Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Sunday Sermon, April 22 -- The Life and Gospel of St Mark (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

This week, we celebrate the feast of St Mark the Evangelist (April 25). In the past few years, we have preached about the other three Evangelists, and now we turn to st Mark.

St Mark was a Jewish priest, converted by St Peter. He wrote his Gospel in Rome, and includes more details than any of the other Gospels (even though it is the shortest). St Mark also includes many Aramaic words and phrases which Jesus spoke, even giving us the particular inflection of our Lord's speech. Through St Mark, we are able to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd.

Sunday Sermon, April 15 -- Why Communion on the tongue is preferred to Communion on the hand (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)

A sermon on the fruitful reception of Holy Communion. First, we consider that we must be in the state of grace in order to receive communion worthily (having confessed all serious sins), then the importance of maintaining a one hour fast before communion, as well as the value of proper dress for Mass.

Regarding the manner of receiving Holy Eucharist, we recognize that there is a clear preference for receiving communion on the tongue rather than in the hand (since the universal law of the Church does not permit communion in the hand, and it is only allowed with special permission of the Pope and of the local Bishop – it is allowed in the USA, but not generally throughout the world). Additionally, there is always the option to kneel when receiving. 

In years past, Catholics were taught not to chew the Host after receiving – and there is good reason for this practice, since “crumbs” stuck in our teeth or in our mouth are still fully Jesus and must be consumed reverently (thus, not chewing, reduces the number “crumbs” and shows great reverence for our Lord’s Presence in this Sacrament).

Communion on the hand was permitted on certain conditions (Pope Paul VI, 1969):

“The condition is the complete avoidance of any cause for the faithful to be shocked and any danger of irreverence toward the Eucharist. […] The new manner of giving communion must not be imposed in a way that would exclude the traditional practice. […] The rite of communion in the hand must not be put into practice indiscriminately. […] The option offered to the faithful of receiving the Eucharistic bread in their hand and putting it into their own mouth must not turn out to be the occasion for regarding it as ordinary bread or as just another religious article. […] Care must be taken not to allow particles of the eucharistic bread to fall or be scattered.” 

Cardinal Sarah (whom Pope Francis appointed as the #1 man for the Liturgy, to whom all priests and bishops should look for guidance in how to celebrate Mass) was recently as stating that the widespread practice of Communion on the hand is a “diabolical attack” and “part of Satan’s attack on the Eucharist”. The Cardinal said:

“Receiving Communion on the hand undoubtedly involves a great scattering of fragments. […] The saint [Mother Teresa] was saddened and pained when she saw Christians receiving Holy Communion in their hands. In addition, she said that as far as she knew, all of her sisters received Communion only on the tongue. Is this not the exhortation that God himself addresses to us: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it”? (Ps 81:10). […] Why do we insist on receiving Communion standing and on the hand? Why this attitude of lack of submission to the signs of God? […] Let us come as children and humbly receive the Body of Christ on our knees and on our tongue.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Divine Mercy Sunday Sermon, April 8 -- St Faustina, Apostle of Divine Mercy (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Overview of the vocation story of St Faustina, and close look at certain moments of her life. How Jesus called her to promote the devotion to Divine Mercy, specifically through the Divine Mercy Image and Divine Mercy Sunday.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Easter Sermon, April 1 -- God's Sabbath Rest: Eve, Mary, the Church (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

We consider the sorrow of Holy Saturday, when God himself lay dead in the tomb. This day is Mary's day, for she alone had faith in the Resurrection and, in the midst of sorrow, she is our true Mother.

The Lord rested on the seventh day of creation, Jesus rested in death on the Sabbath, Adam rested in a deep sleep when God fashioned the woman from his side. We see that as Eve came from the side of Adam as his bride, so too the Church was fashioned from the opened side of Christ on the Cross.

Holy Thursday Sermon, March 29 -- The Mystery of the Triduum (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

At every Mass, we enter into the mysteries of salvation after the manner of a sacrament. However, during the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil) we enter into these mysteries after the manner in which they were historically accomplished. That is to say, we re-live these mysteries in a more "dramatic" fashion than at any other time in the liturgical year - following the Lord's footsteps through his Passion and Resurrection.