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Eucharist is at our essence

Praise be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

Last week I mentioned the lighted candle in the church as a symbol conveying that the Eucharistic presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ is in the tabernacle of our church. The idea of the keeping of the Eucharist in the tabernacle did not immediately occur in the history of our Catholic Church. Some Reserved Sacrament (Eucharist) was kept for those who were not able to attend the Eucharistic celebration such as the ill and the elderly. In fact, it was most likely not until the reign of Charlemagne that Alcuin began the idea of Eucharistic devotion. Today it is accepted practice in our Church to have opportunities to adore the Lord in His Eucharistic Presence. Even when we enter the church and go to our pew we genuflect before the tabernacle. In simple terms, we recognize the presence of Jesus Christ in our church. It is this presence which makes our church holy. It is also important for us to recognize the altar in which the Holy Spirit makes present our Lord during the Mass. During the Mass the altar of sacrifice should be the center of our attention. Without that sacrifice there would be no Eucharist. As I have stated previously the Lord is present in two ways during the Mass: the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharist. It is important to receive both the Word and the Eucharist. We grow in knowledge through receiving the Word. We grow in love through receiving the Eucharist. I always tell the school children at St. John Vianney that we cannot grow in love if we do not grow in knowledge. Knowledge and love are inseparable. It is essential for us to understand that the Lord knows us and loves us. Our attendance at Mass is an essential step for us in coming to know and love the Lord. So if we take the time to learn then we have the opportunity to truly love. May Mary, Mother of Flint pray for us to grow in knowledge and love. So my dear people I return to the lighted candle in our church. It tells me that the abiding love of Jesus Christ awaits me.

You are all in my prayers and heart.

Fr. Tom

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