Sunday 14th June 2020
Today is the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ: Today’s feast is a very tangible, physical, definite celebration of the reality of Christ in the Eucharist. It must be a strange experience for priests during this time of “lockdown” to be celebrating Mass in an empty church with only a webcam for company. The Mass is meant for people to share in and not merely to watch on a TV or a computer screen. However with Sunday Mass cancelled for fear of infection it is the best that can be done under present circumstances. Pope Francis prayer is a simple one asking Jesus to come to you as if you are bodily present at the altar in the church. “My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.” Do you miss receiving Holy Communion physically? If so, then we find ourselves in the same situation as the Jews in exile and they prayed that they may once more return to the Temple where God is present. Read Psalm 42-43 and you hear the desire of the author for God to come close to him/her in their pain and loss. (Read also Psalms 84, 85, 87 & 88). In the short second reading of Mass today (1 Corinthians 10:16-17) St. Paul suggests that the term “Body of Christ” can have two meanings. It means the (1) The Body of Christ that we share in the Eucharist and (2) The Body of Christ we form as a community of believers united with the Risen Christ. The two meanings are related and one gives depth to the other. Their combination reminds us that the Eucharist is profoundly social. St. Augustine (354-430) said about the Eucharist that when you go up to receive communion and go back to your seat remember what you are doing; “Receive what you are and be what you receive!” In other words you are the Body of Christ because of your Baptism and Confirmation and by receiving the Eucharist all of us are challenged to be the Body of Christ in our world today. No wonder the world is protesting about the cruel death of a young black man in the US. Another human being treated as if his life did not matter. St. John Chrysostom (348-407) speaking of the Eucharist in one of his sermons said “Would you honour Christ’s body? Do not neglect Him when naked, do not while you honour Him here [in the church] with silken garments, neglect Him perishing outside of cold and nakedness…For what is the profit, if His table indeed is full of golden cups but He perishes with hunger?” We give thanks today for the wonderful gift of the Eucharist. May we be the Body of Christ to each other especially to the most vulnerable and broken who are our neighbours. By doing so may we come to receive with greater gratitude the Body of Christ wherever He meets us. The Jesuit priest Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) in his poem “As Kingfishers Catch Fire” wrote:
“- for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.”
The feast of the Body and Blood is Christ’s gift! He gives Himself over for us! The Eucharist, among other things, is a memorial of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, of his great act of “being broken”, of giving himself over in love. In the Vietnam war some stray artillery rounds landed in an orphanage wounding several children. One was a nine year old girl who lost a lot of blood. The Americans sent a doctor and a nurse to help. They looked at the young girl and in their stumbling Vietnamese and limited French they tried to explain to the other little orphans that someone would have to give blood to help the little girl’s life. At first nothing but silence and stares came from these frightened youngsters. Then a small hand went up jumpy and hesitant, then up again and down again, then up again…the little boy was aged ten. The little boy was placed in the cot, his blood was quickly drawn for a compatibility test, which it passed, then the transfusion started from him to the little girl. But the little boy starting crying that grew into deep sobs. The nurse wondered if he was hurting. He shook his head, “No” and he began to shake. Soon he was in floods of tears. The medical team became nervous something was wrong. A Vietnamese nurse arrived on the scene. She quickly spoke to the young boy in his own language. After answering many sobbing questions she spoke softly to him. He became calm and the crying faded away. The Vietnamese nurse told the others in subdued tones. ” The little boy thought he was going to die!” He had the impression that you were needing all his blood and that he would have to die to save the little girl’s life!” The shocked doctor asked, “How he could possibly have the guts to do that?” The nurse asked the little ten year old boy. He answered quite simply, “Because she is my friend.”
This Friday we celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart. There once was not a home in Ireland without an image of the Sacred Heart. The Preface of the Mass on this Feast Day offers us an invitation. We pray: To his open heart the Saviour invites all of humanity to draw water in joy from the springs of salvation. We are still missing your presence here in the Graan, however we are remembering you in our prayers every day. Thank you for your prayers and for your donations, many sent in anonymously. Thank you for your support and generosity. Father Charles C. P.
The Anniversary Masses for Saturday Vigil & Sunday will be celebrated privately by the priests here.
Standing Order Form Link attached HERE. Please note if you complete a form please return it to your own bank.
The Church here at The Graan will remain open from 9.30am – 4pm each day for private prayer. The shop & Monastery will remain closed until further notice. You can ring the monastery from 10am – 2pm each day or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any enquiries or if you need cards sent out in the post we will gladly do so.
Guild Mass Cards: We have Deceased, Mass Bouquets, Get Well, Birthday, etc cost £2 / €2.50 each.
Mary Leonard, Corrateskin, Belcoo,
The Shortt & Rodgers Families, Corracloon, Derrygonnelly & Enniskillen
The Gilligan, O’ Dare, Connolly & Daly Families, Rossinver, Glasgow & Birmingham
Eugene, Teresa & Michael Foy & Margaret Bradley
& James, & Margaret Dundas & Family
& Willie & Aggie Jones & Family, Derrygonnelly
James & Peggy Keown, Roscor, Belleek.
Annie & Francis Keown, Cornahilta, Belleek
Bernard & Elizabeth Murphy & their son James, Derrylin
Thomas Quinn, Sligo
Mollie Mc Carney, Tempo
Telephone: 028 6632 2272
Fax: 028 6632 5201