Dear Parishioners:Happy Feast of Corpus Christi!! Since the Apostolic Church, Christians have been celebrating the Eucharist in which we partake of the body and blood of Christ. Jesus instituted the Eucharist on Holy Thursday. The Eucharist is also called Holy Communion, the Blessed Sacrament or the Mass (from the Latin word meaning "to dismiss"). Even though Christians have highly esteemed every sacrament, the Eucharist has traditionally held a special place among the sacraments. St. Ignatius of Antioch (105 AD) referred to the Eucharist as the "medicine of immortality" and St. Ephrem the Syrian (373 AD) taught that even crumbs from the Eucharistic host could sanctify thousands and thousands. St. Thomas Aquinas suggested the Eucharist was the greatest of all sacraments. The Church has viewed the Eucharist as unique, even among the sacraments, since the earliest times. So it is fitting that the great Feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated every year specifically to commemorate the Eucharist. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that: “The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’ The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself.” (1324).” The Eucharist constitutes "the Church's entire spiritual wealth, that is, Christ Himself, our Passover and living bread.” It is the "Sacrament of Sacraments” and through it "the work of our redemption is accomplished." Jesus Christ who is the "living bread that came down from heaven" assures us that “whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink." As we celebrate this feast, let us do so with great faith, devotion and solemnity. We should never take the Eucharist for granted but celebrate it as one of the greatest gifts God has given us. This feast is a good occasion to ask ourselves how important the Eucharist is in our lives. When we come to Mass we must never forget we are coming to the greatest banquet in the history of the world. It is at Mass that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is truly present to us. It is at Mass we come forward to reverently and worthily receive our Lord in Holy Communion. It is not a casual affair and we must not become casual in how we approach the Lord at Mass. Each week many people come forward to receive Holy Communion but don’t seem to know how to properly receive the Host. We can receive the Host on the tongue or on the hand. If we are to receive in the hand, the best way is to put the right-hand down and put the left-hand on top of it and make, as Tertullian used to say, “a throne for the Lord.” When the priest or the extraordinary minister holds up the Host and says “The Body of Christ”, the proper response is to say loudly: "Amen." Our “Amen” is a statement of faith and should be said aloud in faith and with joy! After receiving the Host we should then take a step or two to the side to make way for the next communicant. It is then we must immediately consume the Host. Communion should not be received on the run, as we are walking back to our pew or even worse as we walk out the door! The Host should be consumed immediately before returning to our seat. It should be done reverently, solemnly and prayerfully. We congratulate Robert Legare and Grant Lewandowski who serve their last Mass this weekend at OLM. They have served as Altar Servers since the 4th grade but now they are off to college. We thank them for their many years of faithful service and dedication to God and Parish. We are blessed at OLM to have such great Altar Servers. Also we welcome Mr. Scott Fuller, the new Principal of Our Lady of Mercy School, to our parish this weekend. He assumes his new duties on July 1st. Please keep Mr. Fuller in your prayers as he begins to lead our school. Have a great week. Schools out, be safe!! God Bless.