Joined: 06 May 2005
Location: Greenville, Texas
|Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 5:38 pm Post subject: 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2005
Father Paul Weinberger, Pastor
St. William's Roman Catholic Church
7 / 31 / 2005 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over, twelve wicker baskets full. Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting woman and children
In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
Recently a man I know that lives pretty far away from here, one whom I have known for many years, who was a good father, husband and a patient person with people, had his car stolen and was killed during the robbery. I was very consoled because I’d heard how this man had gone by the parish Church where he lives and spoke to the priest who was in the Confessional. Later that night, he died. I thought to myself that it sounded like one of those textbook cases where someone goes to Confession, walks out and goes across the street and is hit by a bus. Right? There is not a bus route here so don’t try it! [Laughter]
While speaking to some of the people there I found out that he didn’t go to Confession but was just looking for someone. Since no one was in line for Confession he just poked his head into the Confessional and asked the priest if “so and so” was there. The priest told my friend that he had not seen the person he was looking for and they bid one another good-bye. My friend that was murdered had also just spoken to his wife right before he died; they were on very good terms. I am very saddened!
I used to serve in a Church near where this man went to Church. I figured since he lived in the other Parish that he was going to Mass there…he wasn’t going to Church at all! I never heard him mention what Parish he attended but I feel bad that I never asked him exactly what Parish he attended or who his Pastor was. I never asked these questions and now we just have to pray for God’s mercy upon him; that someone who never went to Church, someone who was so naturally good, didn’t go the extra step. He was around churches a lot because his business took him there, but he wasn’t a member of a particular Church and so he didn’t go to Mass on Sunday or Confession regularly.
I say this because I am starting with me. In some ways I feel like because I knew the man, I didn’t do my job in asking him more, like where his Parish was. Of course I could spend my whole time asking that to everyone I meet. It reminds me of the book my mom bought me when I was a kid, the Dr. Seuss book called, “Are You My Mother?” Am I YOUR pastor? Am I YOUR pastor?
Anyway I will start with me and about me not doing my job. I wish now that I had asked the man because he was just in his early sixties when he was killed suddenly. There is no way he could have seen it coming on; someone just stole his car and killed him. This has been on my mind now because I was thinking of some other ways of not doing my job so I want to kind of tie things up today.
Two or three years ago there was a new Archbishop named to a Diocese here in the USA and there are a lot of politicians in that Diocese. The Archdiocese was without a Bishop so they named a new one to come in. Tomorrow would be the anniversary of that installation, two or three years ago. I remember this because there are many politicians in his Archdiocese and if I said the names you would recognize them, but I am not going to do that because that would then give you a reason to say,
“Oh, he is just obviously anti this or that.”
So, I am not going to give you the satisfaction. [Laughter] I am just going to talk about this new Archdiocese that was getting a new Archbishop. Well, there were two very prominent politicians in the Archdiocese and everybody knows that they are Catholic and that every time they come up for a vote on abortion, these Catholic politicians in that Diocese vote, “Yes”; every time, axiomatic, automatic! So a few days before this new Archbishop was about to be installed, the Chancery Office there announced that any politicians who were Catholic and were pro abortion should not approach Holy Communion. The memo was written by the Chancery Office, which is amazing because the Chancery Office is a building and can’t get its legs under the desk, right? The Chancery Office is a building and when you get a memo from the Chancery it is from someone in an office who can get their legs under a desk, right? A building can’t issue a memo but a person can.
Already I started sniffing something in the air and because it was somewhere else I decided to follow what was going on because it would give me an idea of where the mood was swinging about this whole business. This was all taking place two years before our last Presidential Election, so on July 31, 2002, this Archbishop was installed in this particular Diocese. At the installation those two politicians walked up in front of God and everyone in attendance and received Holy Communion. If I said the name of these “Catholic” politicians you would immediately recognize them. To me this is terrible, just terrible!
I want you to take a look over here at the front of this Altar. The front of this Altar is exactly like the front of the Altar at Mother Angelica’s new Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament. I have been there and seen hers but I have to admit that our Altar is prettier. I mean, as far as the rest of the Shrine, she has us beat… but as far as the Altar…the color of ours, and the mosaic in the center…I have seen them both and we’ve got her beat. I love you Mother Angelica but you can’t have our Altar. Anyway she also has the same symbol that we do on the front of the Altar at the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament and if you have never looked at it, it is a pelican. The pelican is not there because when this Church was built the pastor was from Louisiana, ok? The State Bird of Louisiana is the pelican. [Laughter] Go figure, right?
The mosaic portrays a pelican plucking its breast and has three little ones in the nest at its feet. The pelican is bending down, plucking its breast, and blood is coming forth. This is a symbol of Holy Communion, a symbol of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and is a very ancient symbol. Before we had Animal Channel or whatever they call it, people used to believe that if things got difficult for the pelican and there was a food shortage while the pelican had young ones to feed, the pelican would bend down and nip at its own body in order to feed their young by her own blood. That was the thought but now we know that the pelican goes and catches fish and then partially digests the fish, regurgitating what was partially digested and feed the young that way. But it appeared to people because they couldn’t get very close, that the pelican was plucking its breast to feed the young using its own body and blood. This is a great symbol for Christ, a great symbol.
The Church has always understood that anytime I receive Holy Communion or you receive Holy Communion, we are making a public statement. We are saying,
“I believe and I am trying to live everything Jesus teaches me through the Roman Catholic Church. I believe and I am trying to live to the best of my abilities everything Jesus teaches me through the Roman Catholic Church.”
This is why when you bring someone who is non-Catholic to Mass you do not take them along to Communion with you. They don’t believe everything that Jesus teaches us through the Roman Catholic Church. Why would you want to trick your non-Catholic friend into that?
“But Father, they believe everything!”
Good! Then they can do just like everybody else and come into the Church the regular way and start going to Communion after they have been brought into the Church. This is how everyone else does it, right?
Well, this whole business about what happened in that Archdiocese, that Archbishop giving Holy Communion to those two politicians, two "Catholic" politicians, who are 150% pro abortion, that archbishop going into his brand new Diocese was saying,
“Body of Christ, Body of Christ.”
And this to two men who were not accepting what Jesus teaches them through the Roman Catholic Church and they weren’t even trying to live it. It was like going to your doctor’s office and you have to park in a parking garage and you knock on the glass screen getting the attention of the receptionist and say with a big smile,
“Can you stamp this for me?”
So she accommodates you and says,
Then she validates your parking with a stamp. This means that you get out of the parking garage “free”. These "catholic" politicians were coming up for Communion, not because they are so moved by the Spirit and are hungering and thirsting for the Body. Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus, but it is merely a political move.
Father knocks on the pulpit as though validating a parking ticket.
“Validate my parking, validate my parking. Thank you!”
I have not mentioned their names and I have not mentioned their political party. Uh huh, haven’t done it yet…I pray I don’t slip up, ok? I remember telling this to a friend of mine and he is a priest. I remember complaining to him about the archbishop giving these politicians Holy Communion and it went something like this.
“Grrr growl, grrr, growl, growl, grr, grr, grrrrrrr.”
It went something like that over the phone. My friend said,
“Well, you know, that new Archbishop there has really got a lot on his hands and has a lot to do.”
Now this man has been a priest longer than I have and I said to him,
“No! I don’t buy it!”
Then my friend said,
“You know, maybe he is just trying to take it easy and trying to get some of those problems cleared up.”
And I said,
I was right! I was right. You see, all the Archbishop had to do when politician “A” came up for Communion and then politician “B’ came up was to say,
“May Almighty God have MERCY on your soul.”
Then he should give them a blessing, look right into their eye and tell them to sit down. I wasn’t there but I understand this was all carried on EWTN. Both these politicians went to Communion. If the Archbishop pushed some woman, man, deacon, priest or another Bishop over there to give them Communion………He knew exactly where they were sitting in that Cathedral the day he was installed as Archbishop in that Archdiocese.
The reason I bring this up is because he wasn’t doing his "job." As an Archbishop he is supposed to go and talk to the Catholic politicians in question and show them the Voter's Guide saying,
“It says right here on the Voter’s Guide that you are a Roman Catholic, but it also says here that you have always voted for abortion. Mr. so and so, Miss so and so, in the Archdiocese or the Diocese of “so and so”, you can no longer approach and receive Holy Communion because you do not believe and are not trying to live what Jesus teaches in the Roman Catholic Church about Holy Communion.”
All the Archbishop had to do was give them a call and say,
“Listen, if you come up for Communion I am going to look you right in the eye and ask God to have mercy on your soul and give you a blessing.”
What if the politician just stood there at the Altar with his/her hands cupped to receive and said.
“Uh, uh, uh!”
Kind of like Lassie whining,
“Hum, hum, hum.”
The politicians are standing there wondering what the matter is and the priest in quest should say,
“No! Sit down! Sit down, or better, get out!”
OK? My friend has since admitted that I was right.
Father Paul wrings his hands then clasps them together as though shaking hands with himself over the victory
Ok? My friend can’t see me; that won’t appear on a tape. Ha ha ha ha!
Last year, 2004, in a bold move in the months before the elections here, Cardinal Ratzinger, who you know today by his new name, Pope Benedict XVI. He is the new Pope; Cardinal Ratzinger then, now the Pope today, in a bold move in the months before the U.S. elections last year, Cardinal Ratzinger sent a memo to Cardinal McCarrick of Washington D.C. Cardinal Ratzinger’s strongly worded note established a principal of refusing Holy Communion to those politicians who have taken public stands supporting abortion. Cardinal Ratzinger’s letter was addressed to Cardinal McCarrick not only because he was the head of the Domestic Policy Committee for the Bishops in the United States, but also because Cardinal McCarrick is the Cardinal Archbishop of Washington D.C., he often deals directly with Catholic politicians.
The memo from Cardinal Ratzinger was intended to be a confidential communication with Cardinal McCarrick but the people he sent it to leaked it to the press. This is the message that Cardinal Ratzinger sent to Cardinal McCarrick.
”The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion merely as a consequence of being at Mass is an abuse that must be corrected. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest, that is obviously understood that in the case of a Catholic politician as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws, his pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin and warning him that otherwise he will be denied the Eucharist.”
In other words, you are the Archbishop of these two, four, or more politicians, your job as Archbishop or Bishop, if you know there are Catholics who are politicians and are pro abortion and pro euthanasia, doing your job means calling them on the phone or calling them into your office and saying,
“Look, you are Catholic and we don’t believe this. If you won’t change your position you cannot present yourself for Holy Communion!”
Now, when I mentioned this last year before the election there had to be a few people who thought,
“Well that is Cardinal Ratzinger’s opinion, ha, but is it the Pope’s opinion?”
We just checked and YES, it IS the Pope’s opinion! Now listen to this.
“Despite the clearly worded statement by the future Pope, the U.S. Bishops came to a different conclusion at their semi-annual meeting in June of 2005.”[/b]
If you will remember, I told you about it just before they met, telling you how the Bishop in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Bishop Sheridan, stood up and said what we believe concerning the Church’s teachings and then Cardinal McCarrick said just the opposite over in Washington D.C.
I will just try and keep to the point here.
At their June meeting last year, Cardinal McCarrick speaking to the Bishops gathered in Denver, appointed himself spokesperson….appointed himself, huh, that’s pretty neat for the concern that the Sacred Nature of the Eucharist, Holy Communion, might be turned into a partisan political battleground. He was worried that people might think enough about the Eucharist to fight over it. Cardinal McCarrick also told the Bishops that the Vatican trusted in the responsibility of the American Bishops to judge on their own whether or not refusing Communion to public and obstinate sinners is a pastorally wise and prudent decision
Regardless, despite the fact that the memo from Cardinal Ratzinger hinted at no such trust... so Cardinal McCarrick was making this up. Listen, you don’t know how much restraint I am having to use here…I am deadly serious! Cardinal McCarrick was making stuff up and essentially doing the “touchdown dance” in the end zone saying,
“No one is going to catch me, we don’t have that played on tape and no one is ever going to see that I stepped out of bounds.”
Well guess what happened? Eventually, one hundred days ago, Cardinal Ratzinger was chosen by the Cardinals to be the Pope of the Universal Church and this is because his thoughts and teachings are perfectly in line with the Roman Catholic Church.
Wait until you hear this last part I am going to read. Remember this is the June 2004 meeting just before the elections.
”After days of heated discussion between the vocal minority of U.S. Bishops, such as Bishop Sheridan of Colorado Springs and Archbishop Burke of St. Louis who supported Cardinal Ratzinger’s instruction, and the vast majority who wanted to bury his words, the U.S. Bishop’s Conference issued a statement that contradicted Cardinal Ratzinger.”
The Document was entitled, “Catholic And Political Life” The Document left up to each individual Bishop, the decision of whether or not to give Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. The statement passed 183 to 6; 183 to 6! I am not going to read any more.
Why did I go through all of that? Would you please take out your readings and turn to the Gospel and look at the second line from the end of this Gospel.
They all ate and were satisfied and they picked up the fragments left over.
Now, Jesus took five loaves and two fish and He gave them enough to feed five thousand men, along with women and children. My mother is here today and she can vouch for this; my Aunt Leigh could take a twenty dollar bill and buy Christmas presents for everyone in Church and have money left over. This was the kind of thing Jesus was doing there. Five loaves and two fish and it was enough to feed everybody. Was Jesus giving these people Holy Communion? Absolutely NOT! Was this Miracle of the Loaves and Fish anticipating the day when He would give us his Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in Holy Communion? Yes, of course, ok?
What did they do with the leftovers? The easiest thing to do would be just to leave them there. They have birds over there too; they are probably always thirsty, but they have birds over there that could have flown in to get the bread or the fish. Probably even get a couple pelicans, you know, off course. That is not what they did. What did Jesus say they did?
They all ate and were satisfied and they picked up the fragments left over, twelve baskets full
I bet the Gospel doesn’t say, “Twelve wicker baskets”. This is just another bad translation that we have to endure. Twelve wicker baskets…. They were probably made of something like wicker, but they were twelve baskets full of scraps, right? They weren’t thrown away. Now how did those baskets get home? They just put them in the car. Oh wait a minute…no, they had to carry them. Let's see, twelve baskets…twelve Apostles…even with the new math, each Apostle had to take a basket. Right? When they got back home, having to carry the basket such a long way they said days later,
“Oh my aching back. It is killing me. I had to carry that basket of bread and fish all the way back.”
That backache would confirm that they had indeed witnessed a Miracle and the backache would be a residual of that Miracle. Why am I bringing this up? In Catholic Churches around this country people are going to be told this weekend that Jesus didn’t do that. They are going to be lied to in Catholic Churches across this country. Instead, Jesus had five loaves and two fish and priests and deacons are going to get up there and say that the people had fish under their robes.
Father Paul raises his Chasuble as though pulling fish from under his arm
Don’t you know that smelled really good? This is the day before antiperspirants and daily showers. [Laughter]
“Oh look! I’ve got a couple loaves of bread under here.”
In Catholic Churches for the past forty years, people have grown up hearing these lies and other lies.
I am going to go a little bit longer today than usual, I am sorry. But I need to correct something because I am your pastor and I am kind of hesitant about it but I want to show you something.
Father Paul walks to the front of the Altar where the Altar boy has placed what could be considered a Credence table. Then pointing to the two front corners of the high and low Altars he describes what sits on them
See this right here? There is one over there, there, there and there. They have little lids. This is a lavabo, which has water in it. I am also holding what is called a purificator, which is made of linen and sits right beside the lavabo. After Communion you may have noticed the deacon or me putting our fingers in these little bowls (lavabo) and then dry them on this towel (purificator). If there are any particles left on my fingers after Holy Communion, the particles go into the lavabo. This water in the lavabo is then taken to the sacrarium, which is a sink with a special drain that goes into the ground. So whatever is poured down the sacrarium is buried, it is cared for.
As a seminarian and priest I have been in diocese all over the place so I am not talking about the Dallas Diocese, ok? I am just going to leave them out! I have been at Masses where I have seen bishops, priests and lay people, after going to Holy Communion, do this…
Father takes both his hands and rubs them on the front of his Chasuble as though wiping off his palms.
I have seen bishops giving out Communion;
“Body of Christ, Body of Christ, Body of Christ.”
And somewhere in that Cathedral or Church is one of these (a lavabo) and instead I see them just do this…
Father Paul rubs his hands together as though brushing dirt away and then wipes them on his chest
I saw one bishop, who when someone didn’t bring a lavabo to him he, (which he could have asked for but didn’t,) just put his finger and thumb in his mouth. Now, how many people would receive Communion from him if before giving out Communion he thought,
“Well, I don’t want to drop a Host so I will wet my fingers.”
Uh huh! But, at least that Bishop was aware that he still had Particles on his finger and thumb from the Eucharist. The tradition in the church is, that those who give Holy Communion are to cleanse their fingers in the lavabo. In the absence of the lavabo they have a linen purificator and they can rub their fingers on the purificator, fold it over and later on have it laundered in the special way all the Altar linens are supposed to be laundered.
I want to show you something…
Father Paul walks over to what could be considered a Credence table and picks up a large piece of paper and shows it to the congregation.
This is a piece of paper that I have folded like a corporal. If you notice as I open this piece of paper it acts sort of like a bowl. Here is an actual corporal right here and has not been used since it has been laundered. This corporal folds out flat like this. The corporal that I will use at Mass today is inside the burse and is sitting on the Altar. After this corporal is used, it will go right here and the chalice will go right on top of it. After Mass the corporal is folded up like this…then if there are any crumbs (particles of the Host) they are contained right there so it can be disposed of in the sacrarium. I have seen deacons that haven’t been instructed actually shake the corporal.
Father takes the cleansed corporal and shakes it like a table cloth
Now remember, I am not talking about in the Dallas Diocese; I have been in many places for Mass. Now those deacons who have not been instructed shake the corporal like a tablecloth, if there are any crumbs where did they go? Onto the floor!
‘Father, we don’t bother with that anymore.”
Last year the Vatican published a document and this was a year before Pope John Paul II died. In fact, the very day that Cardinal Ratzinger was installed as the new Bishop of Rome and the Pope of the Church, was the day after the one-year anniversary of Redempionis Sacramentum. In this document, it talks about how Holy Communion is to be treated. One of the things it says is that the paten is to be used.
What I am holding in my hand is a paten. If any Host or particle ever falls it will fall on the paten. After Mass the deacon or priest takes the paten and gently leans it like this and moves the thumb up and down the plate so that any particle goes into the chalice and is consumed by the priest or deacon. Redempionis Sacramentum “had” to say that the paten “must” be there. For thirty or forty years you hear in many places;
“Communion paten? What? Oh no, we don’t use those.”
Well, they are in the bottom drawer of that cabinet and you “could” use them!
Saying that, we have to be so careful with the teaching on the Eucharist. Now what I am about to say is not going to be easy for you to accept, ok?
You know they have these special lights today that if someone has touched something they can take a blue or black light and shine it on something to see finger prints after they dust them. All the movies today have these. They think they don’t have a finger print and all of a sudden someone shows up with this dust and brush it over an object and then take the light and bingo, there is a print, right?
When you go to receive Holy Communion, you have the option of receiving Holy Communion in your hand. The normal way is to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, ok? I want to straighten something out because I have never said this to you before. But, I am your pastor and if I don’t say it I am not doing my job; I don’t want anymore of that! Ok?
If you receive Communion in the hand, the odds are that there are particles left on your hand. Now you can do this after you receive Holy Communion when you take the Host and put it in your mouth. You need to think about doing this, ok?
Father Paul pulls his hand very close to his eye and with the other shut is scanning his hand for particles.
Before you move from your place in line, you need to do that! Or if you are like me…
Father Paul stretches his arm out in front of him to look at his hand as though he was farsighted
OK? If you don’t have time to do that then I am sorry; there are only two more possibilities. The vacuum cleaner with the mouth or…
Father licks at his hand as though cleaning the particles up
Right? OR, you could do like many priests and bishops.
Father wipes his hands on his chest again.
You know, way back when this was permitted, nobody gave the instruction. I have been a priest 16 years and have I ever given this homily that forcefully? No! So I have to tell you, if you do receive Communion in the hand, you are responsible for the particles, the crumbs.
Look at this Gospel! Did they leave the crumbs and the pieces on the ground? NO! They put them in baskets and they carried them back. As Catholics we believe that every crumb, every particle is JESUS! Just as we believe that life begins at conception, if you break a consecrated Host and a piece of it falls to the ground… that is Jesus. So…I am telling you, you need to think about this. I know it is hard after so many years.
“Well, who is he to tell me?”
You notice I didn’t order you? I didn’t tell you in the way of an order because after this, you are responsible! I have seen some priests in the past in different Dioceses, needing someone to help with Communion, just point out into the congregation and say,
“You! You come up here and help me distribute Communion!”
This person had no clue what was going on and could even have been under the pain of mortal sin! The priest telling someone to do that is a danger because the person he chose may very well have not been prepared. In the past, if you ever gave out Communion and didn’t purify your hands, let's don’t worry about it now, let's look to the future.
What I am saying is, I am your pastor and I have to tell you these things because I do believe that every crumb or particle that falls from a consecrated Host is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus. IT IS HIS BODY, BLOOD, SOUL AND DIVINITY! If I don’t tell you who will?
I am telling you this because for the last forty years Catholics have heard in their Churches that Jesus didn’t perform this Miracle; that He didn’t multiply the five loaves and two fishes. Isn’t it amazing how we are not doing our jobs? I have got to do my job. Your job, when receiving Holy Communion is to make sure it is done in accord with the correct teaching of the Church. I can guarantee you that you can find priests and repeat what I have just said to you and they will say that I am crazy or that I am kooky. They can call me every name in the book but I don’t care. I know that any particle that falls from the consecrated Host IS THE BODY, BLOOD, SOUL AND DIVINITY OF JESUS CHRIST!
If you think that what other priests tell you is contradictory to what I am telling you is true, just ask them to show you their view on things in the Catechism or in Redempionis Sacramentum that came out last year. They can’t because their view doesn’t exist in these documents and I bet they probably haven’t even read them.
So… if you do receive Communion in the hand, it is an option. The traditional way is on the tongue. If you choose to receive in the hand you are going to have to figure out what you are going to do in finding out if there are particles on your hand. What are you going to do, wait till everyone lives the Church and look around and then, slurrrrp? I am serious! When this was implemented thirty or forty years ago, nobody discussed it! They just said,
“Here! You can do it now, ain’t it great, come on up and everybody can go…even Catholic politicians who support abortion.”
The thing is that Jesus told them to collect the scraps and to care for them and so every left over particle of Holy Communion today will go into that Tabernacle and that is why these two lamps are burning, to tell us that those “scraps” contain the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. It is not an easy thing to get up here forty years late but it is a start. Don’t look to the past, don’t look behind, look to the future.
Do we treat the Blessed Sacrament with too much respect? Absolutely impossible!
They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over, twelve wicker baskets full. Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting woman and children
In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit