“I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live forever.” ~John 6
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Happy Fiesta! I wish to extend a special thank you for our Fiesta Planning Committee who worked countless hours to prepare, plan and run our Annual Fiesta. Many thanks also to the 400+ volunteers who helped with setup, cleanup and staffing all of the great booths and activities! I am grateful for the support of our many sponsors and vendors and especially for the generous support of Isaac Heating and Air Conditioning and Vision Automotive Group who helped make this event possible. It is a wonderful tradition of live music, food and family fun and of course, and winning a car, that has been in effect for 64 years!
This weekend is also of great significance because it is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Through the gift of the Holy Eucharist, Jesus literally gives of himself to us so that we can be nourished and saved.
The account we read in today's Gospel from Mark 14, tells us all about this Pascal meal. God loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to us so that we could be nourished with a heavenly manna that is true food for eternal life. Now that love from God is a wild and crazy sort of love! Each time we come to Mass and gather with our brothers and sisters and eat of this bread, we receive the living Jesus who deeply loves us and wants to nourish us... “...come to me all you who labor and are weary, and I will give you rest!” This gift of the Most Holy Eucharist also allows us to BE Jesus to one another. When we receive Holy Communion, we partake in a sacramental union that serves as a direct connection to God. Jesus’ living body and blood enters into our very flesh. There is no earthly treasure that matches this gift from God!
God adopted our human nature so that we could be brought back to Him. Adam and Eve lost this perfect union with God by making a choice to sin. Unfortunately their choice (and we don't know the full nature of that choice) but it caused great and lasting awful harm to their children and their children's children. (Remember Cain and Abel?)
Sinful choices are like the flu. Flu can spread easily and affect others just as our own deliberate sinful choices can. And flu, like sinful choices, can have deadly consequences.
We needed God's help to repair what we human beings cannot fix. A "divine vaccination", so to speak, that can only come from the grace and mercy of God.
So in the merciful plan of God, a young Mary would hear the words of the Angel Gabriel, and she would courageously and trustingly say “Yes” to God by accepting this new life conceived within her. Jesus would be brought into the world, into a humble stable in a manger, God's only Son. Imagine that! Because Jesus was conceived in the Immaculate womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, God would, in parallel, make our own human nature worthy of love right from conception. This new reality is proclaimed through baptism and makes us brothers and sisters. No longer are we mere creatures of the world, but we become sons and daughters of God through Jesus.
As human life is not possible without the cooperation of parents according to the amazing plan of God, so too is our salvation not possible without the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus. Life is a gift from the hand of God. Let us not be sold on those who loudly proclaim a message contrary to our Catholic faith and moral teaching.
Instead, let us pray for one another and ask God to gently heal us and transform us into the image of God we are meant to become.
May God bless you!