Sunday, August 19, 2018

“Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you- for you alone? Don't listen to the demon, laugh at him, and go without fear to receive the Jesus of peace and love.”

"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." --St. John Vianney, Cure d'Ars: (1786 – 1859): a French parish priest who is venerated in the Catholic Church as a saint and as the patron saint of parish priests

Gospel Text: (JN 6:51-58)
Jesus said to the crowds:
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world."

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
"How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
Jesus said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever."

So many of us stop coming to the Eucharist when we are angry at the Church. And most often we get angry at the Church when we are trying to justify a lifestyle that is outside the norms that the Church as established as being in full communion with God and with our brothers and sisters. We want to be both sinful and saved at the same time. We want God to discount our sinful behavior: our addictions, our sexual misconduct, our dishonesty, our blindness to social justice, our commitment to war and violence as the resolution of our problems, our prejudices and racism, our commitment to life, from the womb to the tomb. We want to pick and choose. We want to be vocal about how wrong abortion is, but choose to be silent about how wrong it is for people to live in poverty, condemn people to a life without education and health care or deny the dignity of human life because they are not citizens of a country. 

Eucharist forces us to choose the right path in life.

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