June 11, 2023

Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Now that we have completed the Lent/Easter cycle of our church year, we celebrate a few additional Solemnities of the Lord before we return to the steady cycle of Sundays in Ordinary Time. Last Sunday, we celebrated the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity. Today, we celebrate the second of our two special feasts, “The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ” (known in Latin as “Corpus Christi”). Separated now from the dark themes of Holy Thursday night, we are able to celebrate and appreciate the tremendous gift of Christ’s presence among us through the gift of the Eucharist. Since the first Mass celebrated in our original church was on March 27, 1921, this means that we have had 102 years of continued Eucharistic presence of the Lord on our parish campus. From the time of that first Mass, the presence of the Lord has remained on our campus through the Eucharist. Our Perpetual Adoration Chapel on the north side of the main church is also a great reminder of the Lord’s continued presence among us. At our celebrations of First Eucharist each spring, I try to keep things very simple, but I do remind our young people who are receiving the Eucharist for the first time of a very basic truth of our faith. The Lord gave us this great and wonderful sacrament for one reason – he wants to be with us. He knew that the time had come for him to return to the Father. But he also wanted to stay here with us. Through the gift of the Eucharist, the gift of his Real Presence among us, he found a wonderful way to remain with us.

The Eucharist is essential for us: it is Christ who wishes to enter our lives and fill us with his grace. The Eucharist, although it is the fulfillment of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.

Pope Francis

Next Sunday, we resume our Sunday celebrations in Ordinary Time, returning to the season at the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We will be in this “green season” of the Church Year from then until December 3, the First Sunday of Advent.

The Conference of Catholic Bishops in the United States have asked that a 3-year National Eucharistic Revival be observed in every diocese in the country. The Revival began last year on June 19, 2022, which was the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. It is to extend through 2025. The first year was celebrated as a time of Eucharistic Revival within the Diocese. The second year, this year, is to be celebrated as a time of Eucharistic Revival in the local parish. The final year is to be observed as a year of mission. Last year at the beginning of the Eucharistic Revival, Bishop Ron Hicks wrote, “Hopefully, this Eucharistic Revival will serve as a spark for Catholics across the United States to help reignite their faith by being healed, converted, formed and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist and to be sent out in mission ‘for the life of the world.’” The Eucharistic Revival aims to foster growth into a deeper love for God and for the Eucharist.

In honor of this Revival, today after Mass, ushers will be handing out a gift to our parishioners, which is a Eucharistic Prayer Card. Take one as you leave and keep it in a place where you can meditate on the gift of the Eucharist often. We will provide several more opportunities at our parish for us to grow into a deeper love for God and for the Eucharist throughout the coming year.

Thank you to all who have already pledged to the 2023 Joliet Diocesan Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal, and especially to those who responded to Bishop Hick’s recent follow-up letter. This Appeal is the major source of funding for all of our Diocesan ministries and charities. We are doing everything possible to reach our 2023 CMAA goal of $147,500. As we saw last year, reaching our goal can be possible with the participation of each family in our parish. As of last week, 687 families have paid $117,793 towards our goal. If you haven’t had a chance to pledge yet, please do so as soon as possible. Envelopes are available at the Hospitality Desk and at the Parish Office. Your generosity is deeply appreciated.

We have waited for this time of year for a long time. Enjoy it now as best as you are able. May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.

– Father Jim Murphy