Letter from the Pastor

August 19, 2018

Dear Parishioners of St. James:

Praised be Jesus Christ!

It is said that many Catholics today do not believe in the Real
Presence of Jesus Christ in the mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist. Many
believe erroneous doctrine concerning the Real Presence because of poor
catechesis or intellectual laxity. The Council of Trent summarizes the faith
of the Church concerning Jesus’ presence as follows:

“Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body
that He was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the
conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council declares now
again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place
a change of the whole substance of bread into the substance of the body
of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the
substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has
fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.

We see from the teaching of the Church that after the
consecration bread and wine cease to exist. The appearances of bread and
wine remain but the bread and wine do not. The Body and Blood are now
present where bread and wine were before. Jesus is not present in the bread
because there no longer is bread, only His flesh. There is no wine after the
consecration, only the precious blood of Jesus. The Body and Blood of
Jesus is real, not symbolic. Jesus Christ is alive, risen from the dead. He is
really and substantially present for us in every tabernacle, on every altar
after consecration, and in Holy Communion for those properly disposed to
receive Him.

What keeps people from true belief is the stark reality of the real
presence of Jesus. Most are comfortable with a belief that keeps them from
accountability and intimacy. The real presence of Jesus should make us
want to be with Him at Mass, outside of Mass for prayer in the church,
desirous of frequent Confession so that we are more prepared to receive
Him in Holy Communion, and driven to proclaim His real presence to all
who will listen. Jesus Christ is here! Jesus is risen; He is alive! Come adore
Him, receive Him, love Him, repent for your sins to Him, spend time with
Him, and let Him fill you with graces so that when we see Him at our death
He may recognize us who recognized Him on earth.

God bless you,

Fr. Geary