Aloha Friday Message – June 12, 2020 – Call it what it is

2024AFC061220 – Call it what it is

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Many Keys to Something

John 6:51 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. Today we anticipate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. The “old name” for this was Corpus Christi. It was instituted by Pope Urban IV in 1264 as the Solemnity of Corpus Christi on the Thursday after Pentecost. He decreed it as a feast for the entire Latin Church, by the papal bull Transiturus de hoc mundo. .Hence, the feast of Corpus Christi was established to create a feast focused solely on the Holy Eucharist. The recommendation for the papal bull came from none other than Saint St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church. Aquinas’ suggesting had its roots in some forty years of dedication to the Eucharist by a certain Juliana of Liège, a 13th-century Norbertine canoness, also known as Juliana de Cornillon, born in 1191 or 1192 in Liège, Belgium, based on a vision she had of Christ in 1208. In the vision, she was inspired to request a special, unique celebration of the Eucharist. Remarkably, she kept the vision – and the request – a secret for about 20 years. [i] This Solemnity (a feast day of the highest rank) has been celebrated on the assigned date ever since it was established. Take note of the subject of that solemnity – The Body and Blood of Christ. It makes a difference which I hope to show you by telling you a little story from my past.

You may have heard this before.

When I was in the seventh grade, we had a wonderful teacher for General Science named Mr. Skylar. He was a teacher who inspired even the most truculent students to learn something. He frequently challenged the class to disprove some point of Science he was teaching, and often the challenge was a bet for a piece of cherry pie from the cafeteria. He was one cool cat, too! He drove a Triumph TR3, the girls thought he was “dreamy,” and the eggheads thought he was super-smart. One of his favorite teaching routines was to give a pop-quiz at the start of class based on the latest assignment. Then he would turn the papers over to his teaching assistants who would grade the papers and return them to Mr. Skylar so he could read off the scores out loud in front of the whole class. We usually had 10 minutes to answer 20-25 questions. You had to work fast!

One week we were studying a dissection of a perch. We all knew there would be a quiz and probably a bet, too. Well, there were both. One boy lost a bet about whether perch were fresh water of salt water fish. There are both kinds of perch. He lost. The quiz was “only” 20 questions, so as soon as I got my paper, I launched right into it – put my name at the top and raced through all 20 questions! I was sure I had at least passed. At the end of the class, the assistants came out and he started reading the names and scores; “Bob, 85; Jan, 90; James, 75; Susan, awwww 60! Then it happened: ” … Who’s CHICK?!?!” I had rushed the writing of my name CHUCK so that it was illegible and I forgot to put my last name Todd. The laughter was … not unusual for me. I was always a skinny, homely nerd.

When I was growing up (I’m almost afraid to tell you this!) everyone I knew called me Chuckie. By the time I got to fourth grade, I “rebelled” against that and told everyone to just call me Chuck. That worked all the way through high school. Then, at Hope College in Holland Michigan, I changed it to Chick – mainly because I was tired of all the “chuck” jokes like “how much wood could a wood chuck chuck,” and chuck wagon, and drill-chuck, and chuck-wrench, and chuck steak, and chuck out, and up-chuck, and chuck-full, and (maybe the worst) chuck-hole. Whew! Well, it didn’t take much longer for “Chick” to get the same treatment – here chick-chick-chick, and Chick Corea (one heckuva great jazz pianist), Chic-lets, chickadee, chick’n’noodle (really!), and chick peas, chick flick, Chick-fil-A, and a weird one – chickerica. ¡Ai! I submitted to these nick names of Chuckie, Chuck, and Chick because my given name, Charles, sounded too formal to me … “Chaahhhhrlz.” Now, my dad was called Charles by many people – including my mom and most of his coworkers in the Air Force and the Denver FHA office – but he never wanted to be called Charlie (and I never picked up that moniker, either!). On Facebook I was unable to get my profile listed as “Chick Todd,” even though nearly everyone I know and everyone who knows me calls be Chick. Nonetheless my name is CHARLES OLIN TODD, III (and there are also COT IV and COT V!)

No matter what you call me, God created me as CHARLES OLIN TODD, III. I am immensely pleased with that because it is the very definition of my history. If you are going to call me who I am, that is what you call me. If you are going to call me who I want to be, you call me Chick Todd. If you are going to call me by who I do not want to be, you call me Chuckie – or one of the scores of other insults male earthlings fling at each other. I want you to understand that because I want you to understand the name of this Solemnity.

It is not the Solemnity of Wonder Bread and Welch’s Grape Juice, nor of Matzah and Manischewitz, nor of Bread and Wine. It is Body and Blood of Christ. Catholics, and a few other non-Catholic denominations, believe in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. (Please see 1917AFC042619 – THIS is important for some insight into what we believe.) When I hear someone speaking of the elements of the Eucharist as “the bread and wine,” it makes me cringe just as much as hearing the name “Chuckie” directed at me. The offering for the Eucharistic Feast is unleavened bread and unadulterated wine (no preservatives, “natural” fermented grape juices, and fresh, i.e., not soured). The unleavened bread wafers used are wheat (like the shewbread), and are passed to the recipient with the phrase “The Body of Christ;” the response is “Amen.” If Communion is given under both species, the recipient receives communion from the Chalice with the phrase “The Blood of Christ;” again the response is “Amen.” Throughout the Eucharist, and in every Mass prayed at every church in every hour around the world, the practices are the same. But here is something I find remarkable:

     According to several studies over the past 20 or so years, researchers have found that about 40% of confirmed Catholics, including the twenty-three Eastern Christian sui iuris (autonomous) particular churches of the Catholic Church, in full communion with the Pope in Rome – do not believe in the Real Presence of Christ! Honestly, there is really no point in the Eucharist which is “the source and summit of our faith” (Please see CCC 1322-1344) without knowing that one is receiving the True and Real Presence of Christ. Is it that hard to believe? Yes, and that is why we call it a Mystery – a Mystery of Faith. Look again at the words of the Key Verse: I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh. HE, and HE ALONE gave his life – very literally his “flesh and blood,” for the life of the world. If you have looked at or remember the message linked above about the word THIS – in Greek οὗτος (oútos) {hoo-tohs or oo-tohs}, as well as 1512AFC051515 – Look him up, you will know how seriously we take the Eucharistic Mystery. Here is a resource on that topic:

When Jesus says, “this is my body,” his declaration is that what he is about to share – pieces from the broken loaf of bread – IS HIS body. He is not saying, “this represents my body,” “this is like my body,” “this is a symbol of my body,” or “pretend my body is bread.” He means what he says: “this is my body.” In the next sentence, there is another declaration in the form of a command: “Do this in remembrance of me.” He is telling the Apostles they are to do and say exactly what he has done and said. During the Eucharistic Prayer, the presiding Priest does NOT say, “This is his body,” or “This represents his body.” The Priest, in his ministry as the alter christus, repeats what Jesus told the Apostles to repeat: “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Here again, the meaning, intent, and purpose are perfectly clear. It is the same with the communion Chalice – as in Matthew 26:27-28 27 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the [new] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Here is the Real Presence of the Body of Christ, here is the Real Presence of the Precious Blood of Christ, and here is the exact expression of what Jesus commanded should be said and done. Wherever we find one of the demonstrative pronouns in these passages, there we will also find the meaning this one, meaning the item actually present here, the one just named and none other than this one; and also this action, meaning the action actually performed here, the one just shown and none other than this one. The first time we come across τοῦτο is in Genesis 2:1919 So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The Hebrew word there is ה֥וּא (hu or hi) {hoo} which is an emphatic form for the pronoun it replaces, in this passage it would be the name Adam gave.

So, Belovéd, yeh cain’t call me Ray (↔ Video Link) , or Raymond, or RJ, … “but you doesn’t hasta call me Johnson!” OR CHUCKIE. And just the same way, you don’t have to call it bread and wine, because it’s not. It is the Sacred Body and the Precious Blood of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. I’m CHARLES O TODD III, and if you call me that I know you know who I am. It is my right and proper name. It is used in right a proper circumstances where formality is right and just. Certainly the Holy Eucharist is a circumstance where the formality of that which is right and just is most certainly proper. I encourage everyone – Catholic and Non-Catholic alike – to remember that, in Faith, we share the Presence of the Lord whenever we meet him the in the Eucharist. He is first, last, foremost, and singularly the living bread that came down from Heaven.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever —

at your service, Belovéd!

Please pray with us here at Share-a-Prayer.

I should also mention the Key Verse icon for this post. That’s a whole pile of keys of many descriptions. I chose that because they represent the hundreds of Key Verses I have chosen (even before I started calling them Key Verses), and also because of the hundreds of posts I have put up using those Key Verses. Every key in that pile is the key to unlocking something. Every Key Verse in this blog is also a key to unlocking something called Scripture. There are many cross-references in this post, and if you follow them, you’ll be busy for a while-and-a-half. It’s good practice for the process of Scripture Study.

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at http://biblehub.com

Creative Commons License
Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

 

[i]  See this article on Juliana de Cornillon

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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