Photo: Sikeston – Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church: Corpus Christi Sunday, Jun 11, 2023
The processional stopped in downtown Sikeston pausing across from the downtown park, for a brief Adoration, where an altar with a white table cloth, was set up for Father Colby to stop, bless, and sing to honor the Blessed Sacrament— Sarah Lee Hunter, St. Francis Xavier Parish, Sikeston
“If you’re a parent attending a school board meeting, you’re pro-life or praying at a clinic, or you’re a Catholic simply going to Mass, you are a target of the government, a target of the FBI.”
This statement was from the House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio on May 18 at a news conference just before three FBI whistleblowers were scheduled to testify before the Committee. While I do not follow politics as much as I should, this statement struck me. In a recent column, I highlighted criticism directed to the rosary, attacks on pregnancy resource centers, and attacks on Catholic Churches, especially since the Dobbs decision. I was actually a bit hesitant to write the column, afraid I would sound a bit paranoid. But after hearing Chairman Jordan’s words, I’m sticking to those words. Add to the list a visit from two FBI agents to the home of pro-life advocate Elise Ketch, of Woodbridge, VA for questioning. Why? Because she is pro-life. Whistleblowers from inside the FBI are speaking out against such FBI scare tactics, highlighting the abuse of power, using their clout to imply concerns of domestic terrorism threats. We shall see if anything comes of the Committee. What should our response be to such threats? Get out that “weapon,” the rosary, and pray! But be careful, if the FBI sees you going to Mass or with a rosary in your hand, they may come knocking at your door!
Speaking of pro-life, did you know that more than half of all abortions are now chemical abortions, and most of these are unregulated? A Canadian study shows that 10.26 percent of women taking the abortion pill ended up visiting the emergency room. Those who propose the abortion pill say it’s “safer than Tylenol.” Well, let’s be clear that it is certainly NOT safe for the baby! And mothers face many serious risks as well, such as infections, uncontrolled hemorrhages, and ruptured ectopic pregnancies. For more information, I recommend that you contact the National Right to Life Committee, www.nrlc.org. Stay informed.
Although we enter into the Ordinary Time of the liturgical year, a few Sundays are beautiful celebrations. On June 4, we celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, and then on June 11, the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, commonly referred to as Corpus Christi. I have encouraged all our parishes to hold a Corpus Christi procession and I look forward to the one at St. Joseph Parish, Springfield, following the 10:30 a.m. Mass. If your parish is not having a Corpus Christi procession, I encourage you to participate at one of the nearby parishes. Of course, the term “Ordinary Time” is misleading. In Advent and Christmas, we prepare and celebrate the birth of Christ. In Lent and Easter, we celebrate His suffering and resurrection. What is Ordinary Time? The liturgical books tell us that Ordinary Time celebrates the “fullness of the life of Christ.” Not just His coming in the flesh at Christmas and not just His conquering of sin and death at Easter, but the fullness of His entire life. And if that be so, then there is nothing “ordinary” about Ordinary Time.
Let the summer months be for us the fullness of the life of Christ. Of course, these days, with modern travel and technology, if you are on vacation, all you have to do is ask your phone where the nearest Sunday Mass will be celebrated. It’s all at your fingertips. Do not take a vacation from Holy Mass.
Is your parish singing “O sacrament most holy, O Sacrament divine. All praise and all thanksgiving, be every moment Thine”? I’ve been promoting this verse, singing the first verse three times whenever possible after the distribution of Holy Communion. It is a simple, masterful, mystical expression of our belief in the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Each verse of this beautiful Eucharistic hymn expresses classic Eucharistic theology. Can’t we all identify with the second verse: “Now come, all you who labor in sorrow and in pain; come, eat this bread from heaven; thy peace and strength regain.” And verse three is pure genius: “Lord, Jesus, we adore Thee, our Victim and our Priest, whose precious Blood and Body become our sacred feast.” In the words of Pope St. John Paul II, “May our adoration never cease.”
Published in the June 09, 2023 issue of The Mirror.