• An All-School BBQ will be held (for parents and students) after our first home football game, on Thursday, August 29. The game is at 3:15 PM, and the BBQ will begin as soon as the game is over.
• A reminder that no students are allowed to spend certain “closed” 3-day weekends at the school. Labor Day weekend (August 31-September 2) is one of those closed weekends.
• School photos will be this coming week, on August 28.
• Mr. Hanson, our College Counselor, will give a presentation on college applications, etc. on Sunday, September 15, at 7:00 PM, in the Perpetual Help classroom. Juniors and seniors and their parents are highly encouraged (but not required) to attend; all others are welcome.
• Look ahead: Mark your calendars know for Parent-Teacher Conferences on October 6. More information to come as it gets closer.
• Our first football game is: August 29 (Thursday), at 3:15 PM, at St. Michael’s.
• Our first cross country meet is: September 6 (Friday) at 3:00 PM, at Mile Square Regional Park [16801 Euclid Street, Fountain Valley, CA 92708].
• Please do not forget to pay your son’s sports fee if he is playing football or cross country.
Imagine what your reaction would have been if the first thing I said to you this morning had been, “Those of you who want to get to heaven must first eat my flesh and drink my blood.” No doubt, you would have thought I’m crazy, and probably would have made a run for the door, maybe even called the police. For, how could anyone think of something so bizarre—“eat your flesh, drink your blood? You must be a madman!”
We often grow a little too accustomed to the wonders of our Catholic Faith which we hear about every Sunday, the result being that, what is truly extraordinary is received by us with a simple nod and a yawn. We fail to consider seriously and to contemplate the awesome things which Christ has given us.
In today’s Gospel we see our Blessed Lord performing a great miracle, one which, as Scripture tells us, He performed on more than one occasion. And the Fathers and Doctors of the Church have always seen in this multiplication of loaves a sort of preparation for and prelude to something far more wonderful: the Holy Eucharist.
My Flesh is food indeed, My Blood real drink…Whoever eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood will live forever…Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you cannot have life in you. These are the words of Our Lord Himself. Ever since He, Who is true God and true Man, spoke these words, almost 2,000 years ago, Christ and His Church have been teaching men that, at the moment the Catholic priest, during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, says the words of consecration—This is My Body. This is My Blood, the bread and wine are changed into the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ Himself. For 2,000 years now! Hundreds, maybe thousands, of miracles have happened, to support this truth of our Faith; theologians have written volumes, explaining and describing this mystery, calling it transubstantiation; holy men and women have given their lives to testify to the truth of this. And yet, when it comes down to it, it still requires from us supernatural faith; for, when we look with our eyes, we see what looks and tastes like bread and wine, but in reality, the bread and wine are no longer present, only their appearances remain. What we have on our altars and in our tabernacles, what we receive into our own bodies, is, in fact, truly the Body of Christ.
In today’s Gospel our Lord works a miracle before 4,000 people; all present even got to taste the bread which He had multiplied. And yet, how many of them believed Him when He taught them the doctrine of the Eucharist. Isn’t He just the son of Joseph? they said. And we are told that, at that point many had left Him. Today’s world makes a similar objection: “Oh, Our Lord did not really perform a miracle. The people finally just learned to share what they had brought. And He did not really mean what He said about eating His Flesh. He was just speaking metaphorically. He just meant that the bread and wine are a sign of His Body and Blood.” Our Lord’s response today is the same as it was 2,000 years ago: He looked at the Apostles and asked them, ‘Will you too go away?’
Two thousand years ago, God took on human flesh and was born of a Virgin. The Almighty God, the Creator of the universe, becomes a little babe in a manger. Many doubted this also, that this helpless Child could be God; and yet, while here on earth, He performed numerous miracles, fulfilled the prophecies which had foretold His coming, and suffered, died, and rose from the dead, just as He said He would; thus shattering all disbelief. And now, this same God, Jesus Christ, becomes present in the hands of the priest, as He was present in the womb of the Blessed Virgin—the difference being, of course, that He is now present in a sacramental manner, under the appearances of bread and wine.
We live in a world that demands scientific evidence for everything. We want someone to present us proof before we accept anything. Our Lord does not come with that kind of proof. He comes with something far greater. He comes with the gift of supernatural faith—a faith founded on His word. Yes, we believe that Jesus’ own Body and Blood are present in Holy Communion, we believe that the bread and wine no longer remain after the words of consecration, we believe that without being fed with the Precious Body and Blood of Our Lord we cannot possess eternal life. We believe this and all that the Church teaches us because God Himself has told us. And do we need any further evidence than that? Can the word of a scientist carry more weight than the Word of God?
Faith is a gift from God; a gift given to us at Baptism, and one which must be fostered must grow greater everyday. Without faith, you will end up accusing God Himself of being a madman—for to eat His Flesh and drink His Blood is no ordinary thing. The rest of the day, the rest of the week, you will spend doing a million other things with your time. But which one of them can compare to this extraordinary event that is the Holy Mass? Maybe you’re tired, maybe you’re bored or distracted; then pray for an increase in faith and love in Jesus’ True Presence in the Holy Eucharist; pray that He Who comes down upon this altar will wipe away all your doubts; so that, receiving Him at Holy Communion with a firm faith and a burning love, you will satisfied with the Bread from Heaven and He may give you eternal life. Amen.
• For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.
• For all the students and families of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.
• For all faculty and staff of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.