean water – at least on the surface. But when I started Scuba Diving, it opened up a strange and fascinating world. Besides enjoying the ever changing new sights, I occasionally pick up an artifact of times long ago or things lost or forgotten. Below the surface was a hidden world that I could explore every day and always find something new.

The Eucharist – the Body and Blood of Jesus – likewise offers a dynamic reality below the appearance of bread and wine. The song we use to sing in the 70’s “Look Beyond” comes to mind. (It is still in our Songbooks #325)
“Look beyond the bread you eat; see your Savior and your Lord. Look beyond the cup you drink; see His love poured out as blood.”
Yes, do look beyond.  Look and listen to God’s self-revelation. As I said in a homily about a month or so ago; “Do not limit God to your own imagination.”  Receiving Holy Communion is much more than eating something. It is becoming What and Who you eat. That is why those precious moments after receiving the Body and Blood are so important.  The ‘receiving’ continues. That is the time to silence not only your body, but your entire being. Our Lord reveals to you exactly what you personally need. Listen to Him.

I mentioned, over four fifths of Catholics strongly agree that the “Eucharist really is the body and blood of Jesus.” Like the mystery of the Trinity, that presence contains a dynamism. I invite you to join me in exploring below the surface. As we prayed in the Opening Prayer: “Grant us, we pray, so to receive the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption.” Amen.

This can also be said of what you might experience after receiving the Eucharist – as treasures old and treasures new of the Church are opened up to us especially if we do not limit God to our imagination. A time to spiritually pick up an artifact of times long ago, or things lost or forgotten – Mysteries of our Faith. Below the surface of the appearance of bread and wine is a hidden world that can be explored every day, always finding something new.

Oh, in response to those who asked why I hold the Host up longer than others; I told a group of Daily Communicants what goes on in my mind, soul and spirit at that time – the total connection and union with the Body of Christ in my hands and the Body of Christ (you) before me – to which one lady said: “Well, that being the case Father Ron, I’m surprised you find the ability to ever take it down!

Indeed…

Father Ron

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