Eucharist is Jesus, bishop tells large audience

Bishop Robert W. Finn and the congregation pray before the Blessed Sacrament following a Bishop Helmsing Institute lecture on the Holy Eucharist Dec. 11 at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Gladstone. (Kevin Kelly/Key photo)

Bishop Robert W. Finn and the congregation pray before the Blessed Sacrament following a Bishop Helmsing Institute lecture on the Holy Eucharist Dec. 11 at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Gladstone. (Kevin Kelly/Key photo)

By Kevin Kelly
Catholic Key Associate Editor

GLADSTONE — Jesus came to live among us, and he never really left.

“Jesus Christ is the Eucharist,” Bishop Robert W. Finn said at the first of a two-part lecture Dec. 11 at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish.

“The one sacrament that is Jesus Christ is the Holy Eucharist,” he said to more than 200 people who nearly filled the church.

But it was a special event, even in the midst the hustle and bustle of Christmas, said Marc Cardaronella, director of the Bishop Helmsing Institute that sponsored the Dec. 11 and 18 free lectures at St. Andrew.

“We have the primary teacher in the diocese talking about the ultimate sacrament,” he said.

Bishop Finn told the crowd that all the sacraments are, of course, “very important.”

“But the Eucharist is the sacrament of sacraments,” he said. “What God has given us in the Eucharist is the real presence of Christ.

He noted the Second Vatican Council document Lumen Gentium which taught that the Eucharistic sacrifice at Mass is the “source and summit of Christian life”

“Christ is present in the Word of God. Christ is present in our neighbor and how we serve him,” Bishop Finn said.

“But the Eucharist is his substantial presence. Christ determined he would stay with us, and that he would give himself to us to be consumed,” he said.

“That’s quite extraordinary,” Bishop Finn said. “That is a God who wants to touch us, and for us to touch him.”

It also underlines the love of God so much that He still wishes to be with us and to bring us into the glory of salvation.

“God could have saved us in many different ways,” Bishop Finn said. “The way he did save us was sending his Son among us. He took our flesh. He wanted to be with us.”

By taking Jesus in the Eucharist into our very being, we are letting God’s love in, Bishop Finn said.

“Really, we are consumed by God,” he said. “God subsumes us and takes us inside himself. This is a real presence that is mean to be a moment in which we become truly one with God.”

But that makes no sense to the human mind, he said. Bishop Finn even cited the reaction of the crowd, noted in John’s Gospel, who turned away when Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.”

“It was so radical,” Bishop Finn said. “But Jesus doesn’t pull back. He doesn’t change the teaching because it was hard to accept.”

And neither should the Roman Catholic Church, “the only religion that teaches about the real presence of Jesus.”

“This is the mystery of faith,” Bishop Finn said.

“We encounter Christ, but he is not dead. He is the living Christ. He is the Christ of the moment of his dying and rising. He is the Christ at the moment of his complete sacrifice for us,” he said.

“What happens at the altar is a sacrifice that is a dynamic act of love so powerful it is like a nuclear explosion, with the power to reach out and transform all that it touches,” Bishop Finn said. “Jesus rising and dying was so powerful that he achieved salvation for us once and for all.”

And that sacrifice is repeated in a very real way at every Mass, he said.

“God has invited us to continue to participate in the sacrifice of Mass,” Bishop Finn said. “We bring to the Mass our selves, our prayers, our works, our sufferings. They become part of the sacrifice.”

By participating, we draw closer to Christ, he said.

“The more we learn about him, the more we fall in love with the Lord, Jesus Christ,” Bishop Finn said.

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  • Maggie

    Yes, this bishop preaches the truth and is hated for it. Even a slight or perceived misstep will have the sharks circling to kill.

    • newguy40

      “Even a slight or perceived misstep will have the sharks circling to kill.”

      Then we must pray constantly for him and other holy priests. Ask the Holy Mother to protect them and increase their fortitude, perseverance and keep them from the devil.
      Your prayers for holy priests will have great merit.

      ++Ad Jesu Par Mariam++

  • Helen in Missouri

    Many Catholics over the last 40 years were never taught, either in their parochial schools or from the pulpit, that the Mass is a Sacrifice. We are so blessed to have Bishop Finn!

  • Sev

    What’s so sad is that something like this makes news…! This should be the norm of what all bishops should profess.

  • Steven

    John 6: 40 “And this is the will of my Father that sent me: that every one who seeth the Son, and believeth in him, may have life everlasting, and I will raise him up in the last day.”

    I came upon this while at Adoration. The key word to me is “seeth” or “sees”. Jesus does not say saw or will see, but sees which is the present tense. So how does one see Jesus now?

    • newguy40

      “So how does one see Jesus now?”

      I suspect that you already know the answer if your adoration meditation brought you this insight.

      Christ is present body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist. He waits patiently and hidden in the tabernacle just as he did for 30 years of his life before the start of his ministry. It is a great blessing of the Lord to give himself to us in the holy Eucharist. He knew about our need and thirst for Him even after He ascended in to heaven.

      It is a grace to have B Finn among us. I so often have prayed for holy preists and prelates, when one comes along like Burke and Schneider, I have to remember to give thanks to God for the answered prayers.

      ++Ad Jesu Par Mariam++

      • Steven

        Some of us have been given a great gift to know like I know blood courses through my veins, and I thank Him for that all the time because it’s not just a matter of Faith that I must just believe. And I have deep sadness and even pain when I see the indifference and lack of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament.

        That Adoration moment happened: flipping through my Bible and I landed on that phrase in the Gospel and stopped. I slowly looked at the Eucharist in the monstrance and was struck by the present tense. Awesome. Adoration is a wonderful time.

        I also had another scripture moment another time. I was so profoundly stunned I memorized the sentence but not chapter and verse; it is in the Old Testament: “He has set His camp in the midst of His people; He has delivered us from the hands of all our enemies.” Then I looked at the alter, with the monstrance surrounded by the candles, and the tabernacle behind. His camp!

        I couldn’t have made those two moments up if I had set my mind to it.

        This understanding I have received is so amazing for me because I am a great sinner and struggling to live as a good Catholic, and I can’t help but wonder why me over and over?

        And you are so right about these great Bishops and Cardinals. They are my champions even though they don’t know it! It’s also comforting to read that others are grateful for their unbending zeal and witness. These days it can be so discouraging listening to and reading what others in these positions say and do. To paraphrase Chesterton, dead things go with the flow of the water, but only a living thing can go against it.

        • newguy40

          Thanks very much for sharing your experience.

          “This understanding I have received is so amazing for me because I am a great sinner and struggling to live as a good Catholic, and I can’t help but wonder why me over and over?”

          “But the foolish things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the wise; and the weak things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the strong.” 1 Cor 1:27

          • DR

            So Jesus not only sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven but also hides inside a tabernacle and made into a wafer?

          • newguy40

            “So Jesus not only sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven” Yes.

            “but also hides inside a tabernacle” Yes. In the eucharist.

            “and made into a wafer?” No. He is not present in the un consecrated bread.

            God, who created all things from nothing, who fed the five thousand with five loaves, who changed water into wine instantaneously, who raised the dead to life, can change bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. Although the Holy Eucharist is a great mystery, and consequently beyond human understanding, the principles of sound reason can show that this great gift is not impossible by the power of God.

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December 05, 2016
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