Tag Archives: Eucharist

The Night Jesus Went Missing

A few years ago when I was at my previous assignment in Dayton, at about 10 o’clock at night a young woman came to the rectory door. She was very upset – almost to tears. She had gone over to the chapel adjacent to the church (which is available 24 hours a day for prayer and adoration) and was distraught to find that the tabernacle was missing! My first thought was that someone had gained access to the chapel and taken the tabernacle to see what they could get from a scrap yard. One of …

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The Extraordinary of the Ordinary

I’ve had the privilege this summer of doing some traveling – to the Outer Banks of NC, southwestern Illinois, and the hills of Maryland – and in the midst of that to visit numerous other parishes for Mass. It’s always cool to see what other congregations and dioceses are doing, and how they put their own unique spin on the liturgy. Recently too, Dayton celebrated their annual Celtic festival, which includes a Gaelic Mass downtown under the big Riverscape tent. As always this year it drew hundreds to celebrate the Eucharist together in a new …

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The Whole Christ

Have you ever come to a point where something you thought you knew became a thing that you realize you never really knew like you thought you did. I know this might seem like a convoluted question. And maybe it is. I just chalk it up to the mystery of Jesus Christ. Recently I was preparing prayer for a parish staff meeting. The daily Gospel reading for the prayer was part of the Bread of Life Discourse in the Gospel of John-namely John 6: 44-51. Jesus says “I am the bread of life. Your ancestors …

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When Language Betrays

Trite expressions betray our true position, we just rarely pay attention to what these banal formulations are actually saying about us.   I’m as guilty as anyone else in this regard.    Lately, I’ve been trying to take note of my own ways of speaking within our common culture, in light of subtle – yet immanently present – secular ideologies.   Take, for example, what is perhaps the most common excuse for “dating around” (i.e. jumping head first into a number of quasi-serious relationships with intensive physical and emotional attachment): “I am trying to find …

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Being Catholic Means Attending Mass: It’s Part of What We Signed on For

If it were a felony to be a practicing Catholic, what kind of evidence would be sufficient to convict somebody? Probably regular attendance at Sunday Mass. Regular attendance at Sunday Mass is the basic Catholic practice. Once you have stopped going to Mass on Sunday, although you are still a member of the church you really aren’t a practicing Catholic any more. The Catechism of the Catholic Church  (#2181) says that “the Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice.” It is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice because of what …

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Truly, the True Presence

In the past couple of months I have had the privilege of attending Mass with small groups of people in relaxed settings – once on retreat with the Board of the Africa Faith and Justice Network and twice while running a seminar at the Comboni Mission Center here in Cincinnati. I am always amazed how the Mass, celebrated in this way, speaks to me. During Sunday Mass at my parish I usually spend Mass telling my kids to stop doing this (playing with the kneeler) or start doing that (praying). But even when I attend …

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Why I Love Being Catholic

I really do love being Catholic, though that wasn’t always the case. Growing up in the southern United States, I was a minority among the Protestants, especially in the rural town of Statesboro, Georgia, where I went to college. I’m ashamed to admit that one day a professor asked my class if anyone was Catholic, and when no other hands were raised, I shrank in my seat. Today I would proudly claim Catholicism, but at that time I never had a full appreciation—nor understanding—of my Catholic faith. I do now. Here are 5 reasons I …

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The 8 Short Years: Baptism to First Communion

Our 8-year old son made his First Communion this weekend.  At the beginning of Mass, Father Geoff prayed an opening prayer that caught me off-guard. “These children who come to the table of the Lord for the first time receive in Holy Communion the pledge of salvation offered on the day of their baptism.” My eyes flew wide-open.  I looked down at my son; looked over at Kate; looked back to the baptismal font in the back of church where Father was still standing . . . and uneasiness gripped me. My son was baptized …

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Holy Thursday: The Mass of the Lord’s Supper

The liturgy of Holy Thursday is called the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, a commemoration of Jesus’ last supper before his arrest and crucifixion. As part of their Jewish heritage, Jesus and his Apostles gathered to celebrate Passover—an annual remembrance of how God saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt centuries before. Passover, as it was celebrated in Jesus’ time and still is today, occurs around a meal. Food is a predominant feature in this celebration, especially unleavened bread and wine. It was at this Passover meal that Jesus changed the prescribed rite by taking …

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The Gift of Salvation: We Are Being Transformed

“For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim …

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