Thursday, November 12, 2015


The Eucharist, as the theme of the Congress rightly points out, nourishes us. As I emphasized in my homily on Corpus Domini: "The Eucharist actualizes the Covenant that sanctifies us, purifies us and unites us in the marvellous Communion with God. Thus we learn that the Eucharist is not only a reward for the good but also the strength for the weak and for sinners. It is forgiveness and sustenance which helps us on our journey" (4 June 2015).
Human beings all over the word today need nourishment. And this nourishment is not only for satisfying physical hunger. There are other hungers – for love, immortality, affection, being cared for, forgiveness, mercy. These hungers can be satisfied only by the Bread that comes from above. Jesus himself is the living Bread that gives life to the world (cf.Jn 6:51). His Body offered for our sake on the cross and his Blood shed for the pardon of the sins of humanity are made available to us in the Eucharist.
But the Eucharistdoes not end withthe partakingof the Body and Blood of the Lord. It leadsus to solidarity withothers. Communion with the Lord is necessarily a communionwith our fellow brothers and sisters.And, therefore, the one who is fed and nourished by the very Body andBlood of Christ cannot remainunaffected when he sees his brothers and sisters suffering want and hunger. Those nourished by theEucharist are called to bringthe joy of theGospel to those who have not yet received it. Strengthened by the living Bread,we are called to bring hope to those who live in darkness and despair.“In the Eucharist the Lord makes us walk on his road, that of service, of sharing, of giving; and ifit is shared, that littlewe have, that little we are, becomesriches, for the power of God – which is the power of love –comesdown into poverty to transform it" (Homily for Corpus Domini, 2013).
May this Eucharistic Congress be abeacon of light to thepeople of India. May it be the herald ofgreat joy and happiness. May it be an occasion for my Indian brothers and sisters to come together in unityand love. May all those who participate in this Eucharistic Congress walk withMary our Mother singing the Magnificat for all thatthe Lord has done for us.


John Drake said...

Father, to whom are these words credited?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The Pope.

Gene said...

Yep, he says all the right things...I wonder what is between the lines.

Jusadbellum said...

It is precisely in the Pope's second point, the second fruit of Holy Communion that the Church's age-old doctrine on the proper disposition of soul of the faithful before approaching the Body and Blood makes sense.

If you are an unrepentant sinner, if you insist on your sin being "OK" or "necessary" then how can you expect true solidarity and communion with everyone else? Of what point would reception of the Body and Blood be except to flatter one's vanity and further deaden one's conscience?

It's precisely here that those who confuse "mercy" with licentiousness go off the rails. Of what possible use - even considered purely horizontally - might a rite signifying unity have if those participating in it do not actually believe the same things and don't actually hold themselves to the same, uniform moral standards?

How could we be "in communion" with the Lord and one another as a community if we don't share the same doctrine and don't walk the same path of virtue?

Recently I gave a talk to some kids on the 8 homilies in the book of Acts where the various apostles spoke to diverse audiences but all touched on the Kerygma, the Good News, the core, essential story.... and in virtually every case, after situating the story in a precise time and place (rather than 'once upon a time'), they touched on the need for people to repent of sins and come to Jesus. In virtually every case they didn't downplay sin or explain it away, or say that "mercy" means past actions were "OK" (and so would be OK still...).

No. They had no trouble telling Pharisees, Sadducees, Greeks, Romans, and other pagans that sin is real, we need to repent, and that Jesus can save us from our sins and that this is what mercy is and where it's found.

The Mass itself provides 7 occasions for us to acknowledge our sinfulness and ask for PARDON and MERCY before rising to receive the Lord. But if that's the case - that for venial sins we are given by the Church so many opportunities in ritual to publicly and privately ask God for pardon PRIOR to reception, how much more would we need to use Reconciliation/Confession prior for mortal sins?

I can here the theologians now: they will say given psychology and "changing times" (i.e. mere culture = the opinions of other people of our social milieu) that we no longer can commit mortal sins or only in rare circumstances. Thus the thinking goes that internal disposition and future plans be damned, the external reception of Communion forgives all sins. Thus a committed bank robber or serial killer or adulterer living in an adulterous relationship has all past sins wiped out despite not having any intention of ceasing those acts tomorrow.

If mortal sins may be forgiven in Mass then what was the point of Confession? What might have been the point of Our Lord warning us so often of the final judgment, hellfire, and the devil? If sin is of no great consequence then why would he bother teaching us to ask the Father to "not lead us into temptation"?

Gene said...

Well said, Jusad.

Gene said...

Here is some more "Divine Life:" Marquette University, a Catholic institution, is offering an LGBT Mass every week