Monday, June 18, 2018
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From The Pastor's Desk - September 2, 2011

Dear Parishioners,
In today’s Gospel, Jesus proclaims that where two or three gather in His name that He is present in their midst. This echoes what rabbis taught about the Lord’s presence. They emphasized that whenever even a small number of Jews gathered to pray that the shekinah, or holy presence of the Lord descended upon them. As the Lord was always present to Israel, first in the column of fire as He led them out of Egypt into freedom and then wherever the Ark of the Covenant was brought, Israel knew that He was personally present to His people whenever they gathered in His name in a similar fashion. When Jesus repeats this teaching we see that by saying, "I am in their midst," that He is signaling that He is the Lord, He is God, which would have been shocking for his audience to hear, at least for those who did not recognize that He is the Son of God. But for us who do know that He is God, his promise of His presence with His disciples, no matter how small a number might be gathered in prayer and worship, is a comfort and consolation. It is when we gather to celebrate the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist at Mass in His name that we come to experience His presence in many marvelous ways, namely four ways. He is first present because we have gathered as a congregation in His name and because by the sacrament of Baptism He has formed us into his Mystical Body the Church. He is present in the priest who leads us in prayer in a very special way by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders. (By the way, the new English translation of the Mass brings these two presences out: the priest greets us with the good news that the Lord is with His people gathered in His name as he says, "The Lord be with you," and the people's response, "And with your spirit," signals that Christ is present in a further special way in the soul of the priest such that He acts through the priest to bring us His spiritual gifts and graces.) A third important way that Christ is present with us is in the proclamation of the Word of God in the Scriptures that are read, especially the Gospel. Finally, the fourth, and most special and personal presence of Jesus in the Mass is His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, to be present to us not only in the spiritual ways that He is present in the first three ways I have outlined but in the Holy Eucharist to be also present to us such that we encounter and touch Him, receiving the entire Christ, all that He is - Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. While in today’s Gospel passage Jesus tells us that He is present when the Church gathers to pray for any need - in this instance when deciding how to deal with a member who has seriously sinned - we can marvel at the fact that as He speaks of His Presence in the Eucharist in other Gospel passages that He is present to us in an even far richer way than when He first journeyed with Israel through the desert and was with them in the Ark of the Covenant. Hence Mass, the Liturgy, is being
caught up into the Holy and Personal Presence of the Lord, even to the point that through Holy Communion He comes to dwell in our bodies, hearts, and souls! What a consolation to know that He is with us not only corporately as His Church but also coming personally to each and every one of us in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. As we gather to celebrate the Holy Mass, then, we need to be filled with reverence and awe, love and appreciation, for the awesome fact that our Lord who created us and the entire universe comes personally to dwell with us and in us!

Have a wonderful week.

God bless,
Father Gutowski

This Week

Prayer Intention for the Week
For the sick: Joyce Cockerill, Kathy Ewing, Harriet Green, Ted Riha, Duane Poser, Sally Leyden, Chrissy Skinner, Jerry Martin, Wes Erhart.

Wed., May 2nd, RE, 6:15 p.m.