My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus be with you. On this glorious Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, we are drawn to praise our Heavenly Father who gave us His only begotten Son, Jesus, that we might have eternal life. We receive Him in the Eucharist. Pope Francis recalls Jesus breaking the bread. He says, “This is the Eucharistic gesture par excellence. It is the distinctive sign of our faith and the place where we encounter the Lord who offers himself so that we can be reborn to new life.”
Today, we are privileged to also celebrate the gift of our earthly fathers. We pray with thanksgiving for Saint Joseph, our most precious human father, who opened himself to care tenderly for Jesus and to nurture Him as His fiat of love to God the Father. In the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe, we encounter an image of this wondrous love in an alcove left of the altar in the main sanctuary. Here, we find Saint Joseph at his carpenter’s bench listening intently to the Child, Jesus. The poignant animation of this scene as depicted by the artist, Bruno Lucchesi, shows the humble offering of heart, mind, soul and strength of Saint Joseph.
Today, I join you in prayers of thanksgiving for our fathers, those by birth, those by Sacrament, and those whose influence in our lives is of God’s love. They manifest holy living and guide us to heaven.
As we come to the table of the Lord to receive the Holy Eucharist, may we serve as the Father asks, that by our daily living all will be satisfied in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend John Noonan
Bishop of Orlando