Gospel Reflection - Sunday 11th October 2020

The Gospel describes an invitation. A king invites people to his son’s wedding banquet. Now God is inviting us to His Son’s wedding banquet: The Mass. The Mass is much greater than a banquet in honour of a son. The banquet ‘is’ the Son. God is not merely inviting us to a banquet of fine food to eat.God, rather, is inviting us to a banquet of His Son to eat. God always offers us as much as can be given (That is His nature – to give infinitely). In Holy Communion, God offers His Son because there is no more that God can offer because there is no more.

St Augustine says of the Eucharist: “Although God is all powerful, He is unable to give more. Though supremely wise He knows not how to give more. Though vastly rich, He has no more to give.” At the Last Supper we read in Matthew’s Gospel Ch.26: “While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread and after blessing it, He broke it and gave it to His disciples and said: ‘Take, eat this is My Body.’Then He took a cup and after giving thanks He gave it to them saying, ‘drink of it, all of you because this is My blood.’ Note that the word ‘body’ comes from the Greek word ‘soma’ which means whole person – body and spirit. In other words, all that Jesus is – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.That is why when the priest says to you at Holy Communion, ‘The Body of Christ,’ the full meaning is Jesus saying to you: “All that I have and all that I Am I give to you.” In the Gospel of John, Chapter 6, verses 51 to 58, Our Lord is preaching to a crowd of people. He asks them to eat Him. For example:Verse 51: “The bread that I give for the life of the world is my Flesh.”Verse 53: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat of the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you, have no life in you.”Verse 54: “Those who eat My Flesh and drink My Blood will have eternal life.”Verse 55: “For my Flesh is real food and My Blood is real drink.”

In the town of Lanciano in Italy, exactly in the year 700, during Mass at the prayer of Consecration, the host changed into Flesh and the wine changed into Blood.In 1970 Pope St Paul VI gave permission for the host to be examined by scientists. The Leading scientist being Dr Linoli. They concluded that the Flesh is a heart, complete in its essential structure, and the heart is alive. The Blood had divided into five parts or globules, each part differing in shape and size. Mysteriously, each part is equal in weight. Also, when two parts are weighed together, they weigh the same as one part does. This is because one part is Our Lord completely, and two or more parts are also Our Lord completely. In 1996 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the same miracle occurred. During Mass at the Consecration, the Host changed into flesh and the wine changed into blood. The Host was examined by a forensic scientist, Dr Zugibe, who concluded that the Host is the flesh of a human and living heart, and the human died from extreme torture. The Host of Lanciano from the year 700 and the Host of Buenos Aires from the year 1996 were compared and it was concluded that the two hearts are the heart of the same person.

A little boy in Mexico suffering from very severe burns and sores on his body, was placed under the altar during Mass. Immediately after Mass the burns and sores had disappeared. A woman in Sydney was healed instantly of terminal cancer after she received Holy Communion at one Mass. A priest in the US had received back pain for several years, was instantly healed on receiving Holy Communion at one Mass. In 2008, a woman in this parish had an arm which caused her extreme pain when she raised it, after receiving Holy Communion one Sunday, her arm was healed. There have been many holy people who have lived solely on the Eucharist. Due to their medical condition some people have not been able to digest food or liquid but mysteriously or miraculously have been able to digest the Eucharist. Teresa Neuman of Germany who died in 1961 lived solely on the Eucharist for 42 years. No food of liquid – not even a drop of water for those 42 years. Martha Robin of France who died in 1981 lived solely on the Eucharist for 50 years. Louisa Piccarreta of Italy who died in 1947 lived solely on the Eucharist for 64 years.

In today’s Gospel there is mention of a man who came to the banquet without a wedding garment. As a result, Our Lord ordered him to be “bound hand and foot and thrown out in the dark where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.” In order to be accepted at the banquet or in order to be accepted to receive Holy Communion a person must be a practicing Catholic and believe in the Real Presence. Also, a person must be in a ‘state of Grace.’ St Paul said in 1Corinthians 11:27-30: “Whoever eats the Bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an ‘unworthy manner’ will be answerable for the Body and Blood of the Lord.‘Examine yourselves,’ and only then eat of the Bread and drink of the cup, for all who eat and drink without ‘discerning the body’ eat and drink judgement against themselves. For this reason, many of you are weak and ill and some have died. ”Therefore, anyone with a mortal sin must go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation before receiving Our Lord.

It is unthinkable to the human mind that God – the Creator of the Universe would reduce Himself to mere food, mere bread and wine. And why? So that He can give all of Himself to us, so that we receive all God has and is, so that we no longer remain ‘of the flesh and of the world’ but that we be ‘of God’ or ‘of the Holy Spirit’ or that we no longer remain ‘of this Kingdom’ but that we be ‘of God’s Kingdom’. Therefore, through us, God’s Kingdom is increasingly established on the earth.

Fr. Doug Harris 2020