Monday, June 27, 2011

We are what we eat...

Yesterday on the Solemnity of the Body of Blood of Christ we gathered to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Priesthood of Bishop Chris Cardone, O.P. at St. Raymond's Church in East Rockaway. Together we rejoiced at his 25 years of priesthood and 10 years of shepherding the Church in the Solomon Islands. The Marianist of the Province of Meribah have assisted in the missionary efforts with Bishop Chris for many years training the teachers of his Diocese.

It is a very fitting solemnity to celebrate such an occasion. This is the feast where we attempt to understand and explore the belief that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. There comes also a challenge, to believe not only that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ, but to believe also that, indeed, we are to become what we eat and drink: we are to become the true presence of Christ breaking ourselves like bread to nourish our neighbor; pouring ourselves out like wine in outreach to those in need.

Hundreds of years ago St. Augustine said it oh-so-well when he wrote these words:
"What you see (on the altar) is the bread and the chalice;
that is what your own eyes report to you.
But what your faith obliges you to accept
is that the bread is the Body of Christ
and the chalice the Blood of Christ…
How is the bread His Body?
And the chalice, or what is in the chalice, how is it His Blood?
These elements, brothers and sisters, are called sacraments,
because in them one thing is seen, but another is understood. 
Nuzio and Ann Cardone presented the Offertory gifts.

What is seen is the corporeal species,
but what is understood is the spiritual fruit…
St. Paul wrote: 'You are the Body of Christ and his members.'(1 Cor. 12:27)
If, therefore, you are the Body of Christ and his members, then your own mystery is presented at the table of the Lord,
you receive your mystery. To that which you are, you answer: `Amen...' For you hear: `The Body of Christ!' and you answer: `Amen!' Be, then, a member of Christ's Body,  so that your `Amen' may be the truth."
Bishop Chris and Father Thomas distribute Holy Communion.

Life-long friends of Bishop Chris, the McCarthy's.

St. Raymond's Choirs provided inspirational music.