“You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.”
HAC for Fr.Nathan – image – Master of James IV of Scotland, about 1541
The Eucharistic Prayer is the centre and summit of our entire celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is to this very moment that the Holy Mass is ordered towards and from which all graces and blessings flow.
A PDF Version may be downloaded HERE:
Part one of the video series may be viewed HERE:
Part two of the video series may be viewed HERE:
Part three of the video series may be viewed HERE:
Part four of the video series may be viewed HERE:
Part five of the video series may be viewed HERE:
Part 6 of the video series may be viewed HERE:
Part 7 of the video series may be viewed HERE:
“God wills that all his gifts should come to us through Mary” – (St. Bernard)
The Catholic practice of assigning a special devotion to each month harks back to the early 16th century. Since the best known of those devotions is probably the dedication of May as the month of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it may be a surprise to learn that it wasn’t until the late 18th century that this devotion arose among Jesuits in Rome. In the early years of the 19th century, it quickly spread throughout the Western Church, and, by the time of Pope Pius IX’s declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, it had become universal.
May crownings and other special events in May in honor of Mary, such as public recitation of the rosary, stem from this time. Sadly, such communal events are more rare today, but we can take the month of May as an opportunity to renew our own devotion to the Mother of God by dusting off our rosaries and adding a few more Marian prayers to our daily routine.
Parents, in particular, should encourage Marian devotion in their children, since the non-Catholic Christians they encounter today often downplay (if not denigrate) the role that the Blessed Virgin played in our salvation through her fiat—her joyous “Yes” to the will of God.
Annual Parish Fundraiser:
Sausages will be delivered to St. Bernard’s church on Wednesday, June 8. Please pick up your sausages between 6:30-8pm on that evening.
Jesus feeds us with the true bread of heaven
Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand points to the superabundance of the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist. In the Old Covenant bread and wine were offered as a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Creator who made the earth fruitful to nourish and strengthen all his creatures. Melchizedek is an important Old Testament figure because he was both a priest and a king who offered a sacrifice of bread and wine to God on behalf of Abraham and his future offspring (Genesis 14:18; Hebrews 7:1-4). His offering prefigured the offering made by Jesus, our great high priest and king who gave a new and distinctive meaning to the blessing of the bread and the cup of wine when he instituted the “Lord’s Supper” or “Eucharist” on the eve of his sacrifice on the cross (Hebrews 7:26; 9:11; 10:12).
On the eve of the exodus of the Jewish people from bondage in Egypt, God commanded his people to celebrate the Passover meal, with the blessing of unleavened bread and wine, and the sacrificial offering of an unblemished lamb (Exodus 12:5-8). The blood of the lamb was sprinkled on the doorposts as a sign of God’s protection from the avenging angel of death who passed over the homes sealed with the blood of the passover lamb (Exodus 12:7,13). Every year in commemoration of the Exodus deliverance the Jewish people celebrate a Passover meal with unleavened bread as a pledge of God’s faithfulness to his promises (Exodus 12:14; see Paul’s description of the Christian Passover in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8). The “cup of blessing” at the end of the Jewish Passover meal points to the messianic expectation when the future Redeemer, the Messiah King will come to rebuild his holy city Jerusalem.
Jesus poured out his blood for us
At Jesus’ last supper meal, after he had poured the final blessing cup of wine and had given thanks to his Father in heaven, he gave it to his disciples and said, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:27-28). Jesus did this as a memorial of his death, which would take place the next day on the cross of Calvary, and his resurrection which occurred on the third day – Easter morning. The shedding of Jesus’ blood on the cross fulfilled once and for all the old covenant sacrifice of the paschal lamb at Passover time (Hebrews 10:11-14; 1 Corinthians 5:7: 1 Peter 1:18-19). That is why John the Baptist had prophetically called Jesus the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
Jesus made himself an offering and sacrifice, a perfect gift that was truly pleasing to the Father in heaven. He “offered himself without blemish to God” (Hebrews 9:14) and “gave himself as a sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2). Jesus established the Lord’s Supper and Eucharist as a memorial of his death and resurrection and he commanded his disciples to celebrate it until his return again in glory.
“The food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ”
When we receive from the Lord’s table we unite ourselves to Jesus Christ, who makes us sharers in his body and blood. Ignatius of Antioch (35-107 A.D.) calls it the “one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ” (Ad Eph. 20,2). This supernatural food is healing for both body and soul and strength for our journey heavenward.
When you approach the Table of the Lord, what do you expect to receive? Healing, pardon, comfort, and rest for your soul? The Lord has much more for us, more than we can ask or imagine. The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist is an intimate union with Christ. As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens us in charity and enables us to break with disordered attachments to creatures and to be more firmly rooted in the love of Christ. Do you hunger for the “bread of life”?
Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Christ has yet to feed them with stronger food, by Ambrose of Milan, 339-397 A.D.
“The order of the mystery is preserved everywhere. The first healing is bestowed on wounds through the remission of sins. Then the nourishment of the heavenly table abounds, although this multitude is not yet refreshed with stronger foods, nor do hearts hungry for more solid faith feed on the body and blood of Christ (Hebrews 5:12-14). He says, ‘I gave you milk to drink, not meat. For you then were not strong, nor are you yet’ (1 Corinthians 3:2). The five loaves are like milk, but the more solid meat is the body of Christ, and the stronger drink is the blood of the Lord (Luke 22:19-20). Not immediately at first do we feast on all foods, nor do we drink all drinks. ‘First drink this,’ he says. Thus there is a first, then a second thing that you drink. There is also a first thing that you eat, then a second, and then a third. At first there are five loaves, then there are seven (Matthew 15:34). The third loaf is the true body of Christ. So, then, let us never abandon such a Lord. He agrees to bestow on us nourishment according to the strength of each, lest either too strong a food oppress the weak or too meager a nourishment not satisfy the strong.” (excerpt from EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF LUKE 6.71-72)
HAC for Fr.Nathan – dailyscripture.net – with permission
Feast days for the coming week:
Sunday – May 29 – The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Monday – May 30 – St. Joan of Arc
Tuesday – May 31 – Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Wednesday – June 01 – St. Justin
Thursday – June 02 – Sts. Marcellinus and Peter
Friday – June 03 – Sacred Heart of Jesus
Saturday – June 04 – Immaculate Heart of Mary
Sunday – June 05 – St.Boniface
HAC for Fr.Nathan
In today’s Gospel, the disciples suggest that Jesus disperse the crowd so that they might individually seek food and lodging. The miracle of the feeding of the five thousand is Jesus’ powerful reminder that when we share our gifts in His name there is always more than enough!
Courtesy of the Daughters of St.Paul, feel free to download and print this lovely Angelus prayer card:
Click on the image to open a link to the Angelus Project and the Angelus Card files.
With permission and thanks to the Daughters of St.Paul – HAC