A Message From Father Brian
Our June 4th
celebration of Pentecost marked, among other things, the festive
conclusion of the Easter season.
Since then, the Church’s liturgy
has returned to what we call the “Ordinary Time” of the year.
Even so, the weekends that
follow Pentecost feel anything but “ordinary,” inviting
us as they do to celebrate two
of the most solemn feasts of the year, namely Trinity Sunday and
Last Sunday, we were invited to
delve into the unfathomable mystery of God’s very self . . . our
Church’s age-old conviction that the Lord, our God, is eternally
One, and yet somehow, wondrously, exists as a Trinity of Persons
whom we have come to call the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Today’s Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (or
asks us to give our hearts and minds to the Gift that is ours for
the taking at each and every celebration of the Mass—the gift of
Christ’s own precious Body and Blood.
One might wonder why the Church
chooses to highlight the Eucharist on one particular day of the
liturgical year, when in fact EVERY Mass is meant to be a festival
of wonder and gratitude for the Lord’s gift of himself under the
appearance of bread and wine.
Perhaps our fickle human nature
holds the key to that question:
if I were to hit the lottery
today, I’m sure I’d be so completely swept up in the astonishment
and glee of such a stroke of good luck that I could hardly
If, however, I were to win the
every single day
. . . my excitement might begin to taper off after a couple of
weeks’ worth, even with the winnings still piling up!
Unfortunately, many of us do allow even the miraculous to become
“ho-hum” when it comes to us frequently.
And that’s precisely the
challenge we face in having the Bread of Life offered to us
whenever we choose—even on a daily basis.
We may be holding in our hands,
or placing on our tongue, the living presence of the crucified and
risen Son of God . . . but our minds may be far more caught up in
the kids’ soccer game or what
to have for dinner.
Today’s beautiful feast
gives us the opportunity to REMEMBER—to remember Who it is present
for us on the altar; to
remember how marvelously we are
loved that the Savior should give himself to us as food and drink;
to remember that, as Jesus himself said, “unless you eat my flesh
and drink my blood you cannot have life in you.”
We are the objects of so
wondrous a love, that our Lover wishes to become part of who we
are, and thereby transform our lives into
May the gift of the Eucharist be for us the greatest of
treasures—on this particular Sunday in June, and always.
And may our patron and brother, St.
Lawrence, pray for us!
God love you.
(And a very happy Father’s Day!)
THE QUESTION BOX
Just for fun—and some ongoing
education—each week’s bulletin offers a question on
our Catholic spirituality and tradition.
few weeks ago, I was visiting the Blessed Sacrament chapel in St.
Elizabeth’s Church, in Melville.
The bronze door to the tabernacle
which seemed to be feeding her chicks.
Strange imagery for a
tabernacle—what’s the connection?
Throughout the centuries, the Church
has used an amazing variety of
symbols to represent the person of Jesus Christ.
This was especially true in the
Middle Ages, when one such symbol for Christ was the pelican.
was believed (erroneously, of
course), that the pelican would tear open its own breast, so that
its chicks could feed on its blood.
The connection with the sacrament
of the Eucharist (which we celebrate with special solemnity today)
is not so hard to see:
Christ is like the pelican, his
side torn open by the soldier's lance, and his blood given to
sustain his little ones (in other words, ourselves).
The image may seem a bit grisly to
us in the 21st
century, but it was not uncommon in decades and centuries past.
One has to admire the imaginative
connections made by those who have gone before us, trying as we
still do, to create a bridge between the world we know and the
unfathomable mystery of Christ.