Browsing Fr. Reggie's Reflections

THE PASSOVER AND THE EUCHARIST

Jun 2, 2018

Before Jesus meets his death, He asks his apostles to prepare the Passover meal. Annually the Jews celebrate the Passover to commemorate their liberation from slavery in Egypt. The men are required to go to Jerusalem. They follow an outline of the celebration. It is called Passover Seder, like the Catholic Order of the Mass.

The First Reading describes an exodus event after the giving of the Ten Commandments. Moses informs the people about the laws from God and the people express their willingness to obey. They all agree with God by promising to do everything God has said. So then Moses sprinkles the blood of animals on the people to ratify the covenant. That makes them a covenanted people of God.

In this context of the celebration of the Passover and the giving of the covenant, Jesus institutes the Eucharist, as described in the Gospel. He takes bread and wine, turning them mysteriously into his body and blood. Jesus replaces the old covenant with the new covenant in his blood, poured out for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus asks us to celebrate the Eucharist to keep his memory alive.

The Second Reading declares the greater efficacy of the Eucharist, the blood of animals cannot forgive sins, but only Jesus’ blood can. We, Catholic Christians, value supremely the celebration of the Body and Blood of Christ. It can speak for all that we can say about our faith. The Eucharist relates to our birth, life, journey, sufferings, sins, struggles, death and salvation. The perennial challenge for us is to prepare ourselves worthily for participating more meaningfully at each Eucharist.

#45. A HUMOR ON THE EUCHARIST: Once, there was a pet shop owner who was preoccupied with his parrot’s talents and sold it to a lonely widow. After a few days of joy the widow returned to the pet shop and complained to the owner that the bird kept silent and died. They forgot the one most basic need of the bird - food!

The story teaches humorously that we need food for our body to live. But as Catholic Christians, we need another kind of food for our souls, our spiritual food which is Christ’s Body and Blood offered in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is not an invention of the Church nor an idea of the Popes. It’s simply and clearly the direction Jesus left behind to his followers before He died. When He broke the bread and shared the wine, He said: “This is my Body; this is my Blood. Do this in memory of me.” (Lk. 22, 19-20; 1Cor. 11, 25)

This Sunday after our 10:30 MASS, we have a short Eucharistic procession in the new parking lot to bless it. Then pass to the three altars for short prayers and songs and blessings. We end up by putting it in the Adoration Chapel after the benediction at the Garden. The 4th is the start of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time. The 5th is the memorial of St. Boniface. The 8th is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the following Saturday is the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is all for now, watch the new bulletin.

Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,

Fr. Reggie