June 2, 2024

Dear Parishioners of St. Polycarp,

On this first weekend of June, as we come to church, we are joining our fellow Catholics throughout the world to celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). According to our Church liturgical calendar, this Solemnity of Corpus Christi always falls on the Sunday after Holy Trinity Sunday.

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi reminds us of the real presence of Jesus Christ, who wishes to be with us until the end of times (Lk 22:19-20). The Gospel of Mark, which we hear on this Sunday, reminds us that it is Jesus who instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper as an everlasting remembrance of Him. The Gospel also tells us that the celebration of the Eucharist serves as the covenant of love between Jesus and us, and the sign of the Heavenly Banquet. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God” (Mk 14: 24-25).

From the “real presence” to “remembrance” and to the “Heavenly Banquet”, the Eucharist is dynamic. It is not just a celebration of the past, or the present, but also of the future, where Jesus is always with us. This solemnity ought to move us to be real and active in our faith.

Just as Jesus commanded us at the Last Supper, “Do this in remembrance of me,” we simply do not just attend Mass. We join Jesus through the person of a priest as in persona Christi to offer ourselves to God the Father. We join Jesus in His mission. In other words, as we celebrate the Holy Eucharist or the Holy Mass, we are asked to be Jesus to others. Just as bread is fractioned, we are asked to fraction ourselves for others. We are asked to be Corpus Christi to others.

May this Solemnity of Corpus Christi continue to inspire and to encourage each one of us in our earthly journey, with the hope that one day we will be at the Heavenly Banquet.

Please keep us priests in your prayers, as we are on our annual Priest Retreat. We will keep you in our prayers as well. Together with my brother priests (Fathers Nicolas and Saul), I invoke the blessings and intercession of Our Blessed Mother, Saint Joseph, and our Patron Saint Polycarp upon you and your family. May God bless you always.

Father Viet Peter Ho

Pastor

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