Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

6/11/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Jesus himself, through the Eucharist, grants to us the most powerful experience of intimacy possible within our earthly existence.

Most of the time, we need constant reminders of the immense gifts that God continually bestows upon us.  The Eucharist is an immense miracle, but sometimes we need to be reminded just how amazing this miracle really is.As we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi and call to mind the amazing example of  Blessed José Luís Sanchez del Río, how can anyone purposely miss Mass on Sunday, receive communion in the state of mortal sin, or not go to Confession on a regular basis and whenever necessary?  Viva Cristo Rey!

Highlights

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/11/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Sunday homily, catholic spirituality, Corpus Christi, Eucharist, Fr. James Farfaglia, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio, Cristeros, For Greater Glory, Body and Blood of Christ


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - Most of the time, we need constant reminders of the immense gifts that God continually bestows upon us.  The Eucharist is an immense miracle, but sometimes we need to be reminded just how amazing this miracle really is. 

One such reminder took place in 1263. A German priest, Peter of Prague, stopped at Bolsena, Italy while on a pilgrimage to Rome. He is described as being a pious priest, but one who found it difficult to believe in Transubstantiation.

While celebrating Mass at the tomb of Saint Christina, located in Bolsena, he had barely spoken the words of Consecration when blood started to seep from the consecrated Host and trickle over his hands onto the altar and the corporal.

The priest was immediately confused. At first he attempted to hide the blood, but then he interrupted the Mass and asked to be taken to the neighboring city of Orvieto, the city where Pope Urban IV was then residing.

The Pope listened to the priest's story and gave him absolution for his lack of faith.  He then sent emissaries for an immediate investigation. When all the facts were ascertained, he ordered the Bishop of the diocese to bring to Orvieto the Host and the linen cloth bearing the stains of blood.

With archbishops, cardinals and other Church dignitaries in attendance, the Pope met the procession and, amid great pomp, had the relics placed in the cathedral. The linen corporal bearing the spots of blood is still reverently enshrined and exhibited in the Cathedral of Orvieto, Italy.

Pope Urban IV was prompted by this miracle to commission Saint Thomas Aquinas to compose the liturgical prayers in honor of the Eucharist. One year after the miracle, in August of 1264, Pope Urban IV introduced the saint's compositions, and by means of a papal bull instituted the feast of Corpus Christi.

The Feast of Corpus Christi reminds us that we possess an immense treasure. 

When a Catholic priest takes a little piece of unleavened bread and repeats the words that Jesus spoke at the Last Supper, "This is my body," and when he takes a small of amount of wine in a chalice and says, "This is my blood," the bread is no longer bread and the wine is no longer wine. 

At every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we participate in a marvelous miracle, the miracle called Transubstantiation. 

Last week we reflected upon the mystery of communion.  Our Triune God is a communion of persons. The Eucharist is called Holy Communion. 

Jesus himself, through the Eucharist, grants to us the most powerful experience of intimacy possible within our earthly existence.

As Pope Benedict explains: "And that is what is really happening in Communion, that we allow ourselves to be drawn into him, into his inner communion, and are thus led finally into a state of inner resemblance" (God and the World, Joseph Ratzinger, p. 409).

What intimacy!  When Jesus comes to us, he comes to us as communion.  God and man become one.  He comes to us as the divine lover.  His communion with us is more intimate than the intimate union of husband and wife or a mother with her unborn child. 
We cannot even begin to fathom the depth of God's love for us.

His love is so immense that he himself is defined as love.  "God is love" (1 John 4: 8, 16). 

The Holy Eucharist is the most visible sign of God's love for each of us. Jesus loves us so much that he cannot leave us.  "And know that I am with you always until the end of time" (Matthew 28: 20). 

Let us recall the words from the first encyclical letter written by Blessed Pope John Paul II, "Man cannot live without love.  He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it" (Redemptor Hominis, 10.1).  

As we consider the mystery of God's unconditional love we are reminded that love defines the very purpose of our existence too.  The purpose of our life can be summed up with only one word: love:  "since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another" (1 John 4: 11).

The human person cannot live without the experience of divine love and human love.  The human person cannot live without the experience of divine intimacy and human intimacy.  The human person cannot live without communion.

Man becomes fully realized in communion because he is created for communion by a God who is the most perfect communion.

The experience of God's love has allowed the saints of the Catholic Church to do heroic acts of courage and love.  One example is that of the martyrdom of a young Mexican teenager by the name of José Luís Sanchez del Río.  His story is beautifully portrayed in the inspirational new movie, "For Greater Glory."

Historically, José Luís was born in Sahuayo, Michoacán on March 28, 1913. 

When the Cristero war began in 1926 as a popular uprising in response to the severe persecution of President Plutarco Calles against the Catholic Church, his brothers joined the rebellion.  His mother would not allow José Luís to follow his brothers, but she eventually relented when he was thirteen years old.  As depicted in the movie, José was the flag bearer for one of the Cristero troops. 

During a heavy battle, young José Luís was captured by Federal soldiers.  He was imprisoned, severely tortured and eventually executed. 

The soon to be martyr was brutally tortured by a soldier cutting the skin off of the bottom of his feet and then he was made to walk barefoot to his grave.  What is dramatically shown in the movie is historical.   

The Federal soldiers wanted the young Cristero to renounce his Catholic faith, but he valiantly refused.  "If you shout, death to Christ the King, we will spare your life." José would only shout,  "I will never give in. Viva Cristo Rey!"

When they arrived at the place where he was going to be killed, federal soldiers stabbed him numerous times with bayonets. The commander was so angry that he pulled out his pistol and shot the young Cristero. 

Moments before his death, the boy was able to draw a cross in the dirt and kissed it.

José Luís Sanchez del Río was martyred on February 10, 1928.  He was beatified on November 20, 2005.  The body of the young Cristero martyr rests at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Sahuayo, Mexico.

As we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi and call to mind the amazing example of  Blessed José Luís Sanchez del Río, how can anyone purposely miss Mass on Sunday, receive communion in the state of mortal sin, or not go to Confession on a regular basis and whenever necessary?  Viva Cristo Rey!

----- 

Father James Farfaglia is the Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, TX.  Visit him on the web to learn more about his book Get Serious - A Survival Guide for Serious Catholics which is now on sale at $9.95 per copy.  Special price for bulk orders are available.


---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Living Faith

Saint Theresa of The Child Jesus: Love to The End Watch

Image of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus: The Little Flower

By F. K. Bartels

Then, nearly ecstatic with supreme joy in my soul, I proclaimed: O Jesus, my love, at last I have found my calling: my call is love. Certainly I have found my proper place in the Church, and you gave me that very place, my God. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I ... continue reading


Tough Lessons for Real Life from the Book of Job Watch

Image of Job was right. He was living in the heart of God's will. When Job was stripped of what his fair-weather friends believed were the -proofs- of Gods favor, he found the greatest treasure of all, the beautiful poverty of purified Love. He found the richness reserved for those who love God for God's sake. Jobs fair-weather friends told him that his loss and difficulties were his fault, but Job knew better. In his unwavering hope in God's love and mercy we find the example of purified, living faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

When Job was stripped of what his fair-weather friends believed were the -proofs- of Gods favor, he found the greatest treasure of all, the beautiful poverty of purified Love. He found the richness reserved for those who love God for God's sake, for Love's ... continue reading


Interesting facts about the 400 years old Bom Jesus Church in India, the final resting place of St. Francis Xavier Watch

Image of The Basilica of Bom Jesus Church is more than 400 years old.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Located in Old Goa, India, the Basilica of Bom Jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The foundation stone was laid on 24th November 1594, and completed on 15th May 1605. It was raised to the status of a minor Basilica in 1946 and is considered to be one of the ... continue reading


Bombing Islamic State is fueling the violence

Image of Civilians inspect the rubble of a building destroyed by Allied airstrikes in Syria. We cannot bomb our way into the hearts of people.

By Tony Magliano

We need to do something! With the barbaric Islamic State now controlling large portions of Iraq and Syria, and inflicting rape, torture and even beheading on those who do not conform to their fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, it is imperative that they must be ... continue reading


Pope Francis to try case of pedophile archbishop in Vatican court Watch

Image of Former archbishop and ambassador Josef Wesolowski is under  arrest at the Vatican.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican will try one of its own for child abuse. After decades, possibly centuries of abuse and cover up, the use of the Church has a cover for pedophiles has finally ended. Former ambassador, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski will now face trial for abusing boys he met ... continue reading


Pope Francis says to listen to God's word and put it into practice Watch

Image of During his homily at daily, the Pope urged Christians to read God's word faithfully and to truly listen with our hearts to what He has to say.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to Pope Francis, living the Christian life is simple: listen to God's word and put it into practice. "These are the two conditions in order to follow Jesus, hear the word of God and put it into practice. This is the Christian life, nothing more," the ... continue reading


Pope Francis appoints five women to major theological council Watch

Image of Pope Francis, who has been critical on the Catholic Church's failures to adequately include women in theological discourse, has appointed five to a major theological council that is charged with aiding the pope and others with theological policy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The International Theological Commission, established in 1969 to study doctrinal issues faced by the Catholic Church and to help the pope and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has just received five new female members, raising the number of female ... continue reading


Pope Francis asks new bishops to avoid self-promotion, to love their congregations instead Watch

Image of Pope Francis meets with bishops for an audience. The Holy Father had important advice for a group of new bishops yesterday.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has admonished a new generation of bishops against seeking promotion and instead asked them to look after and love their congregations. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - During an address at the Vatican yesterday, Pope Francis spoke to 138 ... continue reading


POPE IN ALBANIA: Pope Francis denounces religious militants during one-day trip Watch

Image of On his first trip as pope to a European country outside of Italy, Pope Francis made no direct reference to Islamic State militants who have seized territory in Syria and Iraq.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In his one-day trip to the chiefly Muslim nation of Albania, Pope Francis soundly denounced religious militants, declaring that no one act as the "armor of God." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Let no one consider themselves the 'armor' of God while planning ... continue reading


If Christ Has Not Been Raised Our Preaching and Our Faith is Empty Watch

Image of We too,you and me, will be raised from the dead. Only then will our redemption be complete. We are works in progress. However, that new life can begin even now for those with eyes of living faith, hearts filled with His presence, and minds renewed by the Light of the Truth which Jesus has fully revealed and imparts to those who love and follow Him.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

When we learn to embrace the implications of that empty tomb, and allow grace to work within us, we are made ready for eternity - by living differently every day. The Resurrection provides a framework, a hermeneutic, a lens of meaning, for everything that happens ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Exodus 23:20-23
20 'Look, I am sending an angel to precede you, to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 10-11
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 18:1-5, 10
1 At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 2nd, 2014 Image

St. Leger
October 2: Leger was raised at the court of King Clotaire II and by his ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter