2cornucopias

Fr. Gabriel Carvajal’s farewell sermon at St. Vincent de Paul Church

In 07 Observations on 2011/06/28 at 12:03 AM

What makes this sanctuary and the sanctuary of every Catholic Church different from any other church in Charlotte and, for that matter, the world? Why is there a Tabernacle behind this altar and why is there always a red votive light next to it? What happens at the moment of consecration during every Mass? Why is the host held in such veneration and adoration every moment of the day throughout the world. Each of us know the answer to these questions, but I have one more:

The Eucharist, our Living God, is the greatest gift we have as Catholics and He is present to us every moment of the every day. What better way to celebrate our faith, a true gift from God.

How man of us and how many of our fellow Catholics truly and honestly believe that within that consecrated host is the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Savior, Jesus Christ? What an enormous gift we have, and what an unbelievable honor we enjoy as we are able to receive him every day or every week at Mass.

The Solemnity of the body and Blood of the Lord is given to us as a yearly reminds us of the awesome Gift we celebrate that is the Eucharist. It reminds us to reverence this Gift.

But someone can say: “Father, why all this emphasis on the Eucharist? All this talk is not very ecumenical. Christians of other faiths might be offended if we keep speaking about the Eucharist. We have to admit it; many Catholics themselves don’t see a value in the weekly reception of communion. Many are more concerned with being signed with ashes at the beginning of Lent than with receiving communion. Don;t you think that you should really tone it down?”

That is exactly what the disciples said to Jesus at the conclusion of the great discourse on the Eucharist in the sixth chapter of John: “This teaching is too difficult. People are leaving us.” Jesus responded: “And are you going too?” Peter’s answer to this is our statement of faith: “Where are we to go, Lord? You have the words of eternal life.”

The beliefs of others of different Christian denominations who do not acknowledge Christ in the Eucharist are to be respected. But we are not respecting others if we hedge on our own faith. In fact, if we hedge on our faith, particularly our faith in the Eucharist, we are insulting others. We are saying: “I don’t think you have enough character to respect my faith, so I’ll tone it down for you.”

No, let’s be who we are. We are Catholics. And let’s exalt in that which makes us uniquely Catholic, the great awesome gift of the the Eucharist The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord reminds us of who we are; who is present in the tabernacles of our churches, and what we are doing when we receive communion. May God bless each and every on of you. Amen

1Cor.10:16-17; JN 6:51-58 The Body and Blood of the Lord.  Delivered June 26, 2011. Printed on this post with his permission

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