MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS
HART AT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL,
MELBOURNE, ON SUNDAY, 22ND JUNE 2014 AT 11.00
A.M., SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI.
My dear Brothers and Sisters,
he still walked on the earth Jesus taught his apostles to pray as he did with
the confidence and familiarity of a young person to their father. He instructed us to ask for daily bread and
then he became that bread.
before his death and departure, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave
it to his disciples so that they would receive his very body and blood. When Jesus’ body was broken and his blood
poured out on the cross he remained with us, hidden but powerfully present
under the appearances of bread and wine.
After Jesus rose his followers gathered again and again to take bread
and wine, offer them with him to the Father, and by his power to receive him in
Holy Communion. Today’s feast shows that
we are one with Jesus and one with each other.
we do here in the Eucharist is the centre of our whole Christian life. It is the summit towards which all our
activity in the Church is directed and it provides the strength and power which
nourishes our family and our personal life.
Rahner describes the Eucharist as “in this Sacrament we receive the pure
blessedness from heaven as though wrapped in the hard shell of custom, but
nevertheless in all truth.” Today is an
important day to thank God for the gift of the Eucharist. We believe that at the Last Supper Jesus
instituted the Eucharist and commissioned his apostles and those whom they
would appoint as priests and bishops to do
this in memory of me.
faith is that the bread and wine offered in the Mass are changed into the body
and blood of Christ though the appearances remain. Christ is present in every part of the bread
and every part of the wine and is received totally in receiving any part of
either species. The presence of Christ
remains as long as the species remain incorrupt. The Church’s constant tradition has been to
reserve the Blessed Sacrament outside of the time of Mass for taking to the
sick, where Christ is intended to be food, medicine and comfort and also for
adoration in the church and for carrying in procession.
of these statements emphasise Christ’s intention to be food, medicine and
comfort: food in the celebration of the
Eucharist; medicine to those who are sick; comfort to us who come to ponder and
realise the mystery, that Christ has chosen to be present under the simplest
substance so as to be accessible for us.
Cyril says, “Do not doubt whether this is true, but rather receive the words of
the Saviour in faith, for since he is the truth he cannot lie.” (Saint Cyril of Alexandria in Luke 22:19)
our churches the tabernacle is intended to emphasise the truth that Christ is
really present in the Eucharist and our need outside of the time of Mass to
come before him in adoration to bring our cares and needs.
John Paul II said in Dominicae Cenae,
“The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this Sacrament of
love. Let us not refuse the time to go
and meet him in adoration, in contemplation, full of faith, and open to making
amends for the serious offences and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease.”
It is certainly my intention
throughout the Archdiocese to encourage public adoration of the Eucharist in
the tabernacle and in the special adoration of Exposition. This helps us to see Jesus visibly present,
to bring our lives to him and to personalise the prayers and needs that we
express as a community in the Mass.
Saint John Vianney said that God and
our soul are like two pieces of wax.
Through adoration they become fused with love and become one. Adoration makes us one with Christ and his
words, deeds and plan for us become also the plan of our life.
here in hiding, whom I do adore
these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See Lord at
thy service low lies here a heart
lost in wonder at the God thou art.
touching, tasting are in thee deceived;
trusty hearing? That shall be believed;
Son has told me, take for truth I do;
himself speaks truly or there is nothing true.
(Saint Thomas Aquinas,
Adoro Te Devote)
At each sharing of the body and blood
of the Lord we are also to consciously remember our belief that we who have
gathered are also the body of Christ, God’s pilgrim people going through the
procession of our life, led by Christ our Head.
He was broken and given in love for others, so must we too give our
service in imitation of him who is with us.
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE