Posts tagged “Eucharist

A life-giving eucharist

Posted on July 5th, 2017

Cyril of Alexandria on Christ’s body and blood being truly present in the Supper, and the power of the Word of God. “He, being the Truth, cannot lie.” Amen! It was fitting therefore for Him to be in us both divinely by the Holy Ghost, and also, so to speak, to be mingled with our bodies by His holy flesh and precious blood: which things also we possess as a life-giving eucharist, in the form of bread and wine. For lest we should be terrified by seeing (actual) flesh and blood placed upon the holy tables of our churches, God, humbling Himself to our infirmities, infuses into the things set before us the power of life, and transforms them into the efficacy of His…

Decomposing bodies, living bread

Posted on September 10th, 2014

A gem from St. Irenaeus: A cutting from the vine planted in the ground bears fruit in its season, or a kernel of wheat falling into the earth and becoming decomposed rises and is multiplied by the Spirit of God, who contains all things. And then, through the wisdom of God, it serves for our use when, after receiving the Word of God, it becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ. In the same way our bodies, being nourished by it, and deposited in the earth and suffering decomposition there, shall rise at their appointed time. The Word of God grants them resurrection to the glory of God, even the Father who freely gives to this mortal immortality, and to…

Pious inebriation

Posted on January 29th, 2014

Wine makes glad the heart of man. Fallen man, is very good and abusing this good gift. The Eucharist is the beginning of the restoration, pointing ahead to the Day when all creation will be drunk-yet-sober, filled with the joy of the resurrection. In the Eucharist, prefigured by the paschal lamb and prefiguring the heavenly banquet celebrating the marriage of the Lamb (see Rev 21), we are therefore “inebriated with the sweetness of the divine goodness, according to Cant. 5:1: ‘Eat, O friends, and drink, and be inebriated, my dearly beloved.’” Matthew Levering, Jesus and the Demise of Death: Resurrection, Afterlife, and the Fate of the Christian (p. 77). Baylor University Press.

Sermo Dei: Epiphany II

Posted on January 20th, 2014

Second Sunday after the Epiphany John 2:1-11 Jesus was invited to the wedding. There will be no good marriage, no successful marriage, where Jesus is not invited to the wedding. How do you invite Him to the wedding? How is Jesus part of your home life? For this, we must look to the words of the mother of Jesus. See how, when disaster strikes, she places all her trust in her Son. Though He seems to rebuff her, she persists, and she says to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” These words are for you and me, who have been made servants by the cleansing waters of Baptism: “Whatever [Jesus] says to you, do it.” What does He say pertaining to…

Denying the Real Presence denies the Gospel

Posted on January 18th, 2014

This is what makes me so profoundly sad at the churches that reject Jesus’ plain words, “This is My body,” “This is my blood”: How can they believe anything in Holy Scripture? If Jesus is not to be believed at the most solemn moment of His ministry, then why should it be believed when Scripture says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” or, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son,” or, “Your sins are forgiven you”? All the promises of God are called into question when this one is. Those who speak against our Lord’s clear Words do great violence not to the Sacrament alone, but to the entire Christian witness. Why should I believe, “Behold, I…

To hell with that

Posted on May 9th, 2013

A parishioner shared this great anecdote with me: The great Flannery O’Connor, at a New York dinner party, responded thus when one of the other guests opined that the Eucharist was a symbol empty of religious truth:  “If it’s a symbol, to hell with that.”  She later said:  “That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable.”

Thanksgiving Divine Service sermon

Posted on November 23rd, 2011

I broke the line. I am disconnected from the earth. My mother’s side of the family are Minnesota farmers, and though my mother moved to Minneapolis while still a teenager, she still is rooted in the earth, working her garden, growing food and flowers. In my memories, my grandparents’ farm is a place of wonder, so very different from my own childhood home, just sixty miles away. There on the farm were cows and chickens, corn and peas. Sometimes my grandpa would have me take a little pail and dig for worms, collecting them until we had enough for fishing. My father, like his father before him, is an arborist, which is a fancy way of saying he deals with trees for a living.…

Betjeman’s Gem

Posted on December 23rd, 2010

“Christmas,” by John Betjeman. Lovely, astounding, beautiful. The bells of waiting Advent ring, The Tortoise stove is lit again And lamp-oil light across the night Has caught the streaks of winter rain. In many a stained-glass window sheen From Crimson Lake to Hooker’s Green. The holly in the windy hedge And round the Manor House the yew Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge, The altar, font and arch and pew, So that villagers can say ‘The Church looks nice’ on Christmas Day. Provincial public houses blaze And Corporation tramcars clang, On lighted tenements I gaze Where paper decorations hang, And bunting in the red Town Hall Says ‘Merry Christmas to you all’ And London shops on Christmas Eve Are strung with silver…

Thanksgiving Divine Service sermon

Posted on November 26th, 2009

Text: St. Luke 17:11-19 When St. Paul describes why God is full of wrath toward mankind, he gives this reason: “Although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him” (Rom. 1.21). The failure of mankind to give thanks to the Creator is no mere breach of etiquette, no mere failure to send a cosmic thank-you note. At the heart of man’s ingratitude is hubris, the attempt to seize the things of God’s creation as though they belonged to us by right. When our first father grasped what was not given to him, God evicted him from his home in Eden. Man became a wanderer, a sojourner. He became homeless, and the whole human race has been homeless…