Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Body and Blood of the Lord

Why is the Eucharist so important?  Let's go to the book of Hebrews to find out.

Heb 10:25-31

First, St Paul says:

25 Let us not neglect our church meetings,
We call that the Mass. He says, don't neglect to meet together for the Mass. Why? He'll tell us next.
as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.
Apparently, people were already skipping out on the Mass, back then.
26 If anyone sins deliberately by rejecting the Savior after knowing the truth of forgiveness, this sin is not covered by Christ’s death; there is no way to get rid of it. 
Then he says that neglecting to meet together for the Mass is the same thing as rejecting Christ's sacrifice. It amounts to a deliberate sin against Christ.
This is why missing the Mass is considered a mortal sin in the Catholic Church.  
27 There will be nothing to look forward to but the terrible punishment of God’s awful anger, which will consume all his enemies. 
Those who miss the Mass are considered God's enemies and can be certain that they will be punished for their ingratitude.
28 A man who refused to obey the laws given by Moses was killed without mercy if there were two or three witnesses to his sin. 29 Think how much more terrible the punishment will be for those who have trampled underfoot the Son of God and treated his cleansing blood as though it were common and unhallowed,...
There's the answer!  Why is the Eucharist so important?  Because it is the Body and Blood of Christ.  
Why is missing the Mass considered to be a trampling underfoot of the Son of God? 
Because it is offering of the Body of Christ which hung on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins.
Why is it considered to be an insult to the cleansing blood of Christ? 
Because it is truly the offering of the Blood of Christ which was shed for our salvation.
Notice how he compares the Old Testament gathering to the New.  Saying that the New Testament gathering truly offers the Body and Blood of our Lord.  Thus, to miss the Mass is no trivial thing.
Let's go to 1 Cor 11:27 So if anyone eats this bread and drinks from this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, he is guilty of sin against the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 That is why a man should examine himself carefully before eating the bread and drinking from the cup. 29 For if he eats the bread and drinks from the cup unworthily, not thinking about the body of Christ and what it means, he is eating and drinking God’s judgment upon himself; for he is trifling with the death of Christ. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick, and some have even died.
Back to Hebrews 10:29...
...and insulted and outraged the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to his people.
It is such a wicked sin that St. Paul virtually equates it with the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit:

Mark 3:28 “I solemnly declare that any sin of man can be forgiven, even blasphemy against me; 29 but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven. It is an eternal sin.”
30 For we know him who said, “Justice belongs to me; I will repay them”; who also said, “The Lord himself will handle these cases.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Yes, the Mass is so important that willfully missing it turns us into God's enemies.  Please, inform those whom you love.  Do not neglect the Mass.  Because doing so is to insult the Body and Blood of the Lord.

Saturday, June 3, 2017


A sound as of a mighty wind

Pentecost is celebrated 50 days after the Passover.  It is originally a Jewish Holy Day celebrating the first-fruits of the harvest and the revelation of the Law on the Mountain.  There is a spiritual connection between those two which is revealed in the Christian celebration.  

Jesus Christ is the first fruits of the Christian faith.  

1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

He was raised on the 1st day of the week and on the first day beginning the season of First Fruits which ends on the 50th day with Pentecost. Pentecost is known as the Feast of Harvests in the OT Scriptures.

It is also on this day that the Jews received the Law on the Mountain in the Sinai desert.  And it is on this day that the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles in the upper room and they received the power to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world.

ACTS 2:1-11

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

Pentecost is also regarded as the Birthday of the Church.  The day that the Apostles were confirmed with the power to preach the Gospel to the world.

ACTS 1:1-11

In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day he was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after he had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for “the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

When they had gathered together they asked him,
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”