The Real Presence

Good morning students! Last Saturday, a number of our students made their 1st Holy Communion, and it was a beautiful day. For the first time, they came up, and received Jesus, and now they can whenever they attend Mass. At 1st Communion there was a little quiz, right? We asked questions like, when does the bread and wine change into the Body of Christ, and they said at the Consecration; when the priest says: ‘This is my Body,’ This is my Blood.’ The students even remembered the big word, which means the substance of bread and wine is changed, and that is Transubstantiation: there is a real change in substance. I asked them how long one must fast before Communion, and that is 1 hour: no food or drink. Except water.
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We read in the gospel today, Jesus tells us that the Holy Eucharist is truly himself; it is really he, living, alive, and loving us. In those days, there were some people who said: ‘This is a hard saying, I cannot believe it!’ Those people stopped walking with Jesus. But his disciples believed, they trusted him.
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You know, at Mass, there are often extra Hosts consecrated, these too are the Body of Christ – so where do we keep these, so that these hosts can be given to someone, or taken to the sick? In the Tabernacle. At St. John’s we always keep a veil on it, that shows that it is very holy, because it is the Body of Christ in there.
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One time, Pope John Paul II, who is now a saint, he was visiting the United States, and when the Pope visited St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore – a seminary is where young men go to prepare to become priests – well, before the Pope went in, there was a special security team who went in first to check the building – remember, the Pope was once shot, and so they had to be careful that no bad people were hiding in there.
The police used specially trained dogs to sniff out the building looking for any persons that might be hiding in there. These dogs are trained to find people in disasters and under collapsed buildings, or anywhere a person might be hiding.
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The dogs moved up and down the hallways, sniffing around; sniffing in the library, and in the dinning room, looking for any hidden persons. Then the dogs were taken into the chapel; they sniffed around all the pews, and under them – no persons. But then the dogs went up to the front, and they started whining and barking and starring at – the tabernacle! Because they had found a Person there. Who? Jesus.
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But Jesus is not a dangerous Person, he is a loving Person. And so the Pope entered the building and with the seminarians, he knelt down before the tabernacle, and they prayed and spoke to Jesus.
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We ourselves adore Jesus who is there, that’s why we genuflect on our right knee upon entering a church or leaving. And we love this dear Jesus very much, especially when we receive him at Holy Communion.

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