Christian Music Download Free Wallpapers And Videos

July 27th, 2013

Eucharist – Sacrament Of The Altar

Eucharist - Sacrament Of The Altar

In accepting the passion, persecution and death, Jesus changed it into an act of GIVING. We too Change!

What Jesus gave to us in the intimacy of the Upper Room we express openly, because the love of Christ is not reserved for a few but is destined for all. I stress that it is in the Eucharist that the transformation of the gifts of this earth takes place – the bread and wine – whose aim is to transform our life and thereby to inaugurate the transformation of the world.

The Sacrament of the Altar

Everything begins, one might say, from the heart of Christ who, at the Last Supper, on the eve of his passion, thanked and praised God and by so doing, with the power of his love, transformed the meaning of death which he was on his way to encounter. The fact that the Sacrament of the Altar acquired the name “Eucharist” – “thanksgiving” – expresses precisely this: that changing the substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is the fruit of the gift that Christ made of himself, the gift of a Love stronger than death, divine Love which raised him from the dead. This is why the Eucharist is the food of eternal life, the Bread of Life.

From Christ’s heart, from his “Eucharistic prayer” on the eve of his passion flows that dynamism which transforms reality in its cosmic, human and historical dimensions. All things proceed from God, from the omnipotence of his Triune Love, incarnate in Jesus. Christ’s heart is steeped in this Love; therefore he can thank and praise God even in the face of betrayal and violence, and in this way changes things, people and the world.

This transformation is possible thanks to a communion stronger than division, the communion of God himself. The word “communion”, which we also use to designate the Eucharist, in itself sums up the vertical and horizontal dimensions of Christ’s gift.

Receive the Holy Communion

The words “to receive communion”, referring to the act of eating the Bread of the Eucharist, are beautiful and very eloquent. In fact, when we do this act we enter into communion with the very life of Jesus, into the dynamism of this life which is given to us and for us. From God, through Jesus, to us: a unique communion is transmitted through the Blessed Eucharist.

Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul to the Christians of Corinth: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor 10:16-17).

St Augustine helps us to understand the dynamic of Eucharistic communion when he mentions a sort of vision that he had, in which Jesus said to him: “I am the food of strong men; grow and you shall feed on me; nor shall you change me, like the food of your flesh into yourself, but you shall be changed into my likeness” (Confessions, vii, 10, 18).

The Eucharist is a different Bread

Therefore whereas food for the body is assimilated by our organism and contributes to nourishing it, in the case of the Eucharist it is a different Bread: it is not we who assimilate it but it assimilates us in itself, so that we become conformed to Jesus Christ, a member of his Body, one with him. This passage is crucial. In fact, precisely because it is Christ who, in Eucharistic communion changes us into him, our individuality, in this encounter, is opened, liberated from its egocentrism and inserted into the Person of Jesus who in his turn is immersed in Trinitarian communion.

The Eucharist, therefore, while it unites us to Christ also opens us to others, makes us members of one another: we are no longer divided but one in him. Eucharistic communion not only unites me to the person I have beside me and with whom I may not even be on good terms, but also to our distant brethren in every part of the world.

Hence the profound sense of the Church’s social presence derives from the Eucharist, as is testified by the great social saints who were always great Eucharistic souls. Those who recognize Jesus in the sacred Host, recognize him in their suffering brother or sister, in those who hunger and thirst, who are strangers, naked, sick or in prison; and they are attentive to every person, they work in practice for all who are in need.

Our special responsibility as Christians

Therefore our special responsibility as Christians for building a supportive, just and brotherly society comes from the gift of Christ’s love. Especially in our time, in which globalization makes us more and more dependent on each other, Christianity can and must ensure that this unity is not built without God, that is, without true Love, which would give way to confusion, individualism and the tyranny of each one seeking to oppress the others.

The Gospel has always aimed at the unity of the human family, a unity that is neither imposed from the outside nor by ideological or economic interests but on the contrary is based on the sense of reciprocal responsibility, so that we may recognize each other as members of one and the same Body, the Body of Christ, because from the Sacrament of the Altar we have learned and are constantly learning that sharing, love, is the path to true justice.

What happened at the Last Supper?

Let us now return to Jesus’ action at the Last Supper. What happened at that moment? When he said: “this is my body which is given for you, this is the cup of my blood which is poured out for many, what happened? In this gesture Jesus was anticipating the event of Calvary. Out of love he accepted the whole passion, with its anguish and its violence, even to death on the cross. In accepting it in this manner he changed it into an act of giving. This is the transformation which the world needs most, to redeem it from within, to open it to the dimensions of the Kingdom of Heaven.

However, God always wishes to bring about this renewal of the world on the same path followed by Christ, that way which is indeed he himself. There is nothing magic about Christianity. There are no short-cuts; everything passes through the humble and patient logic of the grain of wheat that broke open to give life, the logic of faith that moves mountains with the gentle power of God. For this reason God wishes to continue to renew humanity, history and the cosmos through this chain of transformations, of which the Eucharist is the sacrament.

Through the consecrated bread and wine, in which his Body and his Blood are really present, Christ transforms us, conforming us to him: he involves us in his work of redemption, enabling us, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, to live in accordance with his own logic of self-giving, as grains of wheat united to him and in him. Thus are sown and continue to mature in the furrows of history unity and peace, which are the end for which we strive, in accordance with God’s plan.

Let us walk with no illusions, with no utopian ideologies, on the highways of the world bearing within us the Body of the Lord, like the Virgin Mary in the mystery of the Visitation. With the humility of knowing that we are merely grains of wheat, let us preserve the firm certainty that the love of God, incarnate in Christ, is stronger than evil, violence and death. We know that God prepares for all men and women new heavens and a new earth, in which peace and justice reign- and in faith we perceive the new world which is our true homeland.

– – – written by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

December 27th, 2012

Are You Ready For The Heavenly Banquet?

The Heavenly Banquet

We must always be ready to receive a precious call from our Lord.

Many are called, but few are chosen” (Mt.22:14). In order to prove this statement Jesus presented a unique picture of a king who set a wedding banquet in honor of his son for his people (Mt.22:1-14).

Parable of the wedding banquet

He took greatest care of the invited; at first he invited them, then he sent servants to call those who were invited. Again, he sent other servants to tell those who were invited that his dinner was ready. But they made light of it, and went off to their business. When the king saw that those invited were not worthy, he sent his servants to main streets with a fresh invitation for all, good and bad alike. And behold the wedding hall was filled with guests.

The king was very happy to see that the wedding hall was filled and it came to his notice that a man was there without wedding garment. The king was surprised to see him and asked politely, “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?” But the man said nothing, neither did he apologize. So the king asked the attendants, to cast him out of the marriage hall in to the outer darkness.

Heavenly Banquet for all of us

Jesus presents before us his Father who sets a Heavenly Banquet for which we are called and chosen. There are two categories of people mentioned here in the parable. The former is the category of people who are called or invited but they could not be present for the banquet. They took light of the call and went away to their own business, made them incapable of enjoying the banquet. The latter accepted the invitation wholeheartedly, put away the entire inconveniences, expressed honor and respect to the host. As a result they were chosen to enjoy the company of the host and the wedding banquet.

The kingdom of God or the life to which we are called is like a wedding celebration for eternity. Usually the joy of a wedding feast ends within a week but the joy of a life to which we are called is for eternity. Unlike our style of invitation, we find God the Father – the host of the banquet takes greatest care and attention towards the invited.

At first he invites them, secondly he sends his servants to call them, and again he sends other servants to tell them that the dinner is ready. It is inspiring to note that the servants did not go to invite the people, it is said, “They went to call the invited guests”, which means the invitation, is given by the king himself. Yes, God invited us to his banquet when he called us to existence. Time and again he sends his attendants through Sacraments, Divine Words, persons who come into our lives and daily events to remind us and guide us on our way to the banquet hall.

The Wedding Garment is a must

God the Father comes down each day with fresh invitation for everyone to his banquet. He makes no discrimination but calls the blind, the deaf, the dumb, the sinner, the sick and everyone is called to the wedding feast, provided they have the wedding garment. Wedding garment is provided freely to any one at the entrance of the wedding hall only they need to ask for, and put on the garment before entering the banquet hall.

We are asked to put on the spotless white garment; we were given on the day of our Baptism as the symbol of purity. At this juncture the king at the banquet asks us, to put on that holy dress made available in the Sacrament of Reconciliation in case we have lost it through human weakness and sins. Just as we see in the parable the king will not entertain any excuse or justification if we fail to put on purity of soul through Sacrament of reconciliation which is freely and generously dispensed by the Church.

God gives ample opportunities to regain the purity of soul or the wedding garment. Whoever postpones the Sacraments especially the Sacrament of reconciliation is keeping away the wedding garment and makes him or herself unworthy of enjoying the Heavenly Banquet. It is pity that the man without wedding garment did not answer to the king, he was silent. He could have made use of the last chance and pleaded for mercy and the merciful Father would have ordered his attendants to bless him with a fresh wedding garment. He failed to apologize even at the last moment and God would not let him enjoy the banquet.

Our call to present state of life is a call to participation in the wedding celebration, no matter if one leads married life, Priestly life or religious life. All are called and chosen to foretaste the heavenly banquet here on earth, provided we have the wedding garment with us. I’m sure, if we put on a spotless wedding garment, possess a stainless soul and cultivate noble virtues we are certain of the foretaste of the heavenly banquet here and now.

Many are called but few are chosen. We are certain of our call to the banquet, but are we chosen to enjoy the meal? It is good to introspect if I am with the wedding garment or not. Do I take care to maintain the purity of my soul, body and mind and be ready with the wedding garment?

Prayer: Heavenly Father we thank you for having invited us to the wedding feast of your Son. Grant us your grace also that we may be counted among the chosen ones to enjoy the heavenly banquet. Forgive us Father for having lost the wedding garment on our way to the wedding hall. Lord God, have mercy on our human weakness and failures and bless us once again with a pure soul that we may be found worthy of entering the wedding hall. Heavenly Father bless us with your holy spirit that we may be sensitive to sin and keep our souls away from sin and always be found dressed in wedding garments Amen.

– – – written by Sr. Mercy Pottokaran OSB

June 7th, 2011

Poem : Our Blessed Host

Our Blessed Host

Oh most blessed Host
And eternal God
We adore You
And we love You
For You gave us life
And You redeemed us.

At all times may we
Be in a state of grace
For Your presence
Sacramentally
And spiritually
Within our hearts.

Oh most blessed Host
We are sincerely sorry
For having offended You
And sincerely we thank You
For all that You have done for us
Now and forever
Amen

– – – written by Liam Ó Comáin

Also check out our - Featured Posts | Recent Posts