The Lord's Supper

Readings for Monday September 13, 2010

Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, bishop and doctor of the Church

First Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:17-26, 33
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 40
Gospel: Luke 7:1-10

Brothers and sisters: In giving this instruction, I do not praise the fact that your meetings are doing more harm than good. First of all, I hear that when you meet as a Church there are divisions among you, and to a degree I believe it; there have to be factions among you in order that also those who are approved among you may become known. When you meet in one place, then, it is not to eat the Lord's supper, for in eating, each one goes ahead with his own supper, and one goes hungry while another gets drunk. Do you not have houses in which you can eat and drink? Or do you show contempt for the Church of God and make those who have nothing feel ashamed? What can I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this matter I do not praise you.

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is my Body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my Blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. (1 Cor. 11:17-26, 33)

Although there are many theological and doctrines that distinguish us from protestant churches, the main thing that separates us is the Eucharist. For protestant churches, they believe that this is only a sign, only a symbol, and that there is no way that Christ really meant that it was His body and blood. But what we Catholics are taught, and what so many of us seem to forget is that during each mass we receive the precious body and blood of our Lord Jesus. It is not a sign, it is not a symbol, but it is truly His body and blood.

Paul's words for the Corinthians in regards to the Eucharist are words that we should listen to as well. Saint Paul talks about during mass we celebrate the Lord's supper, and that we actually partake of the body and blood of our Lord. Later in the chapter (verses 27-32) He goes on to tell the Corinthians that many of them are receiving unworthily, and that is why many of them are falling ill and dying. You see, the Corinthians were not taking the Eucharist seriously, and when people do not take it seriously, their are grave consequences.

Each time we receive Holy Communion, the Priest, Deacon, or Eucharistic Minister says to us "the body of Christ" or "the blood of Christ", we are to respond with an "Amen." This Amen means that "yes, I believe that is truly the body and blood of our Lord." So the next time you are at mass and you are before the precious body and blood say Amen with all your heart!

Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all that you have blessed us with; help us to be good stewards of all the many gifts that you have given. Lord, when we receive you in the precious body and blood, help our unbelief, help us to be mindful of your real presence in the Blessed Sacrament. Lord, change us, help us to become better servants and more faithful followers. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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