Eucharist

Sunday Reflection—Giving Thanks

The Bible stories of Naaman the Syrian and Jesus’ healing of the ten lepers shows us that gratitude is an obligation of justice. To remember the source of our blessings and to give thanks is exactly why some countries, like the USA and Canada, dedicate a national Thanksgiving holiday.  And why Catholics have a “Sunday obligation” to attend the Eucharist. […]

A Timeless Warning to the Complacent

"Universal Judgement" (detail) by Michelangelo

“If we ask, we will receive the grace to remain and grow in fidelity to God. At the Eucharistic celebration, we are invited to receive the Lord and be nourished at His banquet – the strong and weak, the rich and poor, all of us together – so as to go forth into a world in need, carrying the love […]

Why do we call it Mass?

“The dismissal of Mass marks the beginning of our mission.” Have you ever wondered why we call what we do on Sunday “Mass”? We aren’t referring to a large amount of something nor to a scientific measure. It doesn’t matter how massive the crowd is, either. We get the word “Mass” from the very end of the liturgy, when the […]

Who do we say that the Eucharist is?

In Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked who people said he was, and his two polls showed that only one person said he believed Jesus was who he truly was, the Messiah and Son of God (Mt 16:13-20). This article originally appeared in The Anchor, the weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Fall River, Mass, on August 23, 2019 and appears here with […]

Receive, O Lord — Take all of me!

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

There is a great old popular jazz standard written by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons titled All of Me that is one of my favorite tunes.  I particularly like the rendition performed by Louis Armstrong and another done later by Willie Nelson. The song is about a fellow who lost his heart to a girl who left him, so he […]

Christ’s Gift of the Eucharist—Do you believe or will you leave?

"Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" (detail) by van Eyck

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ—Corpus Christi. Jesus began to prepare us for this great gift of the True Presence of His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Most Holy Eucharist when He performed the miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes and by His Bread of Life Discourse. This teaching […]

Sunday Reflection—The Body and Blood of Christ

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi and Holy Thursday Holy Thursday, the night of the Last Supper — the institution of the Holy Eucharist — why did Jesus do what he did and say what he said? What did he mean when he said “This is my body and this is my blood” and “Do this in Memory of Me”?  And […]

Are we too casual at Mass?

“If a non-Catholic witnessed my behavior before, during, and after Mass, would they know what I believed?”  Traveling recently, I found myself at a Sunday Mass that seemed remarkably casual. The people were friendly and the priest was welcoming, but there was a marked feeling of imprecision or even complacency that hung in the church like incense. I came away […]

Lenten Fasting and the Barren Fig Tree

Photography © by Andy Coan

Is Lent about fasting or feasting? Maybe the two are related, says this commentary on the story of the barren fig tree from the gospel of Luke chapter 13. Prayer. Fasting. Almsgiving. Three inter-related fertilizers which help barren fig trees bear fruit. The Mass readings for the Third Sunday of Lent (Year C) — Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15; Psalms 103:1-2, 3-4, […]

Going to Jesus Through Mary at Cana

"The Marriage at Cana" by Gaetano Gandolfi [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There have been many famous weddings in history, but I would argue that none more so than the Wedding Feast at Cana. This vignette in the life of Jesus is found in John’s Gospel and is traditionally held to record his first miracle – what John refers to as “the beginning of his signs.” We can better understand the importance […]