Tag Archives: Holy Communion

28th Sunday of the Year: Welcome to the Feast.

Banquet

Study:  How do I respond to the Lord’s call to the Eucharist?

Pray:  Take time each day to listen to the Scripture readings for daily or weekly Mass – it is a powerful way to prepare for the Eucharist.

Serve:  Is there someone who you can bring to Mass?  Perhaps the fellowship or hospitality may help another to grow in faith.

Mass Readings – 28th Sunday of the Year

Two themes surface in the readings today that require further reflection:
1. God prepares a banquet for us
2. God invites us to come to the feast

The imagery of the banquet feast is found in the readings from Isaiah, the Psalms, the Matthew’s gospel. There are several points of interest here:
* God does the cooking! (Not us!)
* The food is the finest quality (rich & choice)
* The banquet is an important event (you better show up)

The fact is, when God throws a feast it is lavish in every detail. The event is on a grand scale with the best food and drink. What’s more, the Lord is the host of the meal! God prepares a banquet in every respect – as Chef, Host, Servant, Substance, and Lord.

The “feast” has more than just one meaning. This banquet is first of all the great gathering at the end of time when we join the Lord in heaven. This “heavenly banquet” is the final celebration when all the saints unite in the glory of the risen Jesus; what a meal that will be!

Furthermore, since the resurrection of Jesus, Christians have gathered together for the Lord’s supper, where Christ himself feeds us with his Body and Blood. Here on Earth we are “saints in the making” who strive to follow the Lord through the struggles of life. This Eucharist is the feast that gives us the strength we need to face each day with faith, hope, and love.

Both of these banquets – one on heaven, the other on Earth – are presented by the Lord. We receive Christ’s body and blood so that we might follow the Lord through this world to the world that has no end.

Now the second point is this: Do we come and attend? If Christ has prepared a banquet for us in heaven and on earth, then do we respond to the Lord’s call by receiving his heavenly food on earth, and living on this earth as citizens of heaven?

Today the Lord calls us to the great banquet that will happen at the end of time. This feast is the final goal of our journey of faith. For this journey we need strength, and the Lord provides each week for the spiritual food we need to continue on our way.

May we come and receive with open hearts!

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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Note: This blog was originally published on October 6, 2014.


The Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

This homily takes a practical look at answering three questions:

  1. What is the Eucharist?
  2. What happens at every Mass?
  3. What are some ways to get the most out of Mass?

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


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.


3rd Sunday of Easter: In the breaking of the bread. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – 3rd Sunday of Easter

On the road to Emmaus two disciples encountered Jesus as he explained the Scriptures and broke the bread.  These two elements – Scripture and Sacrament – are the core of every Mass.  As Christians have been nourished by the Eucharist from that very first Easter, may we continue to grow in grace every time we encounter the Lord in the breaking of the bread.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: The Lord feeds us. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Friday of the 2nd Week of Easter

The Lord feeds the 5000 and sustains them body and soul.  This strength will empower the disciples to face their difficulties with joy, reminding us that every time we receive the Eucharist we are fed by the Lord.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


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.


First Holy Communion. Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s First Holy Communion Homily

Every year in the Easter season children often make their First Holy Communion.  This homily was given on the 4th Sunday of Easter at the Cathedral of Christ the King on April 16, 2016.  Please continue to pray for all our children who receive the Lord in this great Sacrament; and may all of us draw near to Jesus!

First Holy Communion