April 18, 2019
Dear Family of Mary!
Today we enter into the Holy Triduum of the Church. It is the three holy days during which we commemorate and meditate upon the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Today, Holy Thursday, we celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. This is that sacred moment when Jesus gave us Himself in the Blessed Sacrament and instituted the priesthood. Just before He suffered and died, He gave Himself to us in the miraculous way, under the form of bread and wine. And we have been offered this same Jesus, at every Holy Mass, down to this very day.
We cannot fathom the power and mystery of the Blessed Sacrament. It is beyond our every imagining. Fr. Leon gave a homily on April 16, 2019, Tuesday of Holy Week, in which he spoke very clearly about the power and mystery of the Blessed Sacrament. Denis and I have transcribed the homily so that we can ponder it on this holy day. It will help us to prepare for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, and maybe for every Holy Mass we attend here after!
English Mass homily in Medjugorje by Fr. Leon….Tuesday, April 16, 2019:
In CS Lewis’ books for children, actually I don’t think they are really meant for children, I think they are meant for grown-ups… his Narnia books, Jesus is presented in the image of a lion, Aslan. Aslan, the lion, is Jesus. OK, Aslan is Jesus. Now, in the stories although there’s a temptation to see Aslan the lion as a cuddly figure, a lion is dangerous. But this lion is not so dangerous, somehow. There is a recurring warning and it crops up in the later books… it says: Aslan is not a tame beast. He is not a tame beast. In other words, God is not domesticated to our use, or indeed, to our abuse.
God is God. He is wild and free. We cannot presume upon Him, is what they mean. Now how does this work? In our time we are so used to thinking: “You know, God is mercy. All are welcomed, etc.” But we forget: God is mercy and God is justice. Mercy and justice are the same thing in God. All are welcomed – on God’s terms!
And here…this is the kind of thing that no priest or bishop wants to preach on – the unpopular stuff. But I have to tell you the truth. When we talk about the Eucharist, Holy Communion, as medicine, remember that some medicines are too strong. If you were too weak, for example, and you had cancer, you could not receive chemotherapy. Chemotherapy would kill you. Jesus is this kind of medicine. If you were too weak, He would kill you.
This is not me speaking, this is the Bible. The 1st Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 11: “Do not eat or drink without discerning the Body and Blood of Our Lord. Some of you have done so and that is why you are sick, and some have died.” So, if we approach the Eucharist without actually going to Confession first – if we have serious sins on our soul – the Eucharist kills us. How does it kill us? It hardens our hearts. It makes us stronger in our sin and more reluctant to confess, more reluctant to repent. This is what Jesus does. Jesus is not a tame beast.
And we see this happening in the Gospel that we just heard. What happens? Jesus takes the morsel, the Eucharist, and he says, “It is the one to whom I give it.” He gives it to Judas and you heard it: “And Judas took the morsel and Satan entered into him.” Satan entered into him because Judas was in sin. And he did not want to confess, did not want to repent, and he received the Eucharist. And then it says, “Judas took the morsel and left at once, and it was night.”
When John tells us this, John is not saying -oh, by the way, it was such a lovely day, and now the sun set, and now it was dark, and the stars came out and it was so pretty. No. What he means is, when Judas took the morsel it was night in his soul, it was dark because he was not repentant.
OK, fine, not all of us might see ourselves as Judas. Most of you have gone to confession, thank God! But also, there’s a warning in the same Gospel for those of us who think we’re OK. Peter says, “Where are you going Master. I will follow you wherever you go, I will lay down my life for you!” And Jesus has to tell him: “Amen, Amen, before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” When I say this, we might be thinking, well, who is safe then? This is exactly what the disciples of Jesus said to him: “Who then is safe?” And he said: “By God’s grace all things are possible. With men it is not possible. But by God’s grace it is.” So, we have to remember the Eucharist is powerful! The Eucharist is even dangerous if we are not prepared for it.
Pope Benedict (Emeritus) released a letter a couple of days ago on the child sexual abuse crisis of our times. And one of the things he talked about, apart from the terrible culture of many seminaries, he also mentioned the lack of respect for the Eucharist. And he gave examples. He said when you have baptisms, weddings, funerals, all these people come who don’t normally go to Mass, and then they all come up and receive the Eucharist. And he said we are eroding the sense that the Eucharist is something sacred. If everyone is coming up, and they haven’t even confessed, is this good for them? You know, the priest doesn’t want to be unpopular. He will say, all are welcomed. All are welcome! But the priest has to answer before God on judgement day. “What did you do with the sacred things I handed to you? Did you prostitute them?” We must all answer for this.
So, when the sense of the sacred is eroded – now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is not saying this is why there is child abuse. He is saying that with the priest, when they have no longer the sense of the sacred, of what they are touching, the Host! When they don’t look for all the fragments of the Host and for every fragment and crumb – they couldn’t be bothered – if they’ve lost the sense that this is really Jesus, that their hands were consecrated to serve Him, then this is where the beginnings of all sorts of evils start, including the sexual abuse crisis of our time.
So here, remember the Eucharist is powerful medicine. Medicine is for the sick. But you must be strong enough to take this medicine. And we are only strong enough – the sick are actually the ones who say to Jesus: I need your forgiveness, I need to go to confession. The ones who say I don’t need to go to confession, I’m just going to come up and receive Communion, they are the ones deluding themselves. And it is dangerous. Be aware of this. Judas took the morsel and Satan entered into him.
Pray therefore at every Eucharist that we receive, pray and make reparation for all the abuses of the Blessed Sacrament around the world, of all the sacrilegious Communions made throughout the world. We must love Jesus and offer our love in reparation for all these abuses against Him.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen!
To view the video of this mass use this link:https://marytv.tv/english-mass-in-medjugorje/
Thank you Fr. Leon, for always speaking the truth in love. We will thank you for all eternity!
Our Lady has been teaching us how to approach Jesus, her Son, in the Blessed Sacrament. When Denis first entered St. James Church, on his first pilgrimage to Medjugorje in October, 1986, pinned on the door of the church was a faint mimeographed message Our Lady had just give to the prayer group….though it was never published, Vicka confirmed it’s authenticity:
“If the average Catholic would take a little longer before recieveing Holy Communion, preparing their hearts… and then spend a little longer afterwards talking to Jesus, thanking Him, they would experience many more miracles in their lives and there would be less sickness among them.” (October, 1986, Our Lady to the prayer group)
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary TV 2019
PS. The Mary TV live-streaming schedule for the channel will be altered a little bit over the Triduum and Easter Sunday. Here is the schedule for this Easter weekend (all times are Medjugorje time):
Holy Thursday: April 18
There is no English Mass
3:00 pm – Hour of Mercy
4:00 pm – Daily Rosary
5:00 pm – Evening Rosary with Parish
6:00 pm – Mass of the Lord’s Supper
7:30 pm – Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Good Friday: April 19
2:00 pm – Parish climb up Cross Mountain (will be recorded)
3:00 pm – Hour of Mercy – Divine Mercy Novena Day 1
3:00 pm – the Passion of the Lord for English speaking (not streamed but recorded)
4:00 pm – Daily Rosary
5:00 pm – Evening Program – the Passion of the Lord
Holy Saturday: April 20
No English Mass
3:00 pm – Hour of Mercy – Day 2 of Divine Mercy Novena
8:00 pm – Easter Vigil Mass with the parish
Easter Sunday: April 21
There is no parish climb up Apparition Hill on this Sunday
12:00 pm – English Easter Sunday Mass (recorded)
3:00 pm – Hour of Mercy – Divine Mercy Novena Day 3
4:00 pm – Daily Rosary
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Evening Rosary and Easter Sunday Mass with parish