From the Pastor’s Desk

Msgr. Maresca’s column will resume in September.

My Dear Parishioners,

The story of Abram and Melchizedek shows bread being offered in thanks to God for a miracle. So often in the Bible, the bread itself is the miracle, as when the Israelites were fed manna in the desert, or when Elijah promised the widow and her son, both about to die of
starvation, that the jug of oil would not go dry, or the flour jar go empty. No one could do greater things with bread than Jesus himself.

Recall that Jesus was born in a feeding trough in Bethlehem, a Hebrew name that translates as house of bread. It is as if the very circumstances of his birth intended to suggest that he was meant to become food for us as we make our pilgrim journey toward his kingdom. The event recalled in today’s reading from the Gospel of Luke matches closely the story of the loaves and fishes from John. Jesus, after having fed thousands, announces himself as the true bread sent from heaven. He promises that whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood will have eternal life, and be raised on the last day.

Christ, in the Eucharist, continues to feed multitudes with much more left over in abundance. The Eucharist has been offered by the Church from its beginning, and will be offered by her until the end of time because Jesus said, Do this in remembrance of me. The Eucharist will continue to feed us also because Jesus wishes to remain with us and in us, helping us to seek him, see him and serve him by how we love, honor, serve and forgive one another. Paul, in today’s first reading refers to Holy Communion and Jesus being really and truly present in the Eucharist as a fact of faith. Too many Catholics have lost their way with regard to believing in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

In proclaiming the Year of the Eucharist in his 2003 encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistic, Saint John Paul II wrote: “The most holy Eucharist contains the Church’s entire spiritual wealth: Christ Himself.” He encouraged every Catholic to “rekindle this Eucharistic ‘amazement.’” (par. 6)

On this feast of Corpus Christi, established by Pope Urban IV in the year 1264, we celebrate the miracle of the Eucharist. When we share in the Eucharist, we share in Jesus’ miraculous love for us and for all sinners.

This is my last bulletin column until September. I want to wish everyone a relaxing and peaceful summer. Take time to be with family and friends and be grateful for all God’s blessings. Remember to pray each day and attend Mass each weekend. Stay safe and healthy!

All God’s Blessings,
Msgr. Maresca