Thursday, May 29, 2008

Corpus Christi

Fr. Brian's homily was wicked awesome on the feast of "The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ" which sounds so much nicer in Latin Corpus Christi. Father started his homily off by giving us stories from his childhood that evoked summer, as it was the "unofficial" beginning of summer this past weekend. The first story told how Fr. Brian had heard the Good Humor truck going by signing it's usual song, he continued with how it brought back memories of when he was a child and he would tell his brother "you stop the truck, I'll get the money." Now to get the money that his father had up high so the kids wouldn't get it, Fr. Brian as a child would have to climb up on a chair and then stand on the arm of the chair to actually reach the money on top of the dresser. The congeration gave it's approval of the story by laughing when necessary.

The next story was about how when driving one day, he smelt the familiar smell of a BBQ, which officially meant summer was here or at the very least warm weather was here. Fr. Brian went on to say, these things bring good thoughts and memories to us. The next example he gave was simply, "Sunday Mass" and he was greeted with what he expected the "no Mass doesn't bring warm happy fuzzy feelings to me." Fr. Brian must have missed my ear to ear grin, because I love Sunday Mass, anyway, Father said point blank, "well it should bring happy thoughts to you."

Fr. Brian continued by saying that, "Mass, Eucharist, is the single most important thing we do each week." Again many just stared at him, and I sat there with an even bigger grin than before, because here was a priest ordained literally 5 years and 1 day telling people point blank this is why we're Catholic, this is the most important thing you do each week.

I don't remember all of his homily, but I do remember the passion that was in the homily, the fire that was in his words, to the point where he was chastising the congregation but not really. Fr. Brian reminded us to not be a spectator, and it reminded me of the shirt that says Catholicism: not a spectator sport. Since Easter Fr. Brian has been asking us to bring a friend to church, if possible bring someone who's away from the Church back home. He reminded us that Mass does not change from week to week simply because it doesn't need to. As Fr. Brian put it Jesus just may be perfect and doesn't need to change, maybe it's us that needs to change. We need to be open to what happens at the Eucharistic table.

Fr. Brian finished with "some day Christians will unite," and then he quoted from John's Gospel which also was the Gospel of the day, "Jesus said, 'Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you shall not have life within you." As I heard the Gospel proclaimed I thought, Man I should have worn my Top 10 reasons shirt. I know I don't need a shirt to remind me why I'm Catholic I just like the looks I get when I wear my crazy Catholic shirts.

Fr. Brian told us to come back each week to feed our souls, the beginning of his homily dealt with death and souls, and he beautifully moved into the Eucharist being food, nourishment for our souls. We were told to mess with our friends or someone who asks us what our favorite food was by answering "I'm Catholic, my favorite food is the supernatural bread and wine for my soul, oh yeah and hamburgers too." Of course he got the chuckle from the pews, but it's true, Jesus should be our favorite food.

I knew from once I met Fr. Brian that I liked him, I change that now to I love him. He has yet to give me a crappy homily, and he's personable, you can talk to him, he'll ask you questions, and he takes such care of his sacred vessels and the Communion particles after he receives that it makes me tear up with tears of joy.

I've always been a Eucharistic-ly orientated person, this was brought to my attention during my time as SHU when I would sit weekly at Adoration. However, Adoration is not what made me appreciated being Catholic. One Easter I let my friend Matt, a Protestant, join my family for the celebration as SHU was quite picky about closing and when one had to be back, so Matt decided that going home to New Hampshire wasn't an option, so I said come to my place, as residents had to be off campus. Since I had taken Matt to Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday services for the Tridium and again on Easter Sunday, I decided I would return the favor by attending a service with him when we returned to SHU. So one Sunday morning we walked down the street to the church he went to while at school. Matt pointed out to me all the Catholic things I wanted to do, like bless myself, genuflect, and whatnot. I never questioned leaving the Catholic Church, I did question why I went to Mass, but I would never just stop going to Mass. The service that I went to with Matt was missing something, they sang songs, read from the Bible and prayed, but something was missing. I went to Mass that night and as soon as I walked into the Chapel I thought, that's what was missing, JESUS, Jesus was missing from that church. Literally, He was missing, there was no True Presence in that Church. I went to Mass that night so grateful to be Catholic.

We are doing as Jesus told us in John's Gospel and yes it seems weird that Jesus basically told us, "eat me", but that's what makes it a mystery, we won't understand it, and as Fr. Geoff said on the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, if I can explain the mystery of the Trinity to you, I'm doing you a great disservice. The same can be said for the Eucharist, I can't explain how it happens, I can tell you "in persona Christi" until I'm blue in the face, but we'll never understand it until we are in Heaven celebrating the best Mass ever!

I am proud to be Catholic and to believe in the Eucharist, and by the grace of God may that never change!

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