Bob Cox

Bob Cox

Last Sunday was a very important feast day in the Catholic Church: the feast of Corpus Christi, also known as The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

The feast of Corpus Christi celebrates the Holy Eucharist as the Body of Jesus Christ (in Latin, Corpus Christi means “the body of Christ”). It is noteworthy that this feast day is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church and other Christians, most notably the Church of England and Anglicans.

These words of Jesus are the most profound words ever spoken: “This is my Body. … This is my Blood.” Millions, no, billions of people have been spiritually shaped by these famous words. So too have the lives of these people been changed.

Recently, one of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic was that churches had to be on lockdown and we Catholics could not receive the Body and Blood of Christ, at least temporarily. This was a very devastating action to our faithful. But now, we have reopened (to 25% capacity) and can receive the Holy Eucharist again!

It is truly a blessing to hear the priest declare upon the altar during consecration, in Persona Christi, the words as he elevates the host, “Take this all of you, and eat of it, for this is my Body, which will be given up for you” and elevating the chalice saying, “Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

To me, the words of Christ that are spoken at the consecration by the priest in Persona Christi are the most important and profound words ever spoken. Popes and U.S. presidents have given us memorable phrases that are etched on our memories, our minds, that will last the test of time, but in my opinion, the words spoken by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are the most profound.

We Catholics are so very grateful to hear these words of transubstantiation again!

We are blessed that we have a Father, God, that loved us so much that He gave us His only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. God is truly the ultimate Father. Not only is He our heavenly Father, but He has given all of us an earthly father as well!

Tomorrow, we celebrate a very traditional holiday called “Father’s Day.” Sonora Smart Dodd is credited for its humble beginning and popularized it. The first Father’s Day was in Spokane, Washington, and was observed on June 19, 1910, where it became an annual event. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation designating the third Sunday in June to honor fathers. Finally, in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed it into law. There’s your history lesson for today.

I would like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, stepdads, grandfathers and great grandfathers on Sunday! This is a special day for you, and hopefully your family has a great and fun time planned for you.

My dad died in 2000 at the age of 75. There isn’t a day that I don’t think about him. He was there for me (and my siblings) when he wasn’t working to support us. My Dad took me to all of my sport practices, stayed there and watched, gave me words of encouragement and came to all of my games. We had our own morning out, as we learned how to play golf together, and the two of us golfed every Saturday morning as soon as the sun came up, and we left our trail on each fairway and green because the dew was so thick!

Dad showed me what being a caring person was all about, as he would visit his mother routinely in the nursing home (she had suffered a stroke), and he always asked me to accompany him when he went. He made certain that we went to Mass on Sundays with him, too.

My Dad introduced me to prayer life, as he always prayed the rosary and introduced praying the rosary to me. His ability to talk to me and make me understand life better was a benefit that will be with me always. It is my hope to always be that kind of father/grandfather to my children and grandchildren also!

My friends, I would like to suggest that if your father is alive, call him today or tomorrow, especially if you haven’t talked to him in a long time. It might just be the best Father’s Day gift you can give him!

{span}Bob Cox is a deacon at St. Ann Catholic Church in Florence. Contact him and other board members at fvboard@florencenews.com.{/span}

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