Cebu News

Cardinal: Mass is “family meal”

Kristine B. Quintas/JMO - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Archbishop of New York has urged Catholics to attend Mass every Sunday as it serves as a “family meal.”

 “The Mass is our family meal, especially Sundays. The mother of our family, Mary is always at the table with Jesus with us,” His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, DD, the cardinal-priest of Nostra Signora di Guadalupe a Monte Mario, said in his catechesis yesterday on the “Eucharist and Mary.”

 He stressed that the Eucharist is a “meal, sacrifice and presence” as he shared Mary’s animation to these Eucharistic characters.

 “We are hungry for this bread; we want to receive Jesus daily if we can,” Dolan said.

 The altar, he said, is also the table of the Last Supper where God’s people are still fed. He cited a moving miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish to feed the 5,000 is but antipasto, an appetizer, to the miraculous way.

 “Jesus feeds our souls now with the Bread of Heaven at Mass,” he said.

 His catechesis was only timely for the feast of Saint John Bosco today. According to Dolan, Saint Bosco taught his poor abandoned young people that there are two strong signs of Catholic – a firm belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and, two, a tender love of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

 He said one way to Jesus is Mary, explaining that the intimate closeness of Mary to Jesus secures people’s relationship with Jesus.

 “You want to be closer to Jesus? Then be close to Mary because she is right there next to him,” he said.

 Dolan explained that Mary gave birth to the Son of God in a little town called Bethlehem, which means “House of Bread” adding that Mary placed Him in a manger, which means a “feed box,” because “Jesus was intended as bread for the world in the Eucharist.”

 He also said there is an intimate connection between the Mass and the Sacrifice of Jesus.

 He said the sacrifice of Jesus and His death continue in every Mass: “The death of Jesus on the Cross is so definitive, so dramatic, that it is infinite and eternal.”

 “The sacrifice of Jesus, God the Son, to God the Father, that sacrifice offered on an altar of a wooden cross, that sacrifice that was so potent that it hid the sun, quaked the earth, raised the dead, and changed hearts, that sacrifice of oblation, praise, atonement, supplication, and contrition, that sacrifice still goes on, at every Mass, and we’re sucked-up into it, we are united to it,” he said.

 Through the Eucharist, Dolan said Jesus is continually present.

“Such is the timeless faith of the Church: Jesus Christ is really and truly present in the Holy Eucharist, body, blood, soul, and divinity,” he said, adding, that the incarnation that happened through Mary goes on in the celebration of the Eucharist in the Mass.

 He assured that when people receive Jesus in the Eucharist, they will also have Mary.

 On the other hand, the Archbishop recalled how Filipinos’ graciousness shines in America.

 He said they were all touched by Filipinos devotion to the Holy Eucharist and their radiant and tender love for Mary.

 He said Cebuanos proved the radiance of Filipinos’ faith and love for the Eucharist.

 “We Catholics at home love our Filipino neighbors! We welcome them! We need them! We are grateful to them! We appreciate their warmth, joy, loyalty to family, and passionate Catholic faith,” he said.  (FREEMAN)



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