Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Fourth (Lætáre) Sunday of Lent 26 March AD 2017
Ave Maria!


The rose colored vestments for Lætáre Sunday tell us that Lent is roughly half over.
We are urged to rejoice today, but to rededicate ourselves to
the observance of Lent on the morrow.

Giovanni Lanfranco (1582-1647)—The Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes—c.1620


Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text - Latin
Mass Text - English
Lenten Observance
Saint John's Gospel - Chapter vi

[They] “filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves,
which remained over and above [after five thousand] had eaten.”[1]

    Today’s Gospel reading consists of the first fifteen verses of the sixth chapter of Saint John’s Gospel.  I sincerely believe that every Catholic ought to read this chapter in its entirety once every year—and today would seem like a good day to do it.

    Why is “John-six” so important, you ask?  It is important because the second part of the chapter reports our Lord clearly promising to give us His body and blood in Holy Communion, while this first part gives us some assurance of His ability to work such a miracle.  There are many people, even Christians, who refuse to believe in the Real Presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, but no one can make an honest reading of this chapter without acknowledging that He promised His Presence in the Sacrament at this event, roughly a year before the Last Supper.

    To be sure, there were doubters who heard Jesu speak:  “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”[2]  But Jesus was adamant: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.[3]  Saint John records that “After this many of his disciples went back; and walked no more with him.”[4]  The doubters—who did not know the divine power of Jesus Christ—simply abandoned Him.

    It is significant to note that Jesus did not call any of the doubters back—He did not make any attempt to downplay His words.  He did not call after them saying that the Eucharist would be a mere “symbol” or “token”—He just let the doubters go on their way.  He did not try to soften His meaning, because He meant just what He said.  One year later, at the Last Supper, He took the unleavened bread of the Passover and gave it to His Apostles, saying “This is My body….”  And then He took the cup of wine and gave that to His Apostles saying “This is  a chalice of My blood….”  This is recorded in the first three Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke0 as well as in Saint Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.  In none of these accounts is their the slightest hint that Jesus was speaking about anything other than His actual body and blood

    Saint Thomas Aquinas tells us that Christ’s body and blood are present in the Eucharistic elements in substance rather than in location.[5]  That is to say that we are not required to believe that the body of a man six feet or so tall is somehow squeezed into a Communion host about the size of a quarter—what we believe is that the substance of the bread has been changed into the substance of the body and blood of Christ.  The size of the altar bread is of no concern—in the early Church the priest consecrated a loaf or two of bread, from which pieces were broken for the Communion of the people.  And, no matter how many times a piece were subdivided, each fragment still contains the substance of Jesus Christ.

    If you study the ceremonies of the Mass, you will realize that they are intended to keep from losing even the tiniest fragment.  The starched altar linens, the Communion paten, the priest keeping his thumbs and forefingers together after touching the consecrated host, and drinking the wine and water used to wash his fingers after distributing Holy Communion are all designed to insure that none of the substance of Jesus Christ is lost or trodden underfoot.  Among the modernists, we see that the abandonment of such precautions has led to disbelief in the Real Presence, even among people nominally Catholic.[6]

    No doubt, it was difficult for the people mentioned in the Gospel to understand how our Lord could give us His body and blood.  To be sure, it is equally difficult for us to understand how he could do this.  For that matter, it is difficult to understand how He could feed five thousand people with a few loaves of bread.  It seems clear that our Lord performed this miracle just before promising to give His body and blood in order that Christians might recognize that it pointless to ask how He could do something He says He will do.  Jesus Christ is God, and He is always successful at doing what He sets out to do.  From the human perspective it is no easier to explain the multiplication of loaves than to explain the working of the Eucharist.  But five thousand people were fed that day, even though we cannot explain how.  If He promises us His body and blood, it is equally pointless for us to try to explain how.  .  Jesus Christ is God, and He is always successful at doing what He sets out to do. 

    The same divine power which enabled our Lord to multiply loaves enables Him to be really present in every consecrated host throughout the world.  Just as the substance of bread was multiplied for the five thousand, the substance of our Lord’s body and blood is multiplied in every fragment of the blessed Eucharist.

[They] “filled twelve baskets with
the fragments of the five barley loaves,
which remained over and above
[after five thousand] had eaten.”

Our Lord fills all the tabernacles of the world with His body and blood, and fills all of us who receive Him in Holy Communion with His divinity and His sacred humanity.

Please read “John-six” for yourself today or as soon as it is possible!



Dei via est íntegra
Our Lady of the Rosary, 144 North Federal Highway (US#1), Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441  954+428-2428
Authentic  Catholic Mass, Doctrine, and Moral Teaching -- Don't do without them -- 
Don't accept one without the others!