St. Stephen
Walnut Creek, CA

Mass Schedule

Saturday: 5 pm
Sunday: 9:30 am
Mon - Fri: 7:30 am
Holy Days: 7:30 am, 7:00 pm
Reconciliation: Sat. 4:30 pm

A message from our parochial administrator, Fr. Paulson Mundanmani:

Dear Fellow Parishioners,

Today’s gospel is the third part of the “Bread of Life Discourse” from the gospel of John. As I read and re-read this passage, I get a sense of the tension that existed, not only between Jesus and the Pharisees, but also between Jesus and the people who were trying to follow him. “The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” How could Jesus, the son of Mary and Joseph, proclaim such a ridiculous idea to them? They knew him, they knew his parents and where he came from. Today, we might fail to recognize how absurd this sounded to many people in Jesus’ time, but in context their disbelief is understandable. They had not witnessed Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, so they had good reason for doubt and confusion. In spite of two millennia of study and theological development, many Catholics today find Jesus’ statement just as hard to believe as the people of Jesus’ time.

Take a look at this pie chart. (Source: D’Antonio, Dillon, & Gautier 2013. American Catholics in Transition) It shows the results of a survey asking Catholic respondents if they knew and believed in the Church’s teaching of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The largest piece of the pie, 46%, both knew and believed in the real presence. 17% were unaware of the Church’s teachings, yet believed. 33% were unaware and did not believe, while the remaining 17% knew the church’s teaching but did not believe. The question for each of us to ponder is, “Do I know what the church teaches, and what do I believe about Jesus presence in the Eucharist?”

Those of us unaware of the church’s teaching may want to consider doing some reading or studying to better understand why and what the Church teaches. If one is aware of the teaching but struggling to believe, perhaps some deeper study or an increase in prayer time may help. But the good news is this: Wherever we may be on this pie chart, Jesus is ready to meet us at that point and accompany us to the next level.

If you haven’t had the chance to read Father Mario’s bulletin letter from last weekend, I invite you to look it up on the CTK website. Explaining the “Bread of Life Discourse,” he captured the essence of what Eucharist means. God doesn’t desire a nice, ordinary life for us. Quoting Father Mario, God wants us to have, “the fullness of life, the very life of God.” The Blessed Sacrament, the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, truly present in the Eucharist, is the greatest of all the gifts that Christ has bestowed on each of us. It is our food for the journey, our spiritual nourishment for our everyday life. Jesus invites each of us to take and eat of Him in the Eucharist, and live eternally with Him in heaven.

Deacon John Ashmore

Mission Statement: To Live and to Love in Christ
1101 Keaveny Court Walnut Creek, California 94597 USA
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