1997 Aug 17 – 20th Sun Ord (Bulletin Letters)
Cycle B 20th Sun Ord
Jn 6, 51-58
“Let me solemnly assure you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life in you.” Jn. 6/53
A couple of years ago I attended my 25th high school reunion at Dowling H.S. A weekend of events ended with a Sunday morning Class Mass in the Dowling H.S. Library. Being the only priest available in the class, I got to preside at the Mass. There were about a hundred people who attended; class mates, their spouses and their children.
During communion time, a couple of young people between 10 and 12 yrs old came up to receive. Just following the crowd, they odiously did not know what they were doing. When they received the host in their hands they began to hold it up and take a good look at it. I reminded each of them that they must put the blessed host in their months and eat it before they returned to their seats.
After Mass the two young people came up to me with their mother. One of the children said, “Oh, how gross! Eating the body and blood of somebody! And you guys do this every week.” I tried as best I could to explain what receiving Holy Communion was all about. The mother apologized for the ignorance of her children. Raised Catholic, she had long since left the Church and her children had never attended a Catholic Mass before.
The reaction and comments of these two young people upon receiving Communion for the first time has stuck with me. In their ignorance of the meaning of the Eucharist, they heard for the first time, something we often take for granted. They understandably were ‘grossed out’ by our claim of eating Jesus’s flesh and drinking Jesus’s blood.
When we make this claim of eating Jesus’s flesh and drinking Jesus’s blood when receiving Holy Communion, we are professing in the most concrete of ways our believe in the Incarnation and all of its messy and bloody consequences.
Each and every time we partake in this Sacrament, we conspire to continue the work and mission of Jesus in the world. Not in any abstract or philosophical way but in the most concrete and human ways, with our very lives and bodies if necessary!
When we receive Holy Communion, we are literally taking into ourselves the body (blood and all) and Spirit of Jesus. And in doing so, we are to become the living and loving body of Jesus in the world today.
I wonder if we sometimes take all this for granted. My two young ignorant friends were right in saying, “Oh, how gross! Eating the body and blood of somebody!” Gross in deed! And a whole lot more….
97 08 17
Reply from Bishop Charron
Bishop Charron asked Fr. Steve Orr, the new Vicar General of the Diocese to visit with me concerning my confusion regarding his June 27th response to my special proposal for a team ministry arrangement with Fr. Morlan.
I met with Fr. Orr about this concern and other related matters last Monday Aug. 11th.
I received the following letter from Bishop Charron:
Aug. 12, 1997
Dear Father Cordaro
Father Orr visited with me about your concern that my letter of June 27, 1997 was not clear about my response to your proposal for a team ministry arrangement with Father Morlan at the parishes of Rosemount, Milo and Lacona.
The Unanimous recommendation of the Personnel Board was not to accept your proposal for this team ministry arrangement.
Sincerely yours in Christ
Bishop Joseph Charron
I want to thank Bishop Charron for his clarification. I wish the Personnel Board’s recommendation had been different. After talking to Fr. Orr, I now know more the Personnel Boards’s reasoning behind their decision.
With this decision made, other concerns will need to be addressed regarding my pastorship here in S.E. Warren Co. I will be looking to Bishop Charron and the Priest Personnel for guidance and direction in these matters.
I hope to keep you informed with the progress of these deliberations and how they will affect the parish.