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Word Alive — Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD June 11, 2023


Some of you might have seen the movie “Survive,” based on a book entitled “Last Survivors of the Andes Mountains.”

The true story relates about how 16 out of 45 passengers, mostly rugby players from Uruguay, survived a plane crash in the freezing Andes Mountains for 70 days.

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When they ran out of food supplies, they ate their clothes, rubber shoes, and even the flesh of their dead companions. Two of the 16 ventured to walk through the howling snow mountains to get help, and after nine days, rescue came.

The story tells dramatically, among other things, that we need food for our body to live. But as Christians, we also need another kind of food—that is, the food for our souls.

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Today is the feast of CORPUS CHRISTI, a Latin term which literally means the Body of Christ. The feast reminds us that the best food which our spirits need is the Body of Christ.

What Jesus asked us to do is to come together like in the Last Supper where he blessed and shared the bread and the wine, saying “this is my Body, this is my Blood.” Then the Lord said, “do this in memory of Me” (Lk 22,19-20; 1 Cor 11,25).

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The Eucharist, therefore, is not an invention of the Church nor an idea of the popes. It’s simply and clearly the mandate Jesus bequeathed to his disciples. Since then Christ’s followers celebrate the Holy Mass world-wide, from the rising of the sun to its setting.

It is unfortunate, though, that many Catholics fail to appreciate the value of God’s special Gift. Sunday after Sunday, people come to Mass, and that’s good; but they abstain from receiving Holy Communion.

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A lawyer friend of mine, Atty. Braulio Tansinsin, related that when he was young he accompanied his parents who brought their grandfather to the hospital for physical check-up.

On examination, the doctor said he had a weak heart and on reaching 50 years, he told them to prepare for the end. The children consulted two other doctors and the results were the same.

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Since the children, along with the grandchildren, loved their father very much, they stormed heaven with prayers, attending Masses, and receiving Holy Communion. Believe it or not, Atty. Tansinsin said, “grandpa lived till 83 and all the doctors who foretold his early demise, were the first to die, except the third doctor who was still young then.”

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There are numerous similar stories but the bottom line is FAITH. And Jesus’ words say it thus: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life and I will raise him up on the last day” (Jn 6,55).

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ASK YOURSELF: Do I really believe Christ’s presence in the Eucharist? Do I appreciate its importance by receiving it whenever I attend Mass?

Remember: The food that we eat for our body perishes, but the Food Jesus gives us lasts forever.

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THE LIGHTER SIDE. Priest tells Johnny who’s not attending Sunday Mass, “How about joining the Army of God in church on Sundays?” Johnny replies, “Ok Father, I promise to join.”

After the succeeding Sundays and the priest didn’t see Johnny in church, he asked him: “Why didn’t I see you in church among the Army of God as you promised?” “Father, I’m in the Secret Service,” he replied. (We don’t need Secret Services in church).

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Nice to see you attending Mass again,” said the priest, meeting a parishioner. “Is it because of my sermons?”

“Not yours, Father..,it’s my wife!” he said.

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