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
 

EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
August 5, 2018


My Dear Friends in Christ,

Have you ever gone to a deli and ordered a sandwich and the server asks: “what kind of bread would you like ? We have white bread, rye bread, wheat bread, pita bread, zucchini bread, and pumpernickel, etc.” The choices are overwhelming! Perhaps no food comes in as many varieties as bread. Because bread is such a basic staple of life for so many, God in his wisdom chooses to nourish us with divine life in the form of bread, the Eucharist.

Jesus foretells this miracle in today’s Gospel claiming, “I am the bread of life… I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” (John 6:48, 51). This was no mere figure of speech. Jesus meant these words literally. On the night before he died, as he gathered with his closest friends at the Last Supper table, he took bread, blessed and broke it and gave it to them saying, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24). Then after supper Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me” (1 Cor 11:35). Jesus didn’t say “This is a symbol of my body… this is a sign of my blood, “ he said “This IS my body; this IS my blood.” This is no metaphor. Christ is really and truly present in the Eucharist.

Ever since the Last Supper, Christians have come together to share a meal and be fed with the bread and wine transformed into the Body and Blood of Jesus. The Eucharist is a gift of Jesus’ love through which we remember his death and resurrection and we share in his sacrifice.

In the Eucharistic prayer, at every Mass, the priest offers a prayer to the Holy Spirit called an epiclesis, from a Greek word meaning “invocation.” Actually, there are two epiclesis in the Eucharistic Prayer. First, the priest prays that by the power of the Holy Spirit the ordinary gifts of Bread and Wine will be transformed in to the Body and Blood of Christ. In the second epiclesis, the priest prays that by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be transformed , so that by receiving the Body and Blood of Christ we might become what we receive.

When we partake of the Eucharist, Jesus feeds us with his body and blood. We enter into communion with him and with one another. Unlike other food, which becomes part of us, Jesus in the sacred bread and wine makes us more like him. Therefore, we, too, are to be bread for the world.

This living bread sustains us and prepares us for that day when we will come to the heavenly banquet. It is a pledge of future glory. It is the means by which Christ fulfills his promise, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

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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