Tag Archives: Body & Blood

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Last Supper

Study:  Reflect on the Mass.  What parts do you find most helpful?

Pray:  Consider making a list of prayer needs for your use at Mass.  Keep this list near you for reference when you go to Church.

Serve:  Perhaps you know others who have been away from Mass for awhile.  Consider making the effort to invite them to join you at Mass.

The Body & Blood of Christ Readings

The celebration of the Eucharist is the highest form of Christian prayer.  Jesus defines the bread and wine and his body and blood, and then he commands his disciples to “take and eat…take and drink” in his memory.  Besides the readings we will hear at Mass, some other crucial Scripture passages testify to this essential element of our faith:

  • Matthew 26:26-29
  • Mark 14:22-26
  • Luke 22: 14-23
  • John 6:51-58
  • 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

What happens when we go to Mass?  What do we encounter when we open our hearts to this hour long prayer?  Here are few key points:

  • We hear a good selection of the Word of God
  • We receive Jesus Christ in Holy Communion
  • We unite in prayer with others
  • We pray for the sick, those who have died, and our special needs
  • We have a few moments for silence and reflection

Of course in our fast paced, entertain-me-so-I-won’t-be-bored world, we can look upon the central prayer of the Church and wonder why the Mass doesn’t “get modern.”  The reality is that the Mass continues to adapt to the culture and times.  The real question is this: Do I come to the Mass with an open heart to encounter the Lord and his disciples?  Do I come with a focus to offer my life to be renewed by Christ?

Here are seven ideas for getting the most out of Mass:

  1. Read the Sunday Scriptures ahead of time.  This way you can get a sense of the key themes and be better prepared to follow the homily.
  2. Come prepared to pray.  This seems obvious, but many people often don’t come with their “list” of intentions and needs.  Take some time before Mass to consider who or what in your life could use a prayer.
  3. Pray before Mass starts.  Sometimes we can rush into church, drop into a pew, and try to follow along with the Mass.  Give yourself 5-10 minutes to reflect on the past week, look to the next, and ask the Lord for guidance and strength.  It really helps!
  4. Receive Holy Communion with heightened awareness.  This is Jesus Christ who offered his life on a Cross for the salvation of our souls.  It’s his blood that was poured out for the forgiveness of our sins.  Make that moment of receiving Him intentional and reverent; let the “Amen” come from your heart!
  5. Pray after receiving Holy Communion.  You have just received the Lord Jesus into your body – you have become a living Tabernacle – there is no better time to offer the deepest, most important issues on your plate to the one who loves you.
  6. Consider one takeaway that you experienced from every Mass. Name one thing (just one is perfectly fine) that struck you at every Mass.  Perhaps it was a point in the homily, a line from a hymn, someone you prayed for, something you experienced, or an insight that came to you in silence.  By naming one takeaway you actively participate in the prayer and engage your faith as you live your life.
  7. Use a resource to get the most out of Mass.  Some people like a devotional, missal, or prayer booklet – something that can be used both in and out of church.  Others prefer an online resource where they can follow up at a website, video, or podcast.  Still others favor their smartphones for handheld resources that they can take anywhere.  Find what works for you…the only true measure is the resource that helps you engage your faith each and every day.

Jesus Christ gives us the gift of himself in every Mass.  He defines what we do and commanded us to do it.  Every time we come to Mass we encounter the Lord and allow his grace to transform our lives.  May his Body strengthen our bodies; may his Blood flow through our veins.

After all, as his disciples, we have his work to do.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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The Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci; 1494-1499, tempera on gesso, pitch and mastic, 460 cm x 880 cm, Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy.

Note: This blog was originally published on June 2, 2015.


The Body & Blood of Christ. Catholic Inspiration

italian-feast

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast 

Mass Readings – The Feast of the Body & Blood of Christ

We all have those people in our lives who pour out their hearts to feed others tasty, wholesome food.  In much the same way, the Lord offers us the Eucharist that we might have the spiritual food we need to strengthen us on our journey through life.

Three Great Things


Corpus Christi – The Body & Blood of Christ

Last Supper

Study:  Reflect on the Mass.  What parts do you find most helpful?

Pray:  Consider making a list of prayer needs for your use at Mass.  Keep this list near you for reference when you go to Church.

Serve:  Perhaps you know others who have been away from Mass for awhile.  Consider making the effort to invite them to join you at Mass.

The Body & Blood of Christ Readings

The celebration of the Eucharist is the highest form of Christian prayer.  Jesus defines the bread and wine and his body and blood, and then he commands his disciples to “take and eat…take and drink” in his memory.  Besides the readings we will hear at Mass, some other crucial Scripture passages testify to this essential element of our faith:

  • Matthew 26:26-29
  • Mark 14:22-26
  • Luke 22: 14-23
  • John 6:51-58
  • 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

What happens when we go to Mass?  What do we encounter when we open our hearts to this hour long prayer?  Here are few key points:

  • We hear a good selection of the Word of God
  • We receive Jesus Christ in Holy Communion
  • We unite in prayer with others
  • We pray for the sick, those who have died, and our special needs
  • We have a few moments for silence and reflection

Of course in our fast paced, entertain-me-so-I-won’t-be-bored world, we can look upon the central prayer of the Church and wonder why the Mass doesn’t “get modern.”  The reality is that the Mass continues to adapt to the culture and times.  The real question is this: Do I come to the Mass with an open heart to encounter the Lord and his disciples?  Do I come with a focus to offer my life to be renewed by Christ?

Here are seven ideas for getting the most out of Mass:

  1. Read the Sunday Scriptures ahead of time.  This way you can get a sense of the key themes and be better prepared to follow the homily.
  2. Come prepared to pray.  This seems obvious, but many people often don’t come with their “list” of intentions and needs.  Take some time before Mass to consider who or what in your life could use a prayer.
  3. Pray before Mass starts.  Sometimes we can rush into church, drop into a pew, and try to follow along with the Mass.  Give yourself 5-10 minutes to reflect on the past week, look to the next, and ask the Lord for guidance and strength.  It really helps!
  4. Receive Holy Communion with heightened awareness.  This is Jesus Christ who offered his life on a Cross for the salvation of our souls.  It’s his blood that was poured out for the forgiveness of our sins.  Make that moment of receiving Him intentional and reverent; let the “Amen” come from your heart!
  5. Pray after receiving Holy Communion.  You have just received the Lord Jesus into your body – you have become a living Tabernacle – there is no better time to offer the deepest, most important issues on your plate to the one who loves you.
  6. Consider one takeaway that you experienced from every Mass. Name one thing (just one is perfectly fine) that struck you at every Mass.  Perhaps it was a point in the homily, a line from a hymn, someone you prayed for, something you experienced, or an insight that came to you in silence.  By naming one takeaway you actively participate in the prayer and engage your faith as you live your life.
  7. Use a resource to get the most out of Mass.  Some people like a devotional, missal, or prayer booklet – something that can be used both in and out of church.  Others prefer an online resource where they can follow up at a website, video, or podcast.  Still others favor their smartphones for handheld resources that they can take anywhere.  Find what works for you…the only true measure is the resource that helps you engage your faith each and every day.

Jesus Christ gives us the gift of himself in every Mass.  He defines what we do and commanded us to do it.  Every time we come to Mass we encounter the Lord and allow his grace to transform our lives.  May his Body strengthen our bodies; may his Blood flow through our veins.

After all, as his disciples, we have his work to do.

**********

The Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci; 1494-1499, tempera on gesso, pitch and mastic, 460 cm x 880 cm, Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy.

Note: This blog was originally published on June 2, 2015.


Holy Thursday – The Mass of the Lord’s Supper

basin and towel

Study:  Reflect on the readings today.  How is the Lord inviting you to serve?  How has the Lord provided opportunities for you to receive him in Eucharist?

Pray:  Go to Mass and recommit your life to Christ – giving your life and receiving from Him what you need.

Serve:  Who has the Lord placed in your path to help?  What can you do right now to make a difference?

Holy Thursday Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast (8 minutes, given at Cathedral on April 2, 2015)

Assembled together on the night before he died, the disciples celebrated the Passover meal with Jesus.  The recalled the great story of deliverance: how the people of Israel had been freed from bondage and slavery by God’s power through the prophet Moses.  They remembered how the blood of the lamb marked the lintel and doorposts so that the Angel of Death would pass by the people as it brought devastation to the land of Egypt.  They ate the unleavened bread, mindful that the Israelites were in such a hurry to depart Egypt that their own bread had not yet risen.

And in the context of this great story of freedom, Jesus teaches and commands them to do two crucial things:

  • Give your life in service to others
  • Receive Christ in his Body & Blood

The Lord demonstrates by his own example: he washes the feet of his disciples – work that is reserved for servants – and commands them to do the same for one another.  There is no ambiguity in this moment, no chance to say it is merely a symbol.  Christ shows them what to do and tells them to do it (John 13:1-15); the path that leads from freedom from sin and death is marked by our care for our brothers and sisters.  Simply put, our lives are meant to be offered for others – giving ourselves in service.

During the course of the meal Jesus took that flat, unleavened bread and did something amazing.  Again, he teaches them that “This is my Body” and “This is my Blood” (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-23).  Note: this is not some vague, hazy statement!  The Lord defines the bread & wine in a new way, revealing to his disciples that he will nourish them as they embrace the new covenant of freedom through his death and resurrection. And then he commands them to “take and eat…and take and drink…”in his name.

Giving and Receiving.  Offering our lives as we are strengthened by the Lord,we are fed so that we might live for one another.  God blesses us with the gift of life and faith so that we in turn might be a gift to those around us.  May we come frequently to the altar – fulfilling the command of Christ – so that we might be renewed to live each day for the one who died and rose for our salvation.

eucharist

This blog was originally posted on April 2, 2015.

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Walking with the Lord in Holy Week (March 9-12, 2015 – Our Lady of the Valley – Green Valley, AZ) This parish mission takes the listener on a journey with Christ – from his entry into Jerusalem, through the Last Supper, his Passion, and his Resurrection.


20th Sunday of the Year – Come to the Feast – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s 20th Sunday of the Year Homily Podcast

Family dinners – be they big or small – touch our hearts in a number of ways:

  • Nourish our bodies with wholesome, plentiful food
  • Unite us together, setting aside our differences for a moment of peace
  • Empower our lives, for service in the world

The same is true when we come to the Lord’s table at every Mass.  We are nourished with Christ’s Body & Blood.  We are united as the People of God – as brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends.  We are empowered to go forth, touching the hearts of those we meet with the grace and peace of Jesus Christ.

May our reception of Holy Communion feed our souls, foster unity, and empower us to live our lives for the Lord!


18th Sunday of the Year – The Bread of Life – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s 18th Sunday of the Year Homily Podcast

Have you ever “wanted” something – thinking that if you only had this one thing you would be…happy, fulfilled, and free of care?  There are many good (and some not so good) things that we can want, but none of them will completely satisfy us.  We are left restless, longing for something at the center of our our hearts.  We know that nothing in this world will satisfy us for a simple reason:

Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life.”

The Lord knows us, loves us, died and rose for us, and longs for us to be united in his Sacred Heart.  Christ comes to us – sharing his Body and Blood – that we might never hunger and thirst again.   When we draw near to the altar, may our “Amen” resound with a desire to unite our hearts to Jesus Christ – the one who knows our wants, but responds to our needs.


18th Sunday of the Year – Bread from Heaven

HarringtonWed_335

Study:  Reflect on a time at Mass that profoundly spoke to your heart.  What stood out?

Pray:  Prepare your heart for your next Holy Communion.  What do you need to bring to Jesus Christ?

Serve:  Is there someone who you can encourage to return to Mass?  Can you help them draw near to the table of the Lord?

18th Sunday of the Year Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

Jesus said to them,
“I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”   John 6:35

We know that our bodies need food to sustain life; what we discover today is that our souls need spiritual food to sustain eternal life.  Where do we find this bread from Heaven?  Jesus Christ!

Have you ever experienced that feeling when you are exhausted?  Out of gas?  Wrung out?  It is often a sign that we require rest and nourishment; we come to the table to be fed.

The same is true with our souls.  There are times when we are intellectually drained, feeling lost and confused, doubting ourselves and uncertain about our next decision.  We can feel crushed, worn out by the demands of life and overwhelmed by the challenges that confront us.

What we require is a different type of nourishment – we look to a Person who loves us, understands us, and provides us with the grace and strength, the peace and perspective, to be renewed for the next step on our journey.  Christ feeds us with his Body & Blood, so that we might become more fully his disciples; we come to the altar to be fed.

What are you hungry for today?  What challenges do you face?  May we draw near to the Lord in Holy Communion and allow his love to transform our lives – for this world and for the world to come.