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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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True God & True Man

The Body of the Lord is referenced in our Liturgy, in the Scriptures and in our Theology. What is the meaning of this “body” in our faith? The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became human— one of us— without losing what he was, and yet becoming what he was not. Jesus Christ is truly human. He took his humanity from Mary as she was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. Christ is really one of us. He bled. He was hungry. He was beaten physically. But, he also enjoyed the happy moments of his life with us as he engaged in family life at Nazareth. He said “My delight is to be with the children of men” (Proverbs 8: 31). He enjoyed the food of the Last Supper, at Cana, and at his home away from home, with Martha, Mary and Lazarus at Bethany. He also ate with sinners, not to countenance what they do wrong, but to let them know he had come to save them from their sins. He suffered the frustration and failure to be understood. In other words, he did not say to all of us, “do as I say,” as much as “do as I do.” Pick up your cross and follow me. He walked the walk. When we go to Communion, we receive Christ, body and soul, as well as the Divine Christ. He is our friend, as he called himself at the Last Supper. He is our brother, truly, in sharing our humanity. When the celebrant offers us Communion, he says, “the Body of Christ,” to which we respond, “Amen,” firmly and out loud, as our profession of faith in Christ present in his humanity, and not in some spiritual sense only. Did it ever occur to us that before Christ took on our humanity, he could never suffer. Prior, he had no human nature, no body to feel pain. Yet Christ opened himself up to suffering by taking on our humanity as a testimony of his love for us. Christ did not just appear to be human as early heresies tried to say. He was not just play acting, not just resembling us— he was truly human. He became human not just for thirty-three years and during his ministry on earth, but forever— for all eternity. This is why Christ prays, because he is human as well as divine. He prayed to his Father. He sought refuge in strength and prayer. He taught us to pray, “Our Father,” not just “my” Father.

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One Response

  1. Dr Fr Joe,

    I do wonder just how many Catholics really believe this truth. I see the occasional non Catholic even going to a Eucharistic minister to ‘receive’ because he knows that the Priest would refuse him. Same too with the divorced and remarried out of the Church. They also go to ‘Eucharistic ministers’ as they know they are a soft touch.

    And it can be argued that to receive in the hand is no different to receiving on the tongue, but I would differ. It’s all down to mental disposition and true respect. I will not ‘go to Communion’ unless I can be fairly sure that I’m in a state of grace and not too far away from my last confession. I have never and will never receive Communion in my hand, and I have never received communion under the form of wine. It’s not because I’m better than most (like the parable of the Pharasie), but I’m more able this way to try to grasp the very act of this miracle.
    Besides which, there is no need.

    I used to go to Mass in several Arab countries where the priest had to smuggle in the wine and the bread was the local flat bread. He would have been severely punished had the Authorities found him out, and we too would have been sent home. Sometimes the Altar was just a make shift table in the middle of the dessert. Even then it was so important to treat the re-enactment of Christ’s Last Supper, Death and Resurrection with the Utmost of respect.

    Domine, non sum dignus………….and it’s true

    With love,
    Paul

    FATHER JOE: For Corpus Christi we gave communion either with the host alone or through intinction (the host dipped into the precious blood) and placed on the tongue. I know people argue about whether communion in the hand is as appropriate as on the tongue. But communion in the hand is the older practice (restored) and I worry more about the spiritual disposition of the person.

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