Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
Today we celebrate the First Communion at Sacred Heart, and next week at Old St. Mary’s. This is obviously a special day our First Communicants who have been preparing for several months now. Children often have a longing to participate in Holy Communion, so intently watching their parents come up to the rail and sometimes mimicking them. This shows us the importance of making sure that we always set a good example in our demeanor at the Communion Rail. The children are watching, learning, and following our example. May they know, by our actions, that we truly believe that what it is that receive at the rail is the Body of Christ!
Please find this sermon of St. Thomas Aquinas on the Holy Eucharist for our reflection today. Have a blessed week ahead!
“The immeasurable benefits, which the goodness of God hath bestowed on Christian people, have conferred on them also a dignity beyond all price. “For what nation is there so great, who hath gods so nigh unto them, as the Lord, our God, is unto us?” The Only-begotten Son of God, being pleased to make us “partakers of the Divine nature,” took our nature upon Him, being Himself made Man that He might make men gods. And all, as much of ours as He took, He applied to our salvation. On the Altar of the Cross He offered up His Body to God the Father as a sacrifice for our reconciliation He shed His Blood as the price whereby He redeemeth us from wretchedness and bondage, and the washing whereby He cleanseth us from all sin. And for a noble and abiding memorial of that so great work of His goodness, He hath left unto His faithful ones the Same His very Body for Meat, and the Same His very Blood for Drink, to be fed upon under the appearance of bread and wine.
How precious a thing then, how marvelous, how health-giving, how furnished with all dainties, is the Supper [of the Lord!] Than His Supper can anything be more precious? Therein there is put before us for meat, not, as of old time, the flesh of bulls and of goats, but Christ Himself, our very God. Than this Sacrament can anything be more marvelous? Therein it cometh to pass that bread and wine are bread and wine no more, but in the stead thereof there is the Body and there is the Blood of Christ; that is to say, Christ Himself, Perfect God and Perfect Man, Christ Himself is there, under the appearance of a little bread and wine. His faithful ones eat Him, but He is not mangled; nay, when [the veil which shroudeth Him in] this Sacrament is broken, in each broken piece thereof remaineth whole Christ Himself, Perfect God and Perfect Man. All that the senses can reach in this Sacrament, [look, taste, feel, smell, and the like, all these] abide of bread and wine, but the Thing is not bread and wine. And thus room is left for faith; Christ Who hath a Form That can be seen, is here taken and received not only unseen, but seeming to be bread and wine, and the senses, which judge by the wonted look, are warranted against error…” – St. Thomas Aquinas