Sunday Homilies by Fr. Rudolf V. Dí Souza

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The Sacred Heart of Jesus
June 15, 2007

SOLEMNITY OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST - 2007

Helpful Event:
One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.

Instead of a meal, he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry and so she brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?"

"You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness." He said, "Then I thank you from my heart." As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strengthened also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Years later, that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, he went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor's gown, he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day, he gave special attention to the case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested from the business office to pass the final billing to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge, and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words:


"
PAID IN FULL WITH ONE GLASS OF MILK.... "

(Signed)
Dr. Howard Kelly

Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: "Thank You, God, that your love is shed abroad through human hearts and hands."

We must be overjoyed at the wonderful gift Jesus has left for us. His body and blood as food for our soul and body is something remarkable that can never be fathomed.

Jesus has left a beautiful memory, a real gift, and a tremendous mystery to enrich us, which perhaps is not so evident to our bodily senses, but is so clear to our spirit in faith.

In his own words, St. Paul commanded the Corinthians to "Proclaim the Lord's death until He comes." [1 Cor 11:26] These words were not a fabrication of St. Paul's mind. They were rephrased words that Jesus commanded to His followers during the Last Supper when He said, "Do this in remembrance of me." [Lk 22:19]

Today, we are celebrating the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. This special Feast is celebrated in remembrance of Jesus who gave His life for our salvation. It is a Feast in remembrance of Jesus' command to us to celebrate the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. This feast helps us to remember the wonderful task of his love for us through his death and resurrection.

During His ministry on earth, Jesus said, "I am the living bread that came down from Heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." [Jn 6:51] While these words were not understood at the time when Jesus preached them to the multitude, they were spoken in preparation for the sacrifice of His Body and Blood that He was about to offer for the sins of the world.

When the night of the Last Supper arrived, Jesus taught His followers the manner in which the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist should be celebrated. Over and above this, Jesus revealed that He would be physically present in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

Before continuing, I would like to read to you the definition of the Holy Eucharist that is found in the Catholic Dictionary. This reading will spiritually enrich your minds in the knowledge and understanding of the mystery of the Holy Eucharist.

Eucharist (Gr., eucharistia, thanksgiving), is the Sacrament and sacrifice of the New Law in which Christ the Lord is Himself present, offered, and received under the species of bread and wine. The name is from the account of the last Supper.

The Catholic Church teaches that in the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of the God-man are really, truly, substantially, and abidingly present together with His Soul and Divinity for the nourishment of souls, by reason of the Transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, which takes place in the un-bloody sacrifice of the New Testament i.e., the Mass.

Transubstantiation is the word that was officially approved by the Council of Trent as aptly expressing the marvelous and singular changing of the entire substance of bread into the entire substance of Body of Christ, and of the entire substance of the wine into His Blood.

This Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is proved from the literal interpretation of the promise of Christ to give his Body and Blood, as found in St. John's Gospel, Chapter 6, and from the four independent account of the fulfillment of the promise at the last Supper (Mt 26; Mk 14; Lk 22; 1 Cor 11). From the same accounts it follows that Christ is present by
Transubstantiation,
namely the entire substance of bread and wine is changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, the accidents only of bread and wine remaining.

"With the single exception of Berengarius of Tours (in 1088 A.D.), none denied this doctrine until the 16th century, when the reformers put forth various errors of a mere figurative or virtual presence, as also of the manner of Christ's presence. They were all condemned in the Council of Trent."

The accidents of bread and wine are therefore without their proper substance, yet are real and not mere subjective impressions.
The mode of Christ's presence is spirit-like, somewhat as the soul in the body. Jesus is whole and entire in the whole Host and whole and entire in every part thereof. At one and the same time He exists in heaven and in many different places on earth.

From the Real Presence it follows that He is to be adored. It is evident that the Eucharist is a Sacrament, for it is a visible sign of invisible grace instituted by Christ. Its principal effect is the union of the soul with Christ by love, and spiritual nourishment by increasing sanctifying grace. It produces also a certain spiritual delight, blots out venial sin, and preserves from mortal sin by exciting to charity, and as Christ explicitly promised is the pledge of a glorious resurrection and eternal happiness.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, keeping in mind all the undeserved graces that we receive through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, with this Sacrament also comes responsibilities.

Our first responsibility is the manner in which we receive the Body and Body of Christ. Prior to approaching the Altar of the Lord Jesus to hold His Body and Blood in our hands, we must be in a state of grace. Those who neglect the Sacrament of Confession and receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist while in a state of mortal sin, they greatly offend the Lord Jesus. On this subject, St. Paul tells us, "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. Examine ourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves" [1 Cor 11:27-9]

In other words, it is not acceptable to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion when one lives in mortal sins and has no intention of changing his or her lifestyle. Those who live common-law, they are not in a state of grace and do not qualify to receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. The same applies to those who live in adultery, the prostitutes, practicing homosexuals, those who are participating in abortions, and those who freely commit other mortal sins as if they are on holidays.

Our second responsibility is to defend our Catholic Faith. What I mean is that it is a sin against the Body and Blood of Christ and against our Faith when a Catholic receives Communion in another religion or when a Catholic invites a non- Catholic to receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist in the Catholic Church. According to the Canon Law of the Catholic Church, a Catholic can only receive communion from a properly ordained Catholic priest. It is a sin against the Body and Blood of Christ because other religions do not accept the truth that Jesus is present in Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist. To partake in the communion of any religion that does not accept as truth that Christ is present in the Holy Eucharist is to deny the Divine Presence of Jesus in this Sacrament.

Jesus died for our sins so we may obtain our salvation in His Most Holy Name. He gave us the means to obtain life in Him through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. As such, we are obligated by our Faith to show the utmost reverence towards this precious Sacrament of life.

Practical Suggestions

Making our Eucharistic Celebration Meaningful:

Participating fully in the celebration, trying to listen to the Word of God and making our best to bring meaning to our own life through the Holy Eucharist.

Can we make the celebration of the Holy Eucharist more meaningful?

-         Try to make the celebration of the Holy Eucharist as meaningful as you can, trying to be in the Church fully present and receptive.

-         Offer your life as a gift to Jesus who offers himself in the Sacrificial meal, that means making certain promises to look after your family members, instilling love, trust, trying to make peace and helping them out in all their needs and sufferings.

-         Making the Holy Eucharist, meaningful also signifies, trying to be present at the family meal, making that meal a celebration of the Eucharist.

-         Cultivating the spirit of forgiveness; this is the most important theme of the Holy Eucharist.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, this week let us reflect on our actions. Are we all showing the utmost reverence to the Body and Blood of Christ? If some of us have fallen short of doing so, may this week be a time to repent of our sinful way through the grace of God. And may it be a time to once more obtain the righteousness of God through the Body and Blood of Christ so we may proclaim His death until He comes.

PAID IN FULL WITH HIS BODY AND BLOOD FOR ALL GENERATIONS TO COME

A catechism teacher asked students in her Confirmation class which part of the Liturgy, or Mass, was the most important part. She was not prepared for the answer from one of the students.

The youth said, "The Dismissal Rite is the most important part of the Mass."

"Why do you say that?" asked the teacher.

The teenager replied, "The purpose of the Eucharist is to nourish us with the Word of the Lord and the Body and Blood of the Lord, so that we may go forth to bear witness to the Lord and to bring the kingdom of God into existence."

The student continued, "The Eucharist does not end with the Dismissal Rite. In a sense, it begins with it. We must go forth and proclaim to the world what the disciples of Emmaus did. We must proclaim that Jesus is risen. We must proclaim that Jesus lives on."

The youth was absolutely correct.

This is the message the world needs to hear. This is the message the world must hear. If we donít deliver this message to the world, we have failed in our mission as Jesusí disciples. In a very true sense, the Dismissal Rite is the most important part of the Mass.


 
The Sacred Heart of Jesus
June 15, 2007
Year: C
Ezek 34:11-6; Rom 5:5-11; Lk 15:3-7
The Divine love of the Good Shepherd.

First Reading...

"Thus says the Lord God: 'I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.

I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land.

I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.

I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down,' says the Lord.'I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak I will feed my sheep with justice.'" [Ez. 34:11-16]

2nd Reading...
"Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not; for they are a rebellious house. Therefore, son of man, prepare for yourself an exile's baggage, and go into exile by day in their sight; you shall go like an exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious house.

You shall bring out your baggage by day in their sight, as baggage for exile; and you shall go forth yourself at evening in their sight, as men do who must go into exile. Dig through the wall in their sight, and go out through it. In their sight you shall lift the baggage upon your shoulder, and carry it out in the dark; you shall cover your face, that you may not see the land; for I have made you a sign for the house of Israel." [Is. 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6]

Gospel Reading...
"Jesus told this parable to the scribes and Pharisees. 'Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on the shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.'

Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.'" [Lk. 15:3-7]

An aging Hindu master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, sent him for some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it.

"How does it taste?" the master asked.

"Bitter," spit the apprentice.

The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake, and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, "Now drink from the lake."

As the water dripped down the young man's chin, the master asked,
"How does it taste?"

"Fresh," remarked the apprentice.

"Do you taste the salt?" asked the master.

"No," said the young man.

At this, the master sat beside this serious young man who so reminded him of himself and took his hands, offering:

"The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things . . .  Stop being a glass. Become a lake."

Good Shepherds of this kind, help us understand our ways of living. That is what Jesus did through parables and stories. Well, he also taught us through his own life example.

Heart is the symbol of love. It is actually love itself. If the heart stops, all stops, but if the brain stops, heart still can go on. That is the difference between the heart and the mind. Mind creates problems and heart searches for solutions.

Kenyan Airlines on 5th May crashed on its flight to Cameron. All the 115 passengers died. Among them were 15 Indians. Some of them were from Kerala. A couple Joseph and his wife were traveling down to Kerala flying this ill fated Airliner, had planned to celebrate the house warming ceremony and wed their daughter. All ended in this tragedy. But the family members were anxious and waiting that Joseph would certainly some how survive this tragedy and come back home. They were in search of their beloved member of the family. In spite of this tragic incident, they still hoped their son would return.

The Good Shepherd theme comes again in our liturgical year. We know that the Good Shepherd leaves all the 99 sheep and goes in search of the lost one.

The most cherished person will be sought after with all our might.

Amazing Heart Facts

Sure, you know how to steal hearts, win hearts, and break hearts. But how much do you really know about your heart and how it works? Read on to your heart's content!

  • Put your hand on your heart. Did you place your hand on the left side of your chest? Many people do, but the heart is actually located almost in the center of the chest, between the lungs. It's tipped slightly so that a part of it sticks out and taps against the left side of the chest, which is what makes it seem as though it is located there.
  • Hold out your hand and make a fist. If you're a kid, your heart is about the same size as your fist, and if you're an adult, it's about the same size as two fists.
  • Your heart beats about 100,000 times in one day and about 35 million times in a year. During an average lifetime, the human heart will beat more than 2.5 billion times.
  • Give a tennis ball a good, hard squeeze. You're using about the same amount of force your heart uses to pump blood out to the body. Even at rest, the muscles of the heart work hard--twice as hard as the leg muscles of a person sprinting.
  • Feel your pulse by placing two fingers at pulse points on your neck or wrists. The pulse you feel is blood stopping and starting as it moves through your arteries. As a kid, your resting pulse might range from 90 to 120 beats per minute. As an adult, your pulse rate slows to an average of 72 beats per minute.
  • The aorta, the largest artery in the body, is almost the diameter of a garden hose. Capillaries, on the other hand, are so small that it takes ten of them to equal the thickness of a human hair.
  • Your body has about 5.6 liters (6 quarts) of blood. This 5.6 liters of blood circulates through the body three times every minute. In one day, the blood travels a total of 19,000 km (12,000 miles)--that's four times the distance across the US from coast to coast.
  • The heart pumps about 1 million barrels of blood during an average lifetime--that's enough to fill more than 3 super tankers.
  • lub-DUB, lub-DUB, lub-DUB. Sound familiar? If you listen to your heart beat, you'll hear two sounds. These "lub" and "DUB" sounds are made by the heart valves as they open and close

Connect it to your homily

First of all heart is at the centre of your body, so must be at the centre of your spiritual life.

Your heart is as big as your fist. This signifies that you need to connect your heart with your hands. What you feel in your heart must be realized through your hands.

Your heart beats 100,000 times a day, means it never rests, and therefore this is an invitation to energetic life, and not a life of laziness.

The muscle of your hearts always works hard to provide fresh oxygenated blood to your body, hence, only hard work can keep this world go on.

As you can feel the pulse of your heart, so too must you feel the pulse of the hearts of your neighbour.

Around 5.6 liters of blood flowing in your body must in some way find meaning. Christ emptied himself of everything he had, even his own blood, so that all may experience love and everlasting life.

When your heart beats of fear, anxiety and depression always see that the Sacred Heart of Jesus will always be close to you, because he has carved our names on the palm of his hands.

Helpful Parable to Conclude

Once upon a time, there was an island where all feelings lived Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all repaired their boats and left.  Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to persevere until the last possible moment. When the island was almost sinking, Love decided to ask for help.  Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, "Richness, can you take me with you?" Richness answered, "No, I can't. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you."   Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel, "Vanity, please help me!" "I can't help you Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat," Vanity answered. Sadness was close by so Love asked for help, "Sadness, let me Go with you." "Oh...Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!"   Happiness passed by Love too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her!  Suddenly, there was a voice, "Come Love, I will take you." It was an elder. Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that he even forgot to ask the elder her name.  When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Love realizing how much he owed the elder asked Knowledge, another elder, "Who helped me?" "It was Time," Knowledge answered. "Time?" asked Love. "But why did Time help me?" Knowledge smiled with deep Wisdom and answered, "Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is.

'Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on the shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.'

He found it, because he searched for it, and it really required patience and time and of course LOVE above all.

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Dear friend, my homilies will be posted on Thursdays and you can benefit them and if you need more resources, you could contact me on rudyocd@yahoo.com or rudyocd@gmail.com

Let us make this ministry fruitful one so that the Word of God becomes a source of joy for me and for you and help people become more aware of its riches. You are also welcome to share your feedback with me. Thanks and God bless. 

 

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