14 JUNE 2020 Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
SHARING THE LIVING WORD
by FR. CLYDE SALTRIERO, O.CARM
“What do the Saints say about the Holy Eucharist”
A Filipino priest, Fr. Apalisok narrated a story in a book he authored — the story was about the Holy Eucharist.
He narrated: “The year was 1330. A priest in Cassia, Italy, was summoned to give Holy Communion to a sick person. Being in a hurry, he improperly put the sacred host between the pages of his prayer book.
Arriving at the house of the sick person, the priest was shocked to see the sacred host full of blood. It was later found out that it was a miracle within a miracle: the profile of the face of Jesus could be seen imprinted in the sacred host. Up to this day, the sacred host is still preserved despite its exposure to natural elements.”
Another story about the miracle of the Holy Eucharist, which I believe that many of us are familiar with, is the Eucharistic miracle in Lanciano, Italy.
The story is that, “about 500 years before this event in the eight century, a priest from Lanciano, Italy, doubted the real presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. He was shown a miracle when during the consecration of the Mass, the bread became flesh and the wine turned into real blood.”
“In 1970, a scientific investigation was conducted by an illustrious scientist named Odoardo Linoli, an eminent professor in Anatomy, Pathological Histology, Chemistry, and Clinical Microscopy. He was assisted by Professor Ruggero Bertelli of the University of Siena.”
“Their analyses sustained the following conclusions: the Flesh is real flesh; the Blood is real blood; the Blood contained proteins in the same normal proportions as are found in the sero-proteic makeup of fresh normal blood; and the preservation of the Flesh and Blood without any chemical preservatives though exposed to the action of atmospheric and biological agents, remains an extraordinary phenomenon.”
According to those scientists who examined both species is that: “the Flesh was found out to have come from the muscular tissue of the heart, the myocardium.”
My brothers and sisters, today the whole Church celebrates the Solemnity of the “Corpus Christi” — the precious Body and the precious Blood of Christ.
This feast of the Corpus Christi was proposed by St. Thomas Aquinas to Pope Urban IV, in order to create a feast focused solely on the Holy Eucharist, emphasizing the joy of the Eucharist being the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. In 1264, Pope Urban IV, established the feast of Corpus Christi as a Solemnity and extended it to the whole Roman Catholic Church.
The aforementioned Eucharistic miracles that I mentioned at the beginning, somehow awakens our consciousness on the importance of the Holy Mass and the priesthood. For without priests, there could be no Holy Mass.
In fact, we all experienced it just recently during the “lockdown” when for more or less two months – churches were closed and the celebrations of the Holy Mass were not allowed — a lot of people longed to partake in the celebration of the Holy Mass and receive the Body and Blood of Jesus during communion.
Many Catholics were very eager to have the churches re-open the soonest, so that they could partake in the Holy Mass and receive Jesus. And we, priests fully understand their desires, because a person who has developed a deep relationship with the Lord could not help but long to be in communion with the Lord day by day.
I was reminded of what Saint Anthony of Padua once declared, he said: “The life of the human body is the soul; and the life of the soul is GOD.”
My dear friends, whenever we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, let us contemplate on it as a “union between the human and the Divine.” And this is what the saints did during their lifetime. As far as I know, there is no saint who never loved the Eucharist. They all considered the Eucharist as the source of life.
Saint John Bosco once said, “The longer you stay away from communion, the more your soul will become weak, and in the end you will become dangerously indifferent.”
Saint Sister Faustina once said, “Every morning during meditation, I prepare myself for the whole day’s struggle. Holy Communion assures me that I will win the victory; and so it is. I fear the day when I do not receive Holy Communion. This bread of the Strong gives me all the strength I need to carry on my mission and the courage to do whatever the Lord asks of me. The courage and strength that are in me are not of me, but of Him who lives in me – it is the Eucharist.”
Saint Maximillian Kolbe once said: “”If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion.”
Saint Francis de Sales said: “”When you have received Him, stir up your heart to do Him homage; speak to Him about your spiritual life, gazing upon Him in your soul where He is present for your happiness; welcome Him as warmly as possible, and behave outwardly in such a way that your actions may give proof to all of His Presence.”
Saint Jerome said: “”If Christ did not want to dismiss the Jews without food in the desert for fear that they would collapse on the way, it was to teach us that it is dangerous to try to get to heaven without the Bread of Heaven.”
Saint John Paul II said: “This is the wonderful truth, my dear friends: The Word, which became flesh two thousand years ago is present today in the Eucharist!”
Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta said: “When you look at the crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Sacred Host, you understand how much Jesus loves you now.”
And lastly, Saint Therese of Lisieux said: “Heaven for me is hidden in a little Host Where Jesus, my Spouse, is veiled for love. I go to that Divine Furnace to draw out life, and there my Sweet Savior listens to me night and day.”
My dear brothers and and sisters, every time we celebrate this great solemnity of the Corpus Christi — my constant prayer is that “may we become what we receive.”
In other words, every time we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, may we become who and what Jesus is.