I love this celebration of the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ever since I received my first Holy Communion, this mystery would haunt me and take me to places – interiorly and exteriorly – that I could never imagine. I am so very, very grateful.
I’m also grateful to Fr. Lou for his catechesis on the Mass through these last months. Many of you have shared with me how much you have appreciated his explanation and his thoughtfulness. You have mentioned how it has opened up new dimensions and meaning for you. What a gift he has given to us.
As a way of sharing our gratitude to Fr. Lou for all he has done these last three years, please consider writing him a card and/or note of thanksgiving, prayer and encouragement. We will gather these next Sunday, June 13 at all the weekend Masses or you can bring them by the parish office any time before Friday, June 18 at 1 PM. Let us give him lots of reading material as he goes to Sacred Heart Parish in Enumclaw.
This last year, Archbishop Etienne has invited us to enter into “The Year of the Eucharist.” Because of the many challenges we faced as a parish staff, I chose not to focus on this year-long journey. I felt that it was enough for us to adjust to having people back at Mass with all of the restrictions and protocols we had to follow. That said, I share with you a short reflection from the archbishop on today’s solemnity and offer an invitation.
“When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, it is not the bread and wine alone that are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. We must be transformed as well. When we present our gifts of bread and wine, along with any collection, we symbolically place ourselves upon the altar, that we may become (along with the bread and wine) the Body of Christ. When we receive the Body and Blood of Christ, we become what we receive — we are incorporated into Christ’s Body. St. Augustine said to his congregation, “So, if you want to understand the body of Christ, listen to the apostle telling the faithful, ‘You, though, are the body of Christ and its members’ (1 Corinthians 12:27). If it is you that are the Body of Christ and its members, it is the mystery meaning you that has been placed on the Lord ’s Table; what you receive is the mystery that means you.” And to be Christ’s Body is to carry on the mission of Christ in the world. This mission at its core is to proclaim the Word of Christ, to celebrate his sacraments, and to extend his love through lives of charity.” (Archbishop Paul D. Etienne: The Work of Redemption: Eucharistic Belief and Practice in the Archdiocese of Seattle).
I invite you to go to the archdiocesan website (archseattle.org) to read the entire pastoral letter as well as other materials that are available. May this deepen your devotion and appreciation of this most precious gift.
Thank you for your patience once again as we have sought to make more room available within the church following the guidelines of the archdiocese for seating. We will continue to adjust to changing circumstances and to the needs of everyone to feel safe and comfortable.
It is important for each of us to reflect upon the fact that being physically present for the Sacrifice of the Mass is essential to our lives as Catholics. Sacraments for us, Church for us is not a virtual reality. It is incarnational, of the flesh, in union with Jesus Christ, “true God and true man.” Therefore if you are already feeling comfortable going shopping, going to restaurants, going to homes of friends, then it is important for you to be physically present at Mass every Sunday. We are following all the necessary archdiocesan protocols.
Finally, because the number of people keep asking me about the Westside, I am reprinting this section of my pastor’s notebook from the May 16 bulletin.
“Over the last months the number of folks have asked me when we will begin to have Mass on a regular basis at the Westside, so I thought I would give an update. Until now, the extent of Covid regulations have made the use of the Westside Chapel problematic. As new information from the CDC emerges, as the governor changes regulations and as we follow guidelines from the archdiocese, we’ve done our best to implement strategies.
At the present moment with five Masses at the downtown church, we have not reached our in-person capacity.
Each Mass requires sacristans, altar servers, greeters, ushers, music ministers, lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, an AV tech and a few other folks to make sure things run smoothly and prayerfully. It has been a challenge to find enough parishioners who are willing and capable of fulfilling all the ministry obligations for all five Masses.
Therefore, we are focusing our energy and our efforts in welcoming back our parishioners seeking to keep everyone safe and assuring that the experience of hospitality, prayer and community are the best possible. When the need warrants, we will open the Westside Chapel for Mass.”
In Christ, through the intercession of Blessed pier Giorgio, I love you.