As the Church leads us through the sixth chapter of the gospel of Saint John in these weeks, today we focus once more on the Most Holy Eucharist. Throughout the bread of life discourse the Lord delivers a rich catechesis on the nature of this sublime gift, the freely-given gift of himself, thereby nourishing our faith and strengthening our hope of heaven. As the reality of Christ’s presence in the Most Holy Eucharist and its centrality is revealed to us in the sacred scriptures, we now consider the intrinsic link between the Eucharistic oblation we make here in earth and the banquet prepared for those who are faithful in the kingdom of heaven.
Given at the Solemn Mass at Saint John the Evangelist, Silver Spring, during which there was the first administration of Holy Communion for children.
Last weekend I had the great privilege of attending the ordination of a new priest for the diocese of Covington, Kentucky. In the very pleasing surroundings of the exquisite French gothic cathedral, the bishop prayed that the new priest would be good, faithful, and obedient to the life to which – in that sacred ceremony – he was being conformed. On Sunday we gathered again in the cathedral as the new priest celebrated his first Mass at the high altar, and for the first time made present the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, as he will do with and for the Christian faithful each day from now until the day he dies.