Corpus Christi and Father's Day

06-19-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

This weekend is Corpus Christi – the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. It is a day to celebrate and reaffirm our Faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, under the appearance of bread and wine. As many of you know, it is also one of my favorite holy days of the year.

Of course, I don’t have to tell you that there is a crisis of belief in the Real Presence these days. Many reputable polls – even ones conducted by Catholic agencies – indicate that less and less people who ‘identify’ as Catholic believe that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist. Some claim they never learned this Truth. Others seem to have been taught it, but find it too hard to believe.

This has been a problem from the very first time Jesus taught about the Real Presence. After hearing Jesus say that ‘My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink’ and the one who ‘eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me and I in him’ – a number of His followers told Him this was too hard for them to believe. But, Jesus did not water down the teaching one bit. Instead, He let them walk away, implying that if we’re going to believe in Him, then we have to believe in His Real Presence in the Eucharist.

Unlike the crowd that walked away, we who believe in Jesus’ Real Presence do everything we can to stay close to Him in the Eucharist. Many of us come to Mass every day. Others spend time in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament – sitting or kneeling in the presence of Jesus and opening our hearts to Him.

Indeed, our parish is blessed to have Adoration. For those who may not know, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed in the Chapel Monday thru Friday from 8:30am until 11pm. I am always inspired by the number of people who make a point of spending an hour each week in quiet prayer and adoration before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

On this Corpus Christi, I want to personally encourage every parishioner who is able to spend at least one hour a week in Adoration. Come as a family and spend that time with the Lord, or come alone. Great saints have told us that Adoration is a source of many blessings, and those of us who spend time adoring our Lord in the Eucharist know exactly what they mean. Believe me when I say that spending time with our Lord in Adoration will bring you blessings you never imagined, and a new closeness with Him.

There are inserts about the Real Presence in this week’s bulletin. Please read them and pass them on to others. Let’s all make an effort to increase our own faith in the Real Presence, and pass that faith on to as many people as we can!

I want to wish a very happy Father’s Day to all the fathers, grandfathers, and spiritual fathers of our parish. It is appropriate to me that Father’s Day and Corpus Christi coincide this year, because my father was one of the first people to tell me about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I hope that every dad in our parish will take time to teach his children, by word and example, about the great gift God has given us in the Eucharist. Be assured of my prayers for all of our fathers among us who strive to share lessons about faith and life and so many other things with their children. We all appreciate it more than you know.

Please also remember to pray for me, at least one Hail Mary a day. Let’s also pray for the sick, the poor, and for peace.

Have a great week!

Fr. John

P.S. I had to write this before my retreat, so I cannot yet tell you how it went. Rest assured that you were in my prayers every day.