Friday, April 22, 2016

Encountering Christ in the Eucharist

Dear Parishioners,

Last week and this week we have had our first communions. So I was reminded of a reflection by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

In a small village in modern day Tunisia [in the year 303 A.D.], forty-nine Christians were arrested one Sunday while they were celebrating the Eucharist (which was against the law of the Roman emperor Diocletian) and taken to Carthage to be interrogated. A man named Emeritus gave to the proconsul who asked him why he had disobeyed the emperor’s severe orders the following answer:

“We cannot live without joining on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist. We would lack the strength to face our daily problems and not to succumb… Christ is truly among us in the Eucharist… It is dynamic presence that grasps us, to make us his own, to make us assimilate him. Christ draws us to him, he makes us come out of ourselves to make us all one with him… Communion with the Lord is always also communion with our brothers and sisters… This means that we can encounter him only together with others. We can only receive him in unity…”

Then Benedict himself goes on to say this. “The consequence is clear: we cannot communicate with one another… To do this we must learn the great lesson of forgiveness: we must not let the gnawings of resentment work in our soul but must open our hearts to the magnanimity of listening to others, open our hearts to understanding them, eventually to accepting their apologies, to generously offering our own.”

- Fr. Carl

“During the day, and even at night if you wake, say to
God : ‘My God, give me the grace to love you as much
as it is possible for me to love you!’”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars