To all our parishioners and dear friends of our parish community…Praised be Jesus Christ! Now and Forever!
The saying that the disciples purport is “hard” and thus is not easy to accepting is “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life within you (St. John 6:53).”
Jesus Himself knew that some of His disciples would have difficulty accepting his teaching. St. Peter, however, speaking for the Twelve Apostles, professes his faith in Jesus as the one who has the “words of eternal life.” St. Peter’s words at the conclusion of the discourse serve as St. John’s form of Peter’s confession of faith.
They also signify the requirements for remaining within the Eucharistic communion of faith. Those of us who have professed our faith in Jesus and celebrate it in the Eucharist each week know the ups and downs that often come with being a faithful Catholic. We probably have all seen our share of fellow Catholics “return to their former way of life”, leaving the communion of the Catholic Church. Often they are simply called “fallen away Catholics!”
Yet, like St. Peter, you and I are convinced that Jesus, whom we receive in the Eucharist in every Mass, is the “Holy One of God.”
As you read this, I continue on my summer vacation days in Poland. Poland has been for centuries a very Catholic nation. Being in Catholic Poland today makes me so proud that I have been given this strongly deep rooted faith in Jesus Christ. In this “Year of the Priest” given to the whole Church by Pope Benedict XVI, the priesthood in Poland remains vital and growing!
Did you know that Catholic Poland sends more priests around the world than any other nation? Many attribute this to the continued prayers of the Servant of God, Pope John Paul II, from heaven.
In these difficult times, when so many have “fallen away from the Church” and regular attendance Mass, let us continue to go to Jesus truly present in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Encourage others this summer week to get back to the sound practice of weekly Sunday Mass and Holy Communion.
Please continue to pray for me and all priests. Special thanks this weekend to Father Ephrem Karwowski, Capuchin Friar, and Father Greg Mullaney for covering the weekend Masses while I am on vacation. Please welcome them to St. John’s!