Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
This weekend we celebrate Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) Sunday and we invite you to prayerfully join in honoring the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar during the special activities planned, including pro-cessions and the offering of Benediction!
I urge us all to grow in our love for Jesus, truly present in the Holy Eucharist, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity! Our Savior and True Friend is truly with us in the Eucharist! Let us make time to be with Him in prayer, adoration and Holy Mass – every Sunday and any time we can on weekdays!
Here is some of what our Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches on the Eucharist:
“The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’ (Lumen Gentium 11) ‘The other sacraments, and indeed all ec-clesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ him-self, our Pasch.’ (Presbyterorum ordinis 5)
‘The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that com-munion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God's action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit.’ (Congregation of Rites, instruction, Eucharisticum mysterium, 6) Finally, by the Eucha-ristic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all. (Cf. 1 Corinthi-ans 15:28)
In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: ‘Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn con-firms our way of thinking.’” (St. Irenaeus) (CCC 1324-1327)
This coming Friday, June 16, is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Je-sus. This is a very special Feast that is linked to the First Friday Sacred Heart devotion. I encourage you to attend Holy Mass that day, if pos-sible. The history of this special feast goes back to the appearance of Jesus to a religious sister named St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Here is a brief history:
“In 1667, Jesus appeared to her (St. Margaret Mary) to strengthen her resolve to enter the convent and overcome her family’s pressure to marry. She entered the Sisters of the Visitation (founded by St. Fran-cis de Sales) and on December 27, 1673 (the feast of the Beloved Dis-ciple), Jesus appeared and told her to sit next to Him as the Beloved Disciple had done. Jesus revealed that His heart desired frequent Communion (especially on First Friday). He requested a feast of the Sacred Heart, asked for an image of His Sacred Heart, and gave the following 12 promises to those who practice this devotion:
1. I will give them all the Graces necessary for their state in life.
2. I will give them Peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
5. I will pour abundant Blessings on all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in my heart the source and infinite ocean of Mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
9. I will bless the homes in which the Image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10. I will give to Priests the Power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
12. I promise thee in the excess of the Mercy of My Heart, that It’s all-powerful Love will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the Grace of Final Repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured Refuge at that last hour.” (Taken from: Building a Kingdom of Love by Msgr. John Esseff)
I urge all to practice devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary! Jesus’ promises are real and they are filled with power and strength. Please do not fail to ask for His mercy and do not fail to take up this glorious devotion to Jesus and His Sa-cred Heart and that of His Mother, Mary!
Through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Holy Heart of St. Joseph, and our patrons, St. Michael and St. Paul, may the Sacred Heart of Jesus, truly present in the Holy Eucharist, pour out His blessings upon you, your families and our parishes!
In Christ through Mary,