WITH ST. MARY'S
SOLEMNITY OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST
The Eucharist is the center of our faith and our church.
Last year, on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the United States began the process of our national Eucharistic Revival, which will last until next year before it culminates in the National Eucharistic Rally. In one month from now, on July 9th, the Diocese of Salt Lake City will culminate the Diocesan stage of the Revival with our own Eucharistic Rally, where all Catholic Churches in Utah will come together to participate in the Eucharist at Mass. On this Solemnity, we shift into the parish revival stage, which will allow us to promote belief in the Real Presence, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and frequent attendance of the sacrament of Confession in our closest communities. The purpose of this Eucharistic Revival is so that we may return to a proper understanding of that which our entire religion is oriented towards: the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
READ THIS SUNDAY'S MESSAGEThe Eucharist is the center of our Faith in Catholicism, both literally and spiritually. Everything we believe and everything we do is oriented back towards the Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ given to us in the sacrifice of the Mass. On a more literal level, when someone enters a Catholic church for the first time, you might ask them what immediately captures their attention as the center of the structure. There might be a few answers depending on the specific church: it could be the altar, the tabernacle, or even the crucifix. However, all three of these exist for the same purpose as the center of Catholic worship. The altar is where the Body and Blood of Christ is offered for us, the Tabernacle is where it is kept and where Christ’s physical presence remains, and the Crucifix visualizes what the Eucharist actually is. As we prepare to enter into the Eucharistic Revival, we must remember this every time we go to Mass. Mass is, first and foremost, a sacrifice. We are not merely gathering for a “breaking of bread” or a “gathering at the table”. The altar is not a table (altars require a sacrifice) and the Sacrament is not bread and wine (it is the literal body and blood of Jesus). We are literally approaching the foot of the cross, when Christ offered himself for us. How would you behave if you were at the foot of the cross? Would you worship your savior in gratitude like Mary and John? Would you look from a distance out of shame for your sins like Peter? Would you not even show up like the rest of the Apostles? Behave yourself during Mass just as you would have at Calvary, because we are witnesses and participants of the same event in the Eucharist.
We must return to an understanding of what the Eucharist actually is. We need to understand that Christ is giving himself to us, and we cannot take this lightly. Still, believing in the Real Presence of the Eucharist can be difficult, especially when we do not regularly attend the Sacrifice of the Mass. What we must do is refamiliarize ourselves with the trajectory of Salvation History, the omnipresence of bread and wine as an offering, the omnipresence of sacrifice, the harmony between the miracles of Christ, the words at the Last Supper, and the crucifixion itself. We will soon understand that it was always God’s will, and believed by the Christians from the very beginning, that God takes the work of human hands (bread and wine) and changes its substance into His own body so that we may share in His sacrifice, and participate in the entirety of Salvation at its fullest.
Family activity to do at home:
This week's activity for families is very simple: join us for our Eucharistic Procession around the Church! Throughout the world today, the Blessed Sacrament will be displayed to the public in the form of processions - a priest will carry the Eucharist within a monstrance covered by a canopy, followed by the faithful singing hymns and glorifying Christ as he ought to be glorified. No matter what conditions are in store for these processions, whether it be inclement weather or public disapproval, the Eucharist ought to be revealed to the world with the support of the faithful. Eucharistic Processions at St. Mary's will occur after the 10:30 AM English Mass and 1:00 PM Spanish Mass, followed by Benediction.