Real Presence

The Gift and Challenge of the New Moses

"Mulitplication of the Loaves and Fishes" (detail) by Très Riches Heures

“Jesus wants to give us much more than free bread or liberation from earthly suffering. But we want to settle for much less.” In this Sunday’s Gospel we hear the continuation of the story of the multiplication of the loaves and fish that we began last Sunday. John tells us that after Jesus performs the dramatic miracle, the people begin to […]

Jesus Christ Truly Present

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan —Christopher West

The Altar of Sacrifice of the Old Covenant The passage from Exodus used for today’s first reading recounts the sealing of the Old Covenant mediated by Moses between God and Israel. The blood of the offering sprinkled upon the altar (representing God) and the people of Israel, consecrated the Israelites to right living, right belief and right worship. They were […]

Living in the Presence of God

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Have you ever experienced conflicting emotions or feelings within yourself? Did they seem to embody such opposites that you wondered how they could co-exist in the same body? Well, you’re not alone! Throughout his long life, Simeon knew this all too well. He was torn between the sufferings he bore and his unfailing hope. His people had endured the delay […]

Eucharist—Will You Stay or Leave?

"Super at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio / Public domain

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 […]

Gratitude for the Eucharist

Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

“May we never receive the Eucharist again in a distracted manner, bring Him into lukewarm hearts, or take Him for granted.” What he did at supper seated,Christ ordained to be repeated,His memorial ne’er to cease: And his rule for guidance taking,Bread and wine we hallow, makingThus our sacrifice of peace. This the truth each Christian learns,Bread into his flesh he […]

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 […]

Real Presence, Real Life

Photography © Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart

Do you believe that the Eucharist is truly the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ?   A recent poll indicated that sixty percent of Catholics do not believe, are not sure or simply don’t know.  That leads us to a second question. If you don’t believe that the Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, or you’re […]

Come to the Banquet Table

Photography © by Andy Coan

Some do the minimum in order to survive.  But we are called to seize every opportunity so we can truly thrive.  Proverbs says Wisdom has set a table for us.  Christ, Divine Wisdom incarnate, actually feeds us with two abundant tables – the feast of the Word and the Sacrament. This post centers on the abundant life brought by the […]

Elijah’s Bread

Photography © by Andy Coan

Somehow, we can all relate to the discouragement and exhaustion of Elijah.  So we need to learn from the solution proposed by God to revitalize and energize him for the long journey he needed to make and the important work he was going to do.  The bread God provided is a figure of a more wondrous bread that is available […]

You Are What You Eat

Photography © by Andy Coan

The only miracle recorded in all four gospels was the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Could this be to emphasize the central importance of the spiritual nutrition that Jesus, the Bread of Life, provides for us through the Eucharist? And could it be that a diet of junk food rather than the eucharistic banquet might just be a factor […]