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Father Muench Says...

‘A bond that can never be broken’

June 5, 2024

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Recently, our Catholic Church celebrated the Feast Day of Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus. Actually, I think every Mass celebrated is a celebration of the Body and Blood of Jesus. However, I do believe that it is important for us to dedicate a Sunday for a glorious celebration of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

The Mass is the most sacred opportunity for us, Catholics, to gather as the people of God. At each Mass, we join as the Church to praise God. Our Mass is a Eucharist – in this time we join to offer our gratitude to our God for all things and are joined with our Lord Jesus as he joined his disciples at the Last Supper.

I believe we must often take some quiet time to recognize the powerful love that the Lord brings to us through each Mass. The Mass is our opportunity to unite ourselves with our Lord and Savior, Jesus, as we all receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in Holy Communion.

During these last few weeks in most Catholic dioceses, deacons were ordained to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. It was an opportunity for me to remember my own ordination – the time when I was now called to celebrate the Holy Mass. Before that time, I could not stand at the altar and say the very same words that Jesus prayed at the Last Supper, consecrating bread and wine to the Body and Blood of Jesus.

Through the Blessed Sacrament, God forms a bond with us – a bond that can never be broken. This is what we celebrate each time we offer the Eucharist. Each Mass is a perpetual reminder of the intimate love we share with God through the saving death of Jesus.

In faith, we believe the Holy Eucharist nourishes us with the spiritual bread of life. Just as for the apostles, the Eucharist leads us to be of service to others in the image of Jesus. We receive Jesus in Holy Communion so that we become in Communion with others. Through the Blessed Eucharist, we are formed into a community – a parish – that calls us to work together to make our world a better place.

When I preach at Mass, I encourage the congregation to recognize that this Eucharist should unite us as a family. I encourage the people to look around at each other and realize that each of us should pray for each other, and we should be grateful for the prayers of those around us. We are all one in the Eucharist.

One more thing to add here – the consecrated Eucharist is reserved in the Tabernacle in each Catholic Church. We believe the presence of Our Lord Jesus is present to our world everywhere. Yet we believe that the Church building is the place where Our Lord’s presence is greater – especially when we open our hearts to the Lord. When we pray alone in a church, it will always bring us closer to the ever-present Savior. This is a sacred place. It is here that we prepare to take the Lord Jesus out into our world by the way we live our lives and where our Lord gets us ready to serve others as best we can. It is here that we must listen as the Lord calls us and reaches us to truly be his disciples. The Lord always has a message for us.

We are a Eucharistic people.

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