Parish Leader Convocation
On Saturday, September 10th, the Diocese came together for the first Parish Leader Convocation, at which I presided over the morning’s Mass and addressed the participants during the afternoon. In today’s blog, I will share thoughts from Saturday’s homily. Next week, I’ll include some of the highlighted points from my Convocation presentation.
Saturday’s First Readings included words as challenging to hear today as it was when St. Paul first shared them with the people of Corinth.
I am speaking as to sensible people;
judge for yourselves what I am saying.
The cup of blessing that we bless,
is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ?
The bread that we break,
is it not a participation in the Body of Christ? ~ 1 Cor 10:14-22
St. Paul speaks of how the people of Corinth took partaking of the Eucharist for granted—not giving the proper reverence and importance Jesus deserved. This behavior, as we know, still occurs today. Catholics, even some faithfully practicing ones, do not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the very Source and Summit of our faith. This lack of respect, understanding, and recognition of Whom they are receiving is evident in the demeanor with which some people approach the altar for Communion. Their body language does not convey that they genuinely believe the Host is the very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Over the next three years, a critical mission of the Eucharistic Revival will be to evangelize and catechize in order to revive a hunger across the diocese, a yearning to be with Jesus, especially as He comes to us, so humbly, in the Eucharist.
In the Gospel, we heard these words from Jesus to his disciples,
A good tree does not bear rotten fruit,
nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.
For every tree is known by its own fruit. ~ Luke 6:43-49
We are called to be those good trees that, from our hearts, come good fruit. However, we are called to serve in our homes, parishes, or throughout the Diocese; we are called to produce good fruit with how we witness our faith. We are building fortified foundations upon the rock of our faith as we work together to share the Good News. When we stand with Christ and anchor ourselves to His Real and True Presence in the Eucharist, we withstand any tides that try to come against us. Strengthened by this hope and resolve, as we labor joyfully in the Kingdom, together, we will build a better, more faith-filled world.
The Church celebrates Catechetical Sunday on September 18, 2022; part of the celebration includes commissioning those the parish has designated to serve as catechists for their ministry. This year’s theme is “This is my body given for you.” As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reminds us, this day is “a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. I am so grateful for the men and women who share their gifts and talents across the Diocese to pass on the faith as Catechists. Please know of my prayers for each of you and all those you will teach. Resources and materials are available on the USCCB website.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha