Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As we reflected on the gift of Motherhood last week, it makes us more appreciative of what our mothers did for us. The same can be said about the Eucharist. The more we meditate upon it, the more we realize what He did for us.
As I grow older and learn more about what mothers do for their children behind the scenes, the more I realize how much my own mother sacrificed herself to help me. Being a caregiver myself, I have noticed that at times we cannot afford to get sick, or be too tired to care for those who are entrusted to me. No matter how tired my mother was, there was she cooking, cleaning, and ironing our clothes. This self-giving attitude was not motivated by anything that I could give her in return, or there was no other interest behind her action other than LOVE.
This weekend, as we are celebrating our first communions (Spanish first communions will be next week), I stopped to reflect upon the Eucharist. As we sing the Lamb of God, the priest breaks the body of Christ (consecrated host) into three pieces. That’s a sign of the Body of Christ that was broken up for our sake. The precise words used during consecration is “this is my body which will be given up for you.” The Body of Christ, beaten, broken, flogged, and finally is crucified for our sake. Jesus does not go through his passion because he is a nice guy or because he had to as a duty, rather, he did it out of LOVE.
During the lockdown, many people suffered from not participating at mass and receiving communion. All of a sudden, we realized how much it meant to each of us. What maybe we had taken for granted, then we missed terribly. As we were following mass online and doing spiritual communion, it was not the same. The same can be said when we are in mortal sin and we don’t approach communion before going to confession. We see what God does for us out of love, but we don’t participate in that action of love. Imagine that for my Birthday my mother prepares a super breakfast in my house, but I can’t eat because I’m not there. I can make a video-call to her and see everything, but not being able to enter the feast is quite sad. There is nothing worse than not being able to join in a celebration of LOVE.
The Gospel this Sunday exhorts us to “love one another.” However, how are we supposed to love one another? “AS I HAVE LOVED YOU” answers Jesus. There is a need to deepen our understanding of how Christ has loved us. To understand the sacrament of the Eucharist, the greatest act of love and summit of the lives of every Christian is imperative to comprehend a little better how much He did for us. As we approach the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) on Sunday, June 19th, there are a few opportunities for us to better understand this mystery so close to us, yet so misunderstood and unknown. We are going to kick off the preparations by a THREE DAY TALK ON THE EUCHARIST on Thursdays 6-7pm June 2, 9, 16. In preparation for the last talk on June 16, the traditional day we celebrate Corpus Christi (nowadays we observe it on Sunday), we will have our 24 HOUR ADORATION from Wednesday June 15th at 6pm to Thursday June 16th at 6:00pm. Then on June 18th, the Archdiocese of Boston organized a EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS “JESUS IS HERE.” They will have special speakers, such as Bishop Robert Baron, Daniel Flores, Deacon Burke-Sivers and others, besides our Cardinal Sean O’Malley. It will take place at the Tsongas Center in Lowell from 8:30am-6pm. There are tickets online, and if someone needs scholarships, please contact us at the office. Finally, on Sunday afternoon, June 19th, the Feast Day of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, we will have once again a EUCHARISTIC PROCESSION THROUGH THE STREETS OF MARLBORO. These will be great opportunities for us to reflect upon the Eucharist, and realize how much Jesus loves us in the Eucharist. Only by his love we LOVE others.
Father Steven Clemence