From the Pastor: Judas was the first to deny Jesus in the Eucharist
This is one of the greatest days in the lives of many young children within the parish. It is the day that they receive Holy Communion for the first time. This Sacrament is the one toward which all other sacraments point. This is called the Most Blessed Sacrament, the one that stands above all the others, for even though the others bestow God’s supernatural grace, this Sacrament is God Himself.
A sad reality is that so many people, to what may eventually be their eternal shame, adamantly refuse to believe this Truth. This hardness of heart is nothing new. In what is called the “Bread of Life Discourse” in the Gospel of John, when Jesus clearly spells out what will happen at every future valid Mass, many people simply cannot believe that He is telling the Truth. Jesus plainly tells the people that He is the Bread from Heaven. He will give His Flesh to eat and His Blood to drink. He tells everybody that those who eat His Flesh and drink His Blood will have eternal life. He restates this several times, insisting that His Flesh is true food and His Blood is true drink, that He is the Bread of Life and that the Bread that He will give is His Flesh for the life of the world. The people listening to Him knew that He was speaking absolutely literally. No one took Him to be speaking in parables or figuratively or symbolically. And because they could not accept this literal Truth, many turned from following Him and walked away. As He watched them go, He invited the Apostles to leave if they, too, did not believe. When they opted to stay with Him, He pointed out that one among them, the one who would betray Him, did not believe Him. He even went so far as to call His betrayer, this apostate Apostle, Judas, a devil. Later in John’s Gospel, at the Last Supper (the first Mass and the first reception of Holy Communion) it is pointed out that when Judas, the non-believer of what we now term Transubstantiation (where the substance of bread and wine change into the substance of the full humanity and full divinity of Jesus) ate the morsel, Satan entered into him. He then left quickly to betray Jesus and hand Him over to be crucified. (Have no qualms about stating the obvious in this regard: Judas is now and will be forever in hell. Our Lord ominously and specifically stated, “The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed: it were better for him, if that man had not been born.” Were the betrayer even in purgatory, even if for the entire time from his death until the General Judgement, it would not have been better for him to have not been born, for he would eventually reach Heaven. No, only Hell is a worse fate than non-existence.) So here we see the Satanic possession of this unbelieving Apostle at the first Mass. It is the first recorded mortal sin related to unworthy reception of Holy Communion. Jesus, the second Person of the Holy Trinity had said, “This is My Body. This is My Blood.” Yet Judas said interiorly, “You lie. I know better. This is only bread and wine. I do not believe You. You must not be God.” He will regret his arrogant lack of faith for all eternity.
The children receiving this Sacrament of the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus will be receiving with the full faith of the other eleven Apostles. They know that Jesus, as stated by St. Peter, has “the words of eternal life.” When He says that something is true it is true even if we cannot fully comprehend it. Our children are receiving Jesus and they know it. They are joyfully and faithfully uniting themselves to Him and He is uniting Himself to them. This unity is a foretaste of the perfect unity they will experience in Heaven. Those who reject this unity with Christ in this life will be hard pressed to justify desiring the complete fulfillment of this unity in the next.
Today I ask you to pray for the conversion of those who may or may not even know that they need conversion yet whose souls are in danger because they, like Judas, do not believe everything our Lord taught: those who do not believe our Lord’s teaching that He founded the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church; that He instituted the seven Sacraments; that He is present in the Eucharist, which is confected only by a validly ordained Priest; that participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is obligatory on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation; and that one must ordinarily be Catholic and in a state of Grace to receive Holy Communion. Pray for the whole of mankind to be as fully, faithfully and joyfully Catholic as these children who celebrate their First Holy Communion today. In short, pray that we all become Saints.
With prayers for your holiness,
Fr. Edwin Palka
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