Pastor’s Corner 8/2/2015

The Most Perfect Thing I know

The following was written by Msgr. Richard for inclusion in our Parish book celebrating our 1908-2008 centennial and is also a meaningful Reflection on today’s readings.

Over my thirty-six years as a Roman Catholic priest, groups from parents of children preparing for sacraments, to members of RCIA classes, to people in formation and training to become Eucharistic Ministers, to couples preparing for marriage, to those headed towards ordinationALL, at one time or another have heard me make this claim, “The Most Holy Eucharist is the most perfect thing I know.” Simply put, this is why: it is because the celebration for the Holy Eucharist leads to Holy Communion. Furthermore, this is so important to bringing about Jesus’ kingdom and to carrying out his mission, that he said “Do this is memory of me.”

For me, the most striking application of “Eucharist as Perfection” is a couple getting married. Two people come together to offer the most basic and fundamental thing that they havetheir body and their bloodtheir humans lives. Is this not what Jesus did in taking the Church as his bride? And then, what more could a married couple hope or pray for then that their lives would be lived in communion and harmony? The same would be their goal for the family that, please God, might come of their marriagethat parents and children might experience a strong bond, the result of living and sharing their lives in holy community. For Christians, marriage and family becomes a Holy Communion simply by the very fact that their lives are lived with the clear understanding that they are living out Jesus’ instruction, “Do this in memory of me.” Of course, then, the whole Paschal Mystery comes to bear, as married life and family will surely include sacrifice. Just as every Mass, every celebration of the Eucharist recalls Jesus’ life, passion, death, and resurrection, so will every life lived include elements of the same. This is why the vows include”I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the day of my life.” When all is said and done, are these not the same promises Jesus made to us by his living, his dying, and his rising again? No wonder his Heavenly Father declared, “This is my beloved Son on whom my favor rests” and “in whom I am well pleased.” In the twilight of married life and a family, by now, having become an “extended family,” this is the best that could be hoped forthat the Heavenly Father would declare with divine joy, “This is a marriage and a family in whom I am well pleasedbecause they lived their lives the best that they could, in imitation in memory of my Son.” And that is why, even though it was not always, “heaven on earth,” it was a Holy Communion.

Sometime ago, at the regular Tuesday morning School Mass, I told the children, “Now it’s up to you. Take your body and your blood back to your classrooms, out to recess, and back home to live in Holy Communion. Do it because Jesus did it for you. Do it out of love as Jesus did it because he loves you. Live today and everyday in memory of him. The reason you are going to ‘get along today’ or just ‘obey’ is because anything else would not be a Holy Communion.”

This is why the celebration of The Word and The Eucharist are so important to the life of a parish. It is how we connect all the rest of our lives to “Do this in memory of me.” We have no other choice but to get up in the morning with “our body and our blood”our own lives. We might as well do it the way Jesus did it, because the way he did it is Eucharist, a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and it leadsbest of allto Holy Communion. And that is just Perfect. Over my thirty-six years as a Roman Catholic priest, groups from parents of children preparing for sacraments, to members of RCIA classes, to people in formation and training to become Eucharistic Ministers, to couples preparing for marriage, to those headed towards ordinationALL, at one time or another have heard me make this claim, “The Most Holy Eucharist is the most perfect thing I know.” Simply put, this is why: it is because the celebration for the Holy Eucharist leads to Holy Communion. Furthermore, this is so important to bringing about Jesus’ kingdom and to carrying out his mission, that he said “Do this is memory of me.”

Scroll to Top