Corpus Christi

Dear Friends and Parishioners of Saint Jerome,

Pax Christi semper vobiscum!

The commemoration of the Most Blessed Trinity last weekend called us to reflect on the essence and nature of the Triune God as our model and reference of communal life. God’s identity is extended to us by virtue of Baptism as we were claimed in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is a privilege and unfathomable gift to be claimed as adopted sons and daughters of the Father. Jesus, who is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, humbled Himself fully through the Incarnation so that we could have a share in the divine identity and call Him our brother. The Breath of God, that Third Person of the Holy Trinity present in the Divine Communion, is our inspiration that moves our zeal to aspire and long for our inclusion in the Divine Relationship.

Today, the celebration of Corpus Christi ratifies our sharing of that same identity upon our participation in the Eucharistic Banquet that we share each week. Most importantly, this participation opens for us the door to a complete transformation of our spiritual being into an image and likeness of Jesus Christ so that the fullness of our participation in the life of God may be complete. In the Eucharistic Banquet, it is Jesus who offers Himself to the Father as an oblation of sacrificial expiation for our sins. The fullness of our participation in the Eucharistic event, by the grace of the Holy Spirit; transforms us into the image and likeness of Jesus. Our praising, our praying, our singing, our offering, our receiving of Holy Communion makes us an offering to God the Father in the Name of Jesus through the priest who is another Christ (alter Christus) during the Eucharist.  We become Jesus during the Eucharist regardless of our sinful human state and shortcomings. During the Eucharist our sins are forgiven, our deficit becomes sufficient and our spirit is renewed.

As members of our local parish, it is significant that we consider knowing our spiritual identity. We should always go back to our spiritual home where the root of our spiritual connection sustains us. The spiritual fire of Baptism and Confirmation that is granted to us by the Holy Spirit must be the inspiring energy that urges us to become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. It is in discipleship that we come to a full knowledge of the meaning of our lives. So, what is it like to be a true disciple of Jesus?

A true disciple is someone who has an awareness of the demands of the Gospel. These demands allow us to make decisions on whether we are willing to live our lives unreservedly for others. Commitment to service summarizes the response that Jesus proposes to His first disciples during the Last Supper. There! The Last Supper where the Eucharist was instituted is the breeding ground of awareness for the baptized to consider making a commitment to follow Jesus in the spirit of service. To be more specific, true discipleship is nurtured in the community, in the family, in the workplace, even in our simple acquaintances with others. At Saint Jerome Parish, our conscious and active participation in the Eucharistic life which is the breeding ground of discipleship is made real through our participation in the parish life. In a more realistic sense, we are called to be actors rather than simply being spectators of what is going on in our day-to-day life in the parish. When you commit to volunteer during our food sales or when you take the responsibility of taking care of the group of ushers during Masses – you are serving the parish. When you commit to teach your children to pray each day and you try hard to influence them to be faithful Catholics, you are making an actual initiation of your children into the life of God. When you consider giving some of your significant time to a parish ministry or include the church offering as part of your weekly budget, then you are making a serious consideration of our parish as your spiritual home. For after all, the upkeep of our homes requires time and economic resources. It is the same in our spiritual home.

So, yes, we don’t receive Holy Communion as a traditional practice. We want to receive the Holy Eucharist as an actual affirmation of our participation in the life of Jesus Christ so we may be transformed like Him in everything.

Finally, discipleship demands sacrifice. Because true dedication and devotion to something dear to us and to anything significant to us will always have room for a sacrificial love. When we reflect more deeply about our identity and when we take seriously our call to discipleship, it is the Holy Eucharist that summarizes who we are and who we become when we participate fully in the life of God. However, the question remains. Have we decided yet to respond to Jesus’ call to discipleship?

I wish for you a blessed week.

Sincerely in Christ and Mary,