This is the third Sunday that the Gospel comes from Chapter 6 of John’s Gospel. We hear: “I am the bread that came down from heaven… and I am the bread of life… whoever eats this bread will live forever.” This “Bread” is our Eucharist that we celebrate frequently and that we receive often. When you receive the Eucharist, the consecrated host is presented to you with the words “the Body of Christ” and you respond: Amen! We have to be careful that we not forget what we are receiving, and neglect to say “Amen” or say a half-hearted “Amen” or are too casual in the way we receive.

The beautiful gesture of presenting your hands, one under the other, is a profoundly respectful way of receiving the Eucharist. I encourage those who receive on the tongue to make sure that you open your mouth so that the consecrated host can be placed on your tongue. I find that a number of people even kneel which is a hazard to those behind them and it distracts the focus from the Eucharist to the person kneeling. The gesture of reverence – a simple bow – before receiving should be done while the person in front of you is receiving, not while you are receiving. These readings can renew within us our respect and love for the Eucharist.

The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) will begin next month, but Joe Nuzzi, the Director of the RCIA, is interviewing people now who may be interested in participating in this great introduction to the Catholic faith. It is also open to adults who haven’t completed their Christian Initiation: have never received their First Communion or been Confirmed. Check the announcement about the RCIA elsewhere in the bulletin.

Don’t forget: we celebrate the Assumption of Mary this week with Vigil Masses at 4:30 and 5:30 on Tuesday, and the regular Mass schedule on Wednesday.

-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.