Father Joseph Illo, pastor of Star of the Sea parish in San Francisco, gave a nine-
minute homily
on Sunday, June 11.

“We celebrate Corpus Christi again as we did on Thursday. Corpus Christi is best celebrated on Thursday because the Holy Eucharist was given to us on Holy Thursday. On that day we processed inside the church behind locked doors. But now after Pentecost the Lord asks us to take Him into the streets. To proclaim that everyone in San Francisco needs Jesus.

“Archbishop emeritus of Seattle Sartain gave a talk yesterday at the Eucharistic Congress at the cathedral on anamnesis, the Greek word for remembering. That’s the word in the Gospel, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” The apostle reported that Jesus said, “This is my body; do this in remembrance of me.”

“How do we do this? Simply by going to Mass, by Adoration, by having devotion to the Holy Eucharist.

J.R.R. Tolkien author of The Lord of the Rings, lived a hard life, but he was a devout Catholic, and so his faith saved him. He fought in the First World War. Most of his friends died in the trenches in Flanders and France. He came back to England. He had been raised by a widowed mother. They lived in penury. He said, ‘Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing on earth, the Blessed Sacrament. There you will find romance, glory, honor, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth.’

“We processed in the busy streets of San Francisco. People looked out their car windows. After the 9:30 Mass, a woman with her husband was walking past a Chinese grocery store with all the fruits out there. She looked up at the Eucharist and made the Sign of the Cross. Suddenly Jesus is in front of her and she knows that.”