This week at Camp Catholic we are turning our attention to the Holy Eucharist. The Catechism of the Catholic Church sums up the importance of the Eucharist to our faith:
"The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian faith."
What is transubstantiation?
Transubstantiation is the change of the bread and wine into the actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. It is not just a symbol. It is a complete transformation that occurs during Mass. The Real Presence of Jesus is present in every part of the host, down to the last drop of wine and fragment of bread.
At the Altar: The Items Used to Celebrate Mass
Click the graphic to see a larger image.
Click the photo below to download this printable activity. Notice where these items are used during Mass and then cut, color and paste each item on the altar drawing to match where it was used during Mass.
What is the point of Eucharistic Adoration?
A special time of visiting with Jesus outside of Mass is known as Eucharistic Adoration. The consecrated host —the Body of Christ —is displayed, for people to quietly visit. Some churches set a special time for this once a week, others once a day. Some keep a 24-hour visit that’s called Perpetual Adoration. At least one adult volunteers to be there at all hours of the day — even at 3 a.m.!
Pope John Paul II said that Jesus’ presence in the Blessed Sacrament should be so dear to people that they should receive and visit Jesus as often as they can. He called the Eucharist “the Church’s treasure.” You can visit the Blessed Sacrament any time Jesus is present. You’ll know He’s there when the sanctuary light (usually a red candle) is lit by the tabernacle.
Monstrance is the name for the sacred vessel that is most often used to display the Body of Christ during Eucharistic adoration. The word “monstrance” comes from the Latin word meaning “to show.”
The lunette is the round glass case that is placed in the center of the monstrance that actually holds the consecrated host. Its name comes from the Latin word for “moon.”
Once when Jesus was praying by himself,
and the disciples were with him,
he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
They said in reply, “John the Baptist;
still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’”
Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.”
He scolded them
and directed them not to tell this to anyone.
He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”
by Deacon Colby Elbert of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau
I find today’s Gospel passage quite confusing. First, Jesus was praying alone, but his disciples were with him, so he wasn’t alone. What were the disciples doing I wonder…just standing there? Next, Jesus asks his disciples about the rumors floating around about him, “who do people say that I am?” They tell him that everyone believes Jesus is not “Jesus” but someone else entirely, like John the Baptist. Jesus seems to accept these answers or is largely unaffected by them. Finally, Jesus questions the disciples themselves. Peter boldly proclaims quite accurately that Jesus is “The Christ of God.”
Then he gets into trouble. Peter gives the correct answer and, in perhaps the most baffling moment of this whole passage, Jesus scolds, rebukes and (in some translations) sternly orders Peter and the other disciples to say nothing about this to anyone. I mean, what kind of a world do we live in where a student gives the correct answer in class and then has to serve a detention?
Jesus is being firm with those he loves to emphasize that being the Christ of God entails more than conventional expectations or lofty titles. Jesus has a paramount mission beyond anything ever dreamed or imagined. Knowing the correct answer about “what it means” to be a Christian and Jesus' true identity does not earn us a good grade or a gold star, but means something very real. It means that we have to follow Jesus through his death—and even our death—while bearing all of the sufferings and hardships along the way.
Following Christ will take everything that we have. Our mission is to say goodbye to any vanity or expectations that are not rooted in the saving mission of Christ. God’s love goes beyond all expectations, prestigious titles and even death. During those times when life is most confusing, the times when we find that nothing else makes sense, we discover that Christ’s love is unmistakable.
How will you follow the advice of this week’s Gospel reading and “take up your cross” this summer? It’s easy to let things slide in the summertime—even in our prayer life—so it helps to have a reminder that you will see every day.
This week’s challenge is to identify or create a symbol of your commitment to live out your faith that you can use as a daily reminder. Perhaps it’s a crucifix or a holy card or a rosary or even something homemade.
Send a photo of your object to email@example.com and post it on social media using the hashtag #CampCatholic. We will share your responses on our social media channels.
Here's a sample social media post you could include with your photo:
This is my daily reminder to take up my cross. What's yours? #CampCatholic
Thank you, campers! Know someone else who should be at Camp Catholic? Invite them to sign up!