More is More: Eucharistic Superabundance in John 6

One of the greatest delights of Catholicism lies in our not being able to exhaust the full array of its riches; it offers a fathomless superabundant feast on which we manage only to nibble at throughout our lives. This means that many of the most profound truths of our Faith are left unrecognized and untasted. CS Lewis was right when he said the problem with modern man is not that he desires and hungers for too much, but rather for too little. He is far too easily contented. Our hunger, our desires need to be awakened to the truth of Christ’s superabundant and sustaining presence in the Eucharist. We are made for nothing less than what the Second Vatican Council described the Eucharistic mystery as containing “the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1324). What more can possibly be offered than Christ Himself, the fullness of the Godhead.

Today the Church draws us to contemplate the heart of the matter in leading us into a multiple week sustained walk through chapter six of St. John’s Gospel. You can find its entirety in your bible or at usccb.org/bible. My challenge is for you to take up this biblical text as a sort of ready-made mini bible study. Let us be attentive to the mystery which is served up, beginning with the passage that speaks of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes to feed the multitude not just to the point of satiation, but in a superabundant fashion with overflowing baskets of fragments left over. Likewise every celebration of Mass exceeds our capacity to consume its full substance. With Christ it is true that more is more. His gift is not stingy, not measured, but overwhelming. It is the gift of His very life in full intensity even if veiled in mystery. May we never cease to marvel at this lavish generosity. May John 6 be our gateway into this truth!

Some miscellaneous but nonetheless important notices:

+ Through the generous involvement of a local foundation, coupled with the Brya Family Endowment, we were able to purchase a property adjacent to the Holy Cross campus at 1600 4th St. NE. It was the former site of the Wos Hardware which subsequently became a residential duplex. The opportunity to control the destiny of the block and the general wisdom of real estate investments led the Finance Council and Strategic Committee to unanimously support this decision after prudent deliberation. God’s providence has been at work to bring this about. Plans are unfolding for how this property can be used to support the parish mission and as a source of revenue in the short and longer term. Stay tuned!
+ Our first Family Faith Night at St. Clement this past weekend was a great success. A good crowd of people of all ages (including children) gathered to reflect on the meaning of the Church’s teachings about the gift of fertility and procreation articulated 50 years ago in Blessed Pope Paul VI’s prophetic Encyclical Humanae Vitae. The balance of food, fellowship, panel discussion, Q&A, kids activities and family prayer were enjoyed by all. As in the gospel today, the food didn’t run out but we put the leftovers to good use. Stay tuned for our next Family Faith Night on Sunday, August 19th which again will serve as an opportune time to register for Wednesday Family Faith Formation. You can also register at www.OurHolyCross.org/faith-formation but note that the Early Bird discount is only available until August 19. I do want to note that although prices have increased this year for our Faith Formation program, they are commensurate with the costs of similar programs at other nearby parishes and there are some exciting additions to the  program this year. In other words, there is still a good value. Need based scholarships are also available upon request.

+ Prayer Cards are in the pews to begin to cover our Wednesday Family Faith Formation nights in prayer for our students, catechists, staff, parishioners and families. Thanks to Morgan and Fr. Hagan for their strong emphasis on grounding our catechetical and formational efforts in prayer. In addition, you will see our new envelopes in the pews that can be used by visitors or in case you ever forget your envelopes. Going forward, as the Simplified Giving through Vanco is fully rolled-out, we will have recyclable cards on hand that can be dropped in the collection basket that express that you have made your offering online. Thank you for your generous embrace of this new opportunity to help stabilize parish giving and help us continue to grow our ministries and outreach.

+ I am excited about our first ever participation in NE Minneapolis Open Streets on Sunday afternoon, August 5th. My parents and I walked the route last year with some family friends and enjoyed it thoroughly. It is a great time to get out on our beloved NE streets. We will have a hospitality tent (or two) at Central and 24th Avenue – come say hello and enjoy a Sunday afternoon of leisure. This is also the weekend of our parish Rummage Sale hosted at the Holy Cross campus in the lower level of the school. This a sign that summer is rolling right along and with it, SeptemberFest is also rapidly approaching. Please note that our Raffle Ticket invitation mailing has gone out this week and we are asking you to be generous in pledging to sell or buy $40 of tickets per household. We obviously expect some to do more and some to do less, all within what is possible. Thank you for your attentive willingness to help make the SeptemberFest Raffle, which is the backbone of the festival revenue, a success.

+ July may be over but summer is not done yet! Two more summer evenings of note: Our August Men’s Night at St. Clement falls on the Feast of the Transfiguration (Monday, August 6th). To mark the occasion, we will fire up the grills right after the 5:45 pm Mass at St. Clement that night and serve some hearty grilled food prior to our 7:30 pm time of prayer. All men are invited to partake. Additionally, Tuesday, August 14th is the Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, one of our Polish patrons. It will be the occasion of our second annual Ice Cream Social at St. Hedwig campus at 6 PM to 8 PM. The point of this evening is to appreciate you our parishioners and to enjoy a summer evening of fellowship and getting to know one another in a relaxed setting. Don’t miss it!

+ Lastly, our friends at Catholic Eldercare have announced an exciting project to restore the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in their 8th Avenue garden. If you feel compelled to make a gift to help restore the beautiful grotto and make it more accessible to residents, while the fundraising goal is being reached, no donation is too small to help make this hope a reality. Contributions can be sent directly to Catholic Eldercare or dropped in the parish collection basket marked “Perpetual Help Shrine”. Note that all are invited to the monthly Perpetual Help devotions prayed once per month (third Tuesday of the month at 3 PM) in the St. Anthony of Padua chapel.

United in the lavish Eucharistic Feast of Faith,

Fr. Howe