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August 3rd 2008

Catholic Homilies

August 3rd 2008

 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Background:

  Today’s Gospel continues the incident of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. The dialog is obviously a reflection of the Evangelist on the lack of faith Jesus encountered even in Galilee and subsequently among the early Christians who reacted to the mystery of the Eucharist with a rigid literalism instead of reflecting first on its spiritual implications. John provides as usual a mystical reflection on the Eucharist. It must be said that even today much of the debate on the Real Presence cannot get beyond conflicts over how Jesus is presence so that the issue of why he is presence receives very little attention.

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00spc.gif (820 bytes) Story:

  Once upon a time there was a young woman who had become very scrupulous about the Eucharist. She was afraid that the priest was careless about distributing Communion and permitted tiny bits of the host fall on the floor around the altar rail. After Mass was over and the priest had gone back to the Rectory, she would sneak up to the altar and collect what she thought might be parts of the hosts in which Jesus was still present. She would pick them up with a little spoon she always carried in her purse and then place them in a little plastic bag. However, after she had collected many of these little bits of Jesus, she did not know what to do with them. So she brought them home and created a little altar in her room where she could pray to Jesus. Her parents thought it was nice that she had the little altar with a vote light burning in front of Jesus. Finally, one morning the priest caught her collecting bits of the Eucharist from the floor. Greatly embarrassed, she tried to explain what she was doing. The priest who understood how young people can become obsessive, took the plastic bag from her and promised that he would wash it out in the special sacristy think. But, Martha, he said, Jesus comes to us in the Eucharist to be with us because he loves us, not to drive us crazy with fears. If he was worried about such things he would have consecrated jelly beans at the last super. That cured her.

 

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Greatly embarrassed, she tried to explain what she was doing. The priest who understood how young people can become obsessive, took the plastic bag from her and promised that he would wash it out in the special sacristy think. But, Martha, he said, Jesus comes to us in the Eucharist to be with us because he loves us, not to drive us crazy with fears. If he was worried about such things he would have consecrated jelly beans at the last super. That cured her
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