Stargate to heaven

Corpus Christi
Beloved in the Lord Jesus, when we read through the Old Testament, we see there many unique events connected to a special bread. We see Melchesidech offering bread and wine in this mysterious sactifice; we see the Bread of the Presence in the temple, there with wine, changed by the priests every week. And the miraculous manna, that kept the people alive daily in the desert journey. These and many other references, all pointing forward to something new that the Lord would give us. Jesus himself says that he is the New Manna, the true Bread from heaven, and that in this form, he will give us his Flesh to eat.
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One evening I was at a gathering with the Knights of Columbus, and there was a priest visiting, Fr. Thomas McCarthy. When I saw him, although I had never met him before, I immediately asked him: ‘Father, tell us about it. What was it like?!!’ Though he was very old, he smiled, because he knew what was on my mind.
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In 1996, Father McCarthy was visiting a chapel in Worcester Massachusetts. He was offering Mass with a small group of people, and two other priests. But that day was different. As he prayed those sacred words of Consecration over the Host: ‘This is my Body,…’ a pool of blood appeared on the Host. He looked down to see the bleeding, wounded Host on the altar, and saw there, the reality of the crucified Lord Jesus, made visible. The other priests at the altar saw it; he showed it to the people, and as a hush of excitement swept through the chapel, he motioned to them for quiet; and they continued the Mass. I knew of this, because by coincidence, that mass was being filmed!
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Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi, in which we especially honor the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. So today we speak of this great miracle of the Mass, when, under the appearance of bread and wine, the True Body, and Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ appears on earth, and the bread and the wine are no more – only appearances remain.
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2000 years ago, the little body of Jesus was born to Mary. And Mary went and offered this Divine Child in the Temple to God. For those who did not know or have faith, that child seemed a mere human baby. But for Mary and Joseph and those of Faith, even before seeing all of the miracles Christ would do, they believed that that Child was truly God, who had taken on humanity, who had clothed himself in our human nature.
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Today is no different. This same Jesus is born into the womb of Holy Mother the Church, not by the word of the angel, but by the words of the priest. Not in the appearance of a child, but in the appearance of bread and wine. And then this Divine Child, is offered by Holy Mother church, in the Temple of God, which is heaven. Only persons of Faith know this and accept this. To be a Catholic, is to believe that this is indeed the miraculous truth.
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When we receive Holy Communion, we are really renewing our Covenant with the Lord. It’s like in marriage. Vows are made at the altar, and then each time the spouses give themselves to each other in marital love, they are renewing their vows, their covenant. Holy Communion is called a ‘Wedding Banquet,’ because here we are joined in a union with our Beloved, a one-flesh union with Our Lord. And so we say, I give myself to you, I swear my love to you, my faithfulness.
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If there is a small rift between spouses, a tiff, they still give themselves to each other. But if there is a wound to their relationship, a bad argument, they do not give themselves to each other, not without a reconcilation.
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Same with Jesus in Holy Communion. If we are not ready to receive the Lord in Holy Communion, if we have not been faithful to him in the way we live, then we don’t receive him until we have been reconciled in Confession. But if we are ready, at a given Mass, to approach the Holy Table, and receive into our soul, the dear Christ, to love him, and cherish him, all the days of our life, then let us receive Him with great reverence. ‘Lord, I love you, I praise you, I adore you!
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Years ago there was a movie called STARGATE, and I think a tv show, I never followed it, but there was an idea there, that was interesting: a person could go through this Stargate, and come out in a vastly different place, another world, billions of light years away. Well, Jesus is like the Stargate. He’s come to prepare us to enter into a different world. Christ is the gate to heaven. He brings the power of God to us, in little doses each Sunday, preparing us, so that we can survive the journey through the Stargate to a new world.
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It is only the glorified Body of Jesus which can make us ready for the new dimension of heaven, into a transcendently higher order of existence. The first Christians used to say that the Holy Eucharist is the Medicine of Immortality. Of course, if we receive Communion in mortal sin, it is not a medicine, but a terrible poison. Then it becomes the kiss of Judas. St. Paul speaks of this when he says that those who receive in an unworthy manner bring condemnation upon themselves. ‘This is why, he says, many of you have become ill and died.’[ii] – because of sinful Communions.
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But by receiving the Lord worthily, Communion becomes a medicine, that in effect, is preparing us for a new type of world. The world ahead is called the New Creation. It is resurrected life. At Holy Mass, we partake, a little bit, in something that has come over to us from the New Creation. Little by little, we are being prepared to live in the New World.
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May the Blessed Virgin help us, that we will swear our life to Christ, and always receive him with purity and love and faith.

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[Entrusted to the prayers of St. Therese]

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[i] 1 Cor 11:27-30

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