This past week, we were delighted to celebrate the Eucharist publicly with our parish family for the first time in three months, and very soon we look forward to opening up the church on the weekend. The reopening of the church has been a very emotional process for all of us, especially since we are burdened indefinitely with the requirements of safety and social distancing. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Corpus Christi. This is what the Sacrament of the Eucharist is: is not just a symbol of Christ’s Presence; it is the reality of Christ’s Presence. As much as our Live Streaming and virtual worship has sustained us through these months, it doesn’t substitute for the reality. This feast reminds us today that God is real and present in our midst, and after months of “imposed exile” from prayer and worship in our churches and chapels, we should be all the more grateful for this tremendous gift. Every Mass is a miracle in which Christ makes himself truly present to us under the appearance of bread and wine. Every Mass is a miracle in which God shatters the limits of time and space, and brings Christ’s sacrifice on the cross into the “here-and-now” of our lives. Every moment of every day, as red candles burn beside tabernacles all over the world, and remind us of Christ’s living presence in the Eucharist, that miracle continues. Why did Jesus choose to leave us his presence in this way, under the appearance of bread and wine? He told us the reason in today’s Gospel passage: “Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.” Christians are called to follow in Christ’s footsteps, to be other Christs; but we are weak and sinful; how can we fulfill such a high calling? We can do so only because Jesus has given us his own divine life, by feeding us with this divine food. As we now have the opportunity to receive Jesus again in the Eucharist, may we never take this amazing gift for granted.
Message about St. John’s Preschool
Today I would like to congratulate Miss Trudy Reaney for her many years of service to the Church of St. John. Unfortunately, I had decided immediately before the COVID-19 pandemic that we would suspend the operation of St. John’s Preschool. The reason was that we had a plan to expand our Children’s offerings on Sunday mornings, and we would need the space occupied by the Preschool. All of that has been rendered moot because of the virus, and as a result the Preschool was not able to end the year as we normally would have. On behalf of all the parents and children that Trudy has taught and mentored over the years, I offer my thanks to her for her deep love of God, and sharing her faith and God’s love with so many children. Trudy, your positive impact on the children of this parish and beyond will live on for many years to come. May God bless you with many blessings! I also thank Karen Nyman and all the previous Preschool assistant teachers. I will especially miss the children’s parties and pageants in our Preschool. We would have celebrated graduation last week for this year’s children, and I was very sad to miss that event. If any parishioners would like to send Miss Trudy a word of thanks, please mail or leave a card at the parish office, and we will pass it on to her.