EUCHARISTIC FESTIVAL – 2011

John 6:55 “  My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink”

The Eucharistic festival was conducted on the 14th ,15th and 16th of January 2011 in honour of Jesus Christ the Living God, Emmanuel- God with us.    
The first day 14-01-2011 began with the procession of our Blessed Mother Mary. The first ever Eucharistic festival was held as Mother Mary who conceived the Baby Jesus in Her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit, went in haste to meet Her cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth represents the Church of today. Thus the Eucharistic festival on the 14th began with the Procession carrying the Image of our loving Blessed Mother, the Ark of the Covenant just as She carried THE WORD as flesh in Her womb. Thus began the Eucharistic festival 2011.
The Eucharistic festival is an attempt to understand The Word who became flesh and every priest is called to be a witness to THE WORD.
“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, as we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” ( John 1:14)
The three years of the public life of Jesus was mainly aimed at revealing this great truth that He is the Word who became flesh for our sake. The whole of the Gospel of John is dedicated to it.
John chapters 1 to 5- speak of His first year of ministry.(The first Pascah feast)
John chapters 6 to 11- the second year (The second Pascah feast)
John chapters 12 to 21- the third year.(The third Pascah feast)
It was the Word that spoke, that created the universe, that even spoke through the prophets. ( Genesis chapter 1, John chapter 1:1-18.)
There were three Eucharistic festivals conducted even during the time when Jesus walked on the earth.

  1. John 1:29 , when Jesus the Lord of Lords and King of kings walked in all humility towards John the Baptist to be baptized and John exclaimed, “ Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
  2. John 1:37-39. ‘The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following , he said to them,  “ What are you looking for?” They said to him , “Rabbi where are you staying?” He said to them “ Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying , and they remained with him that day.
  3. John 2:5 . ‘His mother said to the servants, “ Do what ever he tells you.”

And Jesus did not argue on the matter. The Word that became flesh the Word that created the universe, is all power and it was that Word that said, “ Stand up, take your mat and walk.” (John 5:8)
Never question God, implicit obedience calls for humility and with humility coupled with faith, the power of the Most High is made manifest.

Faith and belief coupled with tons of affection is Adoration.
Mother Mary adored the Lord, saying,” Behold the hand maid of the Lord.” Her entire life was an adoration to the Lord. She once said, “ Iam a slave to God’s laws and His Word.”

Adoration is a decision, a life style and not a custom or a ritual.
The Eucharistic festival is therefore a renewal of our decision to adore the LORD. We have three witnesses to the Eucharistic Lord.

    1. John the Baptist as he says, “ Behold the Lamb of God.”( John 1:29)
    2. Mother Mary as she says, “Do what ever He tells you.”( John 2:5)
    3. The Samaritan woman, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done.” (John 4:29)

The Word penetrated the heart of the Samaritan woman and there was no stopping her. So get mad after Jesus.
“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”( John 13:1)
Forgiveness is a continuation of His continual love. Where there is love, there is forgiveness. He says, ‘I am your Lord, come to me, inspite of all your faults.’ JESUS IS A SUPER MAN. HE IS GREAT.’ He is beyond all our faults and misgivings. His love is incomprehensible and beyond all telling.

 The second day 15-01-2011 began by honouring  Mother Mary who said, ”Here am I , the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word..”(Luke 1:38), for here we carry the Mother who bore the Word.
The message of the entire Old Testament is that The Word created all things.
The synthesis of the whole New Testament is that The Word redeemed all things.
Gen 1: 1, 2, 3 and John 1:1, 2, 3 speak of The Word (Logos- Greek). Bear this truth always in your heart in order to be redeemed. Mother Mary once said, “ We are equal to the dust under the Lord’s feet.” She humbled Herself as one among us. The expression of God’s Word is the creation. The moment the Word gets out of His mouth is the revelation and creation. When man shunned the Word (Amartea) , sin entered the world.(Romans 5:12)
A historical fact celebrates the city of Madras as dedicated to the Mother of God, when the Portugese who were here named it, “ Madre de Dieu” and with the passage of time came to be called ‘Madras’. Our city thus bears and honours the Mother who is the beginning of the New Testament and the beginning of the Redemption of the world. The Body and Blood of Jesus today is just not a food and drink but is also a sacrificial offering most pleasing to the Heavenly Father. The priest is the witness to Jesus who shed His Blood, when he himself is called to be one. In Hebrews 10:4-10 we see Jesus asking the Father to give Him flesh like the human beings that he might be able to take away the sins of the world. In the old Testament several offered sacrifices,

  1. Adam and Eve committed sin and Cain and Abel offered the atoning sacrifice.
  2. Abraham the beloved of God was willing to sacrifice his only son on Mt. Moriah and God gave him a ram instead and he offered it as a sacrifice.
  3. Elijah killed the prophets as sacrifice.

We see in the Old Testament that Pharaoh refused to send the Israelites from out of bondage and inflicted untellable sufferings on them. God then sent the Destroyer the angel and with firm advice to smear the blood of the Pascal lamb on their door posts, the angel passes over the house holds of the Israelites and kills the Egyptians. When the Israelites were ordered to leave Egypt they were ordered to take unleavened bread as they had no time to waste. This was followed as a great Jewish tradition. God’s Body will not be leavened. The heart and the house should not be sour. Go therefore for confessions immediately to set things right.
Luke 22:20 “ This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

1. Covenant  2. New Covenant   3. Blood.
The priest is thus a witness to the Real Blood, a witness to the Lamb of God, a witness to the Immaculate Blood of Jesus the High Priest, totally dedicated to the Father. When Peter refuses Jesus touching his feet, Jesus says, “ then you will have no part (portion ) in me. Today the Bishop is a portion of the Lord and he in turn gives a portion of it to the priests. And that is why the priests are totally separated from the world, as the apostles were. Judas shunned the portion given to him and was thus filled with despair, due to the love for the petty things of the world.
Jesus has made us His own and the Bishop is a witness to it.  He is thus married to the church and thus wears a ring as a sign of fullness. This is a similar one to the married couples. They are witnesses to the living God in the Eucharist, the God who saves us from our venial sins and He is a big protection and strengthens our immune system spiritually. Thomas Aquinas the great doctor of the church elaborates on the curative and sustaining power of the Eucharist.

  1. When St. Benedict meditated at Monte casino for several years , hidden under the rock bottom in a cave, he was fed for several years by a crow that brought him his food.
  2. When Elijah slept under a tree , he was told, ‘Get up and eat’ for he had a long way to go and he walked forty days at a stretch to the place that God was showing him.(I Kings 19:8).
3. St. Thomas Aquinas was also fed thus by a shepherd boy who lowered bread daily seeing him meditating .He was once tempted by his cruel brother by sending in a young girl whom he shunned and chased away. This was a desert experience for him. He later wrote several books of great worth, e.g, the SUMMA Theologiae. Any one might go through this in this world. But with the Eucharistic Lord we are able to overcome all temptations.

Any one might fall into temptations. Mother Mary asks us to look at Her constantly to avoid falling into sin.
Our Lord Himself has set a will ( Hebrews 9:16, 17) which is a covenant in His Blood ( Luke 22:20). He gives His property , His Body and Blood to the world signed in His Blood for all eternity.‘He loved his people and loved them to the end, ‘ and this property belongs solely to them. Judas lost his rightful portion due to the love for a mere thirty silver coins, and entered into darkness. The eldest son of Isaac Esau lost his rightful blessing to Jacob, for a mere bowl of porridge. Jesus says, “ I am the way the truth and the life.’ It is up to us to use the discerning power freely given by God , and choose life and , the light  in order to truly live.

The third day (16-01-2011) again began bearing the Mother in procession, the Mother on whom the Holy Spirit hovered over and thus She conceived of The Word.
The same Holy Spirit’s triple action is active even today.

  1. Creation
  2. Incarnation
  3. Sanctification.

It was the Holy Spirit who moved in the life of Jesus Himself and so He says, “ The Spirit of the Lord has anointed me…” It was the same Spirit who strengthened Him when He hung on the Cross. After the seventh day when all was over, God rested. It is mentioned that God had completed His creation. So the Creation and Incarnation are over. It has thus been the work of the Holy Spirit. But Jesus will come again. So we pray that the same Holy Spirit takes control of us, let us have recourse to Jesus present in the Holy Eucharist, as we remain firm footed in the Holy Catholic Church. The Eucharistic celebration or the Mass has been celebrated from the beginning of Christendom. The Council of Trent had been the harbinger, when at its third and most important sitting, the delegates advocated the importance of the Presence of the Eucharistic Lord. That which was set ablaze in the sixteenth century, still continues burning bright , with some one writing or speaking or conducting a Eucharistic festival.

The Eucharist is

  1. Holy Mass- wherein Christ’s Body and Blood is made a sacrifice entire and whole and perfect, pleasing to the Father.        
  2. Sacrifice and Priesthood- where Jesus transforms His apostles to become priests to offer the sacrifice of the Mass, and to forgive the sins of the ailing humanity.
  3. Remembrance- Where Jesus has asked His apostles to carry out the sacrifice in His remembrance. It is a loud REMEMBER ME. It is not like a wedding photograph which is a mere memory. He is not a God who is dead and gone, instead He is alive and well today, even now. His Blood sacrifice is now ,at this very moment. So His Death and His resurrection are not past events, but the current hot and happening reality in the world, ever present till He comes again.

That is why we offer Mass for the dead as well as for the children in the womb, as He is the God of the past, the present and the future. Although the Creation is over, The Incarnation and the Death are on-going as it is in the thought of God. This is the reason why Priesthood needs immense preparation, as they continue the sacrificial offering which is bound to continue till the end of times. Our priests are therefore called to offer sacrifice and this cannot be done through mere preachers. As this is the Death will written by the Son of man for the whole world, signed in His precious Blood.

  1.       Communion- The inherent goodness of the Lord is made manifest in the Eucharist. The Council of Trent stressed on the fact that we could pray for all our needs and obtain graces from the Eucharist. Since we cannot bear our own sins as human beings, He has borne it all.

There was a mighty tornado that swept across the Church in the fourteenth century, with the separation brought about by Martin Luther. But the Catholic Church withstood all the problems and has faced the storm with the Eucharistic Lord. John 6:68  Simon Peter answered him, ‘  Lord, to whom can we go?  You have the words of eternal life.’ John 10:10 ‘ And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified  through the body of Jesus Christ once for all.’ Mother Mary has once said that She could go no where away from the Lord during the last supper. The Book in the form of the Bible might tear down, but the memory that is real in the present moment will be carried out for all ages. The Body of Jesus was and is important for His sacrifice , that is why God could not use an angel, as they have no body.
Jesus is not an avatar. He has flesh and Blood  like you and me, and He shed This blood for our sake.

His Blood groaned in agony on the Cross. In Isaiah , God speaks of His Son as the Servant. He is not a mere social worker or a saint. He is a priest who served and the climax of His service was His sacrifice. He was the Lamb that was slain. Our Lord did not die only for the twelve apostles whom He was close to, but for all those who need forgiveness of their sins. Thus His service became sacred. This New covenant has become the lasting covenant. Hebrews 10:13 ‘ And since then has been waiting  until his enemies would be made a footstool  for his feet.’ The celibacy of priesthood which is very difficult is the fitting sacrifice, for the Lord. God’s ways are unique and are unquestionable. I Corinthians 1:12 ‘  For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.’ And we are witnesses to It. Each of us is therefore a part of the whole. Let no one attempt to cut any one away from it. Remember Jesus was a Servant before He even gave up His Body and Blood.  Jesus invited all the twelve apostles to be His portion, to be priests, , and that was why when Peter was astounded Jesus insisted in His washing Peter’s feet. As people who share in His part, we are all called to be His witnesses. God’s Word is LIFE, FOOD and TRUTH for me.
Only God and Mother Mary are the unshakeable treasures of the world. Saints Ephraim and Gregory have celebrated the Mother of God as the perfect New Bride for the Lord. Therefore we see that the marriages on the earth are only a foretaste of the marriage with the Lamb of God. The Eucharistic festival is therefore not a drawing of curtains but a clarion call to those who are yet to realize the real presence of Jesus in the world today.