June 6, 2021 –Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)

Fr. Jim Lee
Pastor

Pastor’s Notebook

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.

Changes

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.

Westside

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.

Pastor’s Notebook

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.

Changes

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.

Westside

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.

From Fr. Lou

Reception of Holy Communion

Please notice, dear friends, that as we have journeyed through the Mass, up to this point we have not spoken of the sacramental reception of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament (Holy Communion)! Reception of Holy Communion rests on a foundation of prayer and adherence to Christ by offering ourselves in prayer at Holy Mass. If someone does not receive Holy Communion at Mass, it does not mean they have not fully, actively, and consciously prayed to the best of their ability at that Mass, even if there are reasons one doesn’t receive Holy Communion at that time! Holy Communion is not only obedience to Jesus’ request to do this in remembrance and through that also a commitment to the community. It is not just sharing in a spiritual commitment to Jesus among ourselves and presented in this action we share in together, or simply increasing a feeling of faith. Communion is not simply a sharing of unchanged elements, but Christ’s presence by faith is made spiritually real in and through them. We do not hold that the bread and the wine are unchanged elements, used as symbols, representing Christ’s Body and Blood, in remembrance of his enduring sacrifice. We hold that Jesus Christ is truly, really, and wholly present: Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist—that God is truly present in the matter of the bread just as much as in the matter of the wine after consecration at Holy Mass.

The reception of Holy Communion rests on a Communion of Faith: that the Catholic Church is actually true, and that the Church’s understanding of faith and morals is also true. To receive means I truly hold it that God, as described by the Catholic faith, is true, that God wants to consume my entire life as I consume Him, encompassing everything from who I have sex with to how much time I spend on Netflix each week. He wants to order me into a love that consumes my political vote and my abstinence from meat on Fridays in Lent. From what I do when the baby gets me up at two in the morning, to the bedside of my dying grandparents or spouse. Everything. From accepting the authority of the Magisterium of the Church on matters of faith and morals, to rejecting sin and all the allures of the Evil One.

This doesn’t mean we don’t sin, but that when we sin we know where to go to receive the loving mercy of God to heal us and prepare us for full communion with the eternal God. If we sin in a deadly (grave) way or persist in sin, or obstinately defer even attempting to conform to the Church’s teaching with no hint of even trying to change, we haven’t rejected just one thing, but the entire interconnectedness and tapestry of the fulness of faith. If we do it in a way that causes others to do so, too (the definition of scandal), it is better “for a millstone to be tied around his neck and to be cast into the sea” (Matthew 18:6; Luke 17:2). There is a difference between someone who wants to cohere but fails or struggles (all of us) and someone that wants communion but not the radical life-changing conversion that Christ continually calls us to, in intellect, will and memory as received by Holy Scriptures and Holy Tradition and safeguarded by the Holy Magisterium. We are not rejecting just one inconsequential thing. We reject the whole, the Catholic. And in rejecting the whole, we are rejecting nothing less than Christ, as He had led the Church through the ages, from the early Church through the middle ages to the counter-reformation to today. If this is the case, then our communion is neither with the Church nor the Christ that lives in his Church. It is incoherent for one to receive Holy Eucharist without, at the least, desiring to receive the whole of the Body of Christ in the Church. As Paul says: “Anyone must examine himself first, and then eat of that bread and drink of that cup; he is eating and drinking damnation to himself if he eats and drinks unworthily, not recognizing the Lord’s body for what it is. That is why many of your number want strength and health, and not a few have died.If we recognized our own fault, we should not incur these judgements; as it is, the Lord judges us and chastises us, so that we may not incur, as this world incurs, damnation” (1 Cor 11:28:32). What Paul is saying is: “yes, brothers and sisters, we are sinners too! That is why Christ came! If we are not striving for that conversion to Christ, then we have betrayed not only Christ, but our own souls, for what good is it for one to gain the whole world, but lose his soul?”

Concomitance. Finally, it is always important to recognize that Christ is truly present, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, in each Sacred Host. The Second Vatican Council gave some explicit moments in the life of Christ’s Faithful when it might be helpful for the laity to receive from the chalice as well as the Sacred Host, and may be permitted in other circumstances as determined by the local bishop. It is always important for us to note that when we receive even the smallest particle of the Sacred Host, we receive all of Jesus Christ. This type of reception of Holy Communion came about in the Latin Rite for many reasons, both historical, practical, and spiritual. The most important aspect is to note that when we receive the Holy Eucharist into our mouths, we are consuming, truly and really Jesus Christ consecrated at the Mass, with all that entails. What a great gift!

For Further Study see:

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1322-1419

The Letter of St. James (New Testament)

The Life of Antony by Athanasius

Holy Communion on Newadvent.org

Frequent Communion on Newadvent.org

Communion under Both Kinds on Newadvent.org

The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist on Newadvent.org

Summa Theologica, Part 3, Question 76

From Fr. Lou

Reception of Holy Communion

Please notice, dear friends, that as we have journeyed through the Mass, up to this point we have not spoken of the sacramental reception of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament (Holy Communion)! Reception of Holy Communion rests on a foundation of prayer and adherence to Christ by offering ourselves in prayer at Holy Mass. If someone does not receive Holy Communion at Mass, it does not mean they have not fully, actively, and consciously prayed to the best of their ability at that Mass, even if there are reasons one doesn’t receive Holy Communion at that time! Holy Communion is not only obedience to Jesus’ request to do this in remembrance and through that also a commitment to the community. It is not just sharing in a spiritual commitment to Jesus among ourselves and presented in this action we share in together, or simply increasing a feeling of faith. Communion is not simply a sharing of unchanged elements, but Christ’s presence by faith is made spiritually real in and through them. We do not hold that the bread and the wine are unchanged elements, used as symbols, representing Christ’s Body and Blood, in remembrance of his enduring sacrifice. We hold that Jesus Christ is truly, really, and wholly present: Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist—that God is truly present in the matter of the bread just as much as in the matter of the wine after consecration at Holy Mass.

The reception of Holy Communion rests on a Communion of Faith: that the Catholic Church is actually true, and that the Church’s understanding of faith and morals is also true. To receive means I truly hold it that God, as described by the Catholic faith, is true, that God wants to consume my entire life as I consume Him, encompassing everything from who I have sex with to how much time I spend on Netflix each week. He wants to order me into a love that consumes my political vote and my abstinence from meat on Fridays in Lent. From what I do when the baby gets me up at two in the morning, to the bedside of my dying grandparents or spouse. Everything. From accepting the authority of the Magisterium of the Church on matters of faith and morals, to rejecting sin and all the allures of the Evil One.

This doesn’t mean we don’t sin, but that when we sin we know where to go to receive the loving mercy of God to heal us and prepare us for full communion with the eternal God. If we sin in a deadly (grave) way or persist in sin, or obstinately defer even attempting to conform to the Church’s teaching with no hint of even trying to change, we haven’t rejected just one thing, but the entire interconnectedness and tapestry of the fulness of faith. If we do it in a way that causes others to do so, too (the definition of scandal), it is better “for a millstone to be tied around his neck and to be cast into the sea” (Matthew 18:6; Luke 17:2). There is a difference between someone who wants to cohere but fails or struggles (all of us) and someone that wants communion but not the radical life-changing conversion that Christ continually calls us to, in intellect, will and memory as received by Holy Scriptures and Holy Tradition and safeguarded by the Holy Magisterium. We are not rejecting just one inconsequential thing. We reject the whole, the Catholic. And in rejecting the whole, we are rejecting nothing less than Christ, as He had led the Church through the ages, from the early Church through the middle ages to the counter-reformation to today. If this is the case, then our communion is neither with the Church nor the Christ that lives in his Church. It is incoherent for one to receive Holy Eucharist without, at the least, desiring to receive the whole of the Body of Christ in the Church. As Paul says: “Anyone must examine himself first, and then eat of that bread and drink of that cup; he is eating and drinking damnation to himself if he eats and drinks unworthily, not recognizing the Lord’s body for what it is. That is why many of your number want strength and health, and not a few have died.If we recognized our own fault, we should not incur these judgements; as it is, the Lord judges us and chastises us, so that we may not incur, as this world incurs, damnation” (1 Cor 11:28:32). What Paul is saying is: “yes, brothers and sisters, we are sinners too! That is why Christ came! If we are not striving for that conversion to Christ, then we have betrayed not only Christ, but our own souls, for what good is it for one to gain the whole world, but lose his soul?”

Concomitance. Finally, it is always important to recognize that Christ is truly present, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, in each Sacred Host. The Second Vatican Council gave some explicit moments in the life of Christ’s Faithful when it might be helpful for the laity to receive from the chalice as well as the Sacred Host, and may be permitted in other circumstances as determined by the local bishop. It is always important for us to note that when we receive even the smallest particle of the Sacred Host, we receive all of Jesus Christ. This type of reception of Holy Communion came about in the Latin Rite for many reasons, both historical, practical, and spiritual. The most important aspect is to note that when we receive the Holy Eucharist into our mouths, we are consuming, truly and really Jesus Christ consecrated at the Mass, with all that entails. What a great gift!

For Further Study see:

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1322-1419

The Letter of St. James (New Testament)

The Life of Antony by Athanasius

Holy Communion on Newadvent.org

Frequent Communion on Newadvent.org

Communion under Both Kinds on Newadvent.org

The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist on Newadvent.org

Summa Theologica, Part 3, Question 76

Annual Catholic Appeal

From outreach to those on the margins to supporting parish staff, seminarians, youth and young adult ministries and so much more, the Annual Catholic Appeal helps build a vibrant Catholic Community in Western Washington. We’re still a good distance away from our goal. Please prayerfully consider how you might support the Appeal.

Donate Now

Holy Land Pilgrimage

Walk the footsteps of Jesus with Deacon John and Leanne Bergford — February 14 – 24, 2022

Information and sign-up meeting Wednesday, June 16 at 7pm via Zoom. 

Limited seating | $3,795 per person (double occupancy)

Price includes:

  • Round-trip airfare, including all airline taxes
  • Accommodation in superior hotels
  • All hotel taxes
  • Meals as per itinerary ( Breakfast and Dinner)
  • Land Transportation by deluxe moter coach
  • Comprehensive sightseeing as per itinerary with licensed Christian Guide.
  • All entrance fees as per itinerary

Presented by Holy Land Tours LLC, WA License # 604335480-001-0001- Jiryis Alyateem

(503) 866-5698 | holylandtoursllc@gmail.com

Interested? Questions? Contact Dcn. John at jbergford@saintmichaelparish.org for Zoom link.

FORMED Pick of the Week

In this informative Lighthouse talk, Dr. Scott Hahn provides the Biblical basis for the Church’s teaching on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and the significance of the Feast of Corpus Christi. It also gives us a greater understanding of our vocation to be the living presence of Christ in the world.

Film Premiere at SMP

In the downtown church on June 6, 3:45pm. 

The film follows the story of Fr. Peter of Prague and his doubt in the Real Presence. After returning from Rome without the sign he prayed for, he stopped at St. Christina’s in Bolsena to offer Mass. The miracle that occurred resulted in the institution of the Feast of Corpus Christi.