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Homily for Sunday, June 2, 2024

Body and Blood of Christ |

The Veil Removed | [Father Paul]

On this feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, I want to share a video called “The Veil Removed.” I’d like to make a few comments before and after the video. 

When we think of the Mass, we are often reminded of the Last Supper. It is, certainly, a recreation of that moment in history, in fact, we use the exact words that Jesus used:

“Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my body.”

There is no reason to doubt that He actually said that. But so much more is happening here, and this video is meant to help us appreciate it. You will see a few parishioners joining in Mass, and it is obvious that they, like us, are bringing with them all of the cares and burdens they are carrying. Some even appear to be a little lost. But then at a certain point in the video, these people are being joined by angels, the priest is replaced by an image of Jesus, and above him is a live scene of the crucifixion. This is our theology of what is actually happening during the Mass. The Mass is not just a recreation of the Last Supper, it is the crucifixion, a solemn and significant event that we are privileged to witness and partake in. That’s what’s behind the veil. What’s also behind the veil is the choir of angels singing; angels also make this offering. This applies to us as we sing, worship God and also offer ourselves to God. We surrender to his will and say, ok, whatever happens, I will accept it as your will. If you believe that will is for good, you will have peace. 

Here is the video:

It’s a powerful video, but there is still more to this than meets the eye. Someone once asked St. Mother Teresa how to end war, she said,

“Go home and love your family.”

The point she’s making is about the importance of community, and community starts in the family. But it is fed, spiritually, by the body and blood of Christ. We know that the true joy of community is spiritual. Our faith, faith in Jesus Christ, can lead us in that direction and support us in that conviction. Our full participation at Mass creates the community that it symbolizes because we are one body, one spirit, unity in one lord and one baptism. Think of it this way: Jesus said you in me and I in you. So logically, if you believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, then when you receive communion, you also receive each other in an intimate bond of love that is totally unshakeable. This is the spiritual foundation of our community. 

In conclusion, I offer two spiritual communion prayers. Each of these prayers can be said during Mass, but the first is intended for those who are not able to receive communion, for whatever reason. The second is simply the same prayer said from the perspective of Jesus, who also wants us to hold us in His heart as much as we want to hold Him in our Hearts. 

We speak to Jesus: 

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Holy Eucharist. I love You above all things and desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive communion, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself completely with You. Never permit me to be separated from You.

Jesus speaks to us: 

My dearest child: I believe that you are here, with me, at this very moment. I see you, I recognize you, I know you, but most of all I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my Kingdom. Since I cannot at this moment hold you physically Or see you face to face, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you are already here, and I offer myself completely to you by my sacrifice on the cross. Never permit me to be separated from you, Amen. 

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