St. Cyril of Jerusalem Parish,15520 Ventura Boulevard, Encino, California - St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church, 15520 Ventura Boulevard,  Encino, California 91436
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From the Desk of Father Mac
 

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
June 18th, 2017


My Dear Friends in Christ,

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, "Corpus Christi," a wonderful opportunity for us to give thanks to God for the great gift we have been given in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

Most non-Catholic Christians believe that the Eucharist is just a sign or a symbol of Christ's presence, not the real thing. But Catholics and Orthodox Christians share belief that Christ is not just symbolically present in the Eucharist, he is really and truly present.

The Catholic Church has always believed and taught that Jesus Christ is really, truly present in the sacrament of the Eucharist. This makes the Eucharist the greatest of all sacraments. Here's how the Catechism puts it: "In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained" (CCC, #1374).

In today's Gospel Reading, Jesus repeats six times in just seven verses that his flesh is real food and his blood is real drink. Every time an ordained priest pronounces the words of consecration at Mass - when he says "this is my body... this is my blood" - Jesus himself, in a mysterious, sacramental way, becomes truly present under the appearances of bread and wine. This is what Jesus taught, and what Catholics have believed since the very dawn of the Church.

And so, every time Mass is celebrated, anywhere in the world, a real miracle occurs. Just as Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana, at every Mass he turns bread and wine into his own body and blood. Only God can do that kind of miracle. That's why although we know that it happens, we don't understand exactly how it happens. Theologians can only describe what happens. They call it "transubstantiation."  This means that during the Mass, the substance of the bread and wine are changed into Christ's body and blood, but the appearance of bread and wine remains the same.

This miraculous presence of Christ explains why we give so much reverence to this greatest of all the sacraments, the Eucharist. Our faith tells us that Christ is really and truly present in the Eucharist. The question for us today is: Am I really and truly present to the Real Presence?


In Christ,
 

Pastor

 

For Information, please contact the Parish Office at  info@st-cyril.org or phone 818.986.8234


 

 

St Cyril of Jerusalem Parish
15520 Ventura Boulevard
(mail: 4601 Firmament Ave)
Encino, CA  91436
818- 986.8234
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Image of artwork in header - Used with permission (one-time use only)  from: Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, WI.
Title: "St Cyril of Jerusalem" - Artist: Anthony Visco, Atelier for the Sacred Arts, Philadelphia, PA - Shrine’s website: guadalupeshrine.org

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