Monday, June 26, 2006


On the night before He died, Our Blessed Lord instituted the "New Pasch." Jesus Himself is the Paschal Lamb Who is sacrificed "for us men and for our salvation." Just as the Old Covenant was a preparation for the New Covenant, Pope John Paul II taught us that the "Old Pasch" prefigures the “New Pasch.”

At the Last Supper, Our Divine Savior said to the Apostles: "I have greatly desired to eat THIS PASSOVER with you before I suffer" (Luke 22:15). "This Passover" refers to this new Passover that He was about to offer up to the Father. Jesus Christ establishes the New Covenant sealed in His Blood. The New Covenant is to replace by the Old Covenant. The Passover Banquet of the New Testament will take the place of the Passover Meal of the Old Testament. Jesus Christ Himself is the "Lamb without blemish." He is the "Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world." The “New Covenant” is the Church, the Holy, Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

When Our Savior said: "This is my Body; this is my Blood," He offered, in an un-bloody manner, the same sacrifice that He would offer on the Cross of Calvary in a bloody manner. The "Old Pasch" memorialized the deliverance of the Israelites. The "New Pasch," the Eucharist, is the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Calvary. Thus, the new Compendium of the Universal Catechism teaches: “The Sacrifice of the Cross and the Sacrifice of the Eucharist are one and the same Sacrifice”(#280).

Our Lord Jesus redeemed mankind from the bondage to Satan, the slavery to sin and the punishment of death, eternal death. The Roman Catholic Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ, is the New Israel, the New People of God.

St. Thomas Aquinas says:"(The Eucharist) has the nature of a sacrifice inasmuch as it is offered up; It has the nature of a sacrament inasmuch as it is received." In offering Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Our Lord is both Priest and Victim. The Compendium affirms this clearly: “The Priest and the Victim are the same; only the manner of offering is different: in a bloody manner on the Cross, in an un-bloody manner in the Eucharist”(# 280).

In the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus is our Paschal Banquet. "At this table of the new King,” Saint Thomas continues, “the New Law's New Pasch puts an end to the old Pasch. The new displaces the old, reality the shadow and light, the darkness. Christ willed that what he did at the supper was to be repeated in His memory."

The wonders of the Eucharistic mystery never cease. The more we explore the mystery, the more we marvel at the holy mysteries. Jesus Christ, hidden in the Eucharistic, is the Tremendous Lover of Man. Humbly, we repeat the words of the Centurion; "Lord! I am not worthy that thou should come under my roof. But only say the word and my soul shall be healed" (Matthew 8:8). God has become Man. The God/Man, Jesus Christ Our Lord, is our Paschal Banquet. Praised be Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

Monday, June 19, 2006


At the conclusion of last week’s article, we saw that in the Lauda Sion Saint Thomas referred to the Old Pasch and the New Pasch. Let us examine briefly what the Angelic Doctor meant by this distinction.

Moses stood before Pharaoh and said: "Thus says the Lord, `Let my people go so that they may worship me!’” Repeatedly, Moses made this demand of the Pharaoh. Yet, Pharaoh remained obstinate. God then visited nine plagues upon the Egyptians. These severe punishments, however, did not soften the hardness of the Pharaoh's heart. Stubbornly, he refused to comply with God's command. Moses then made his final appeal. If the Pharaoh continued to disobey God, the firstborn of every Egyptian family would be struck dead from the Pharaoh to the first-born of the least slave girl. The animals would be struck as well. Obstinately, Pharaoh again refused! In punishment, God sent the angel of death upon the Egyptians! God spared the Israelites, His Chosen People, from this scourge.

God then instituted the Passover Meal as the memorial of His deliverance of the Israelites from bondage to the Egyptians. To observe this yearly Pasch, every family was to obtain a year-old lamb, without blemish. They were to slaughter it and spread some of its blood on the doorposts of every house where the lamb was eaten. "This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you shall eat like those who are in flight. It is the Passover of the Lord. For on this night, I will go through Egypt, striking down every firstborn of the land, both man and beast, and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt, I, the Lord! But the blood will mark the houses where you are. Seeing the blood, I will pass over you; thus, when I strike the land of Egypt, no destructive blow will come upon you" (Exodus 12:11-13).
This was the Passover Meal of the Old Covenant, the Old Pasch to which Saint Thomas referred. The word Pasch itself means passage. Thus, the Passover Meal commemorated the, "passage" of the Israelites from bondage to Pharaoh and slavery to the Egyptians. The "Old Pasch" memorialized the night that God delivered the Israelites from the punishment exacted by the angel of death.

The Old Pasch also symbolizes man’s passage or deliverance from his bondage to Satan and his slavery to sin. God delivered the Israelites through the intercession of Moses. This deliverance foreshadowed the Father’s eternal plan for man’s redemption.

The Father’s merciful plan comes to fruition in Jesus Christ, Our Lord. By His passion, death and resurrection, He delivered us from the bondage to Satan, the slavery to sin, and the dreadful punishment of eternal death. Praised be Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of Man. Next week, we will examine the New Pasch.

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

Monday, June 12, 2006


On Thursday, June 15th the ancient liturgy celebrated the magnificent feast of Corpus Christi. This feast serves as a liturgical reminder that the Presence of Our Lord Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is “Real” and not merely symbolic. Also, the Church reminds us that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Himself that Our Lord offered up to the Heavenly Father on the Cross of Calvary.

The Sequence of today’s Mass is the Lauda Sion, by St. Thomas Aquinas. It is a masterpiece of Eucharistic doctrine and devotion. I will present to you a series of articles on this sequence to commemorate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Our Lord.

Pope John XXIII, in his Encyclical Mater et Magistra, teaches us that the Church as Mother and Teacher. "The Church is the Mother and Teacher of all nations. She was such in the mind of her Founder, Jesus Christ. The Church holds the world in an embrace of love. Men in every age should find in her their ultimate completeness in a higher order of living and their ultimate salvation. She is the `pillar and the bulwark of truth.'" Man's "ultimate salvation," of course, is eternal happiness with God in Heaven.

In every age, the Roman Catholic Church gives witness to Jesus and His redemptive death on the Cross of Calvary. "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes," Jesus commanded the Apostles, "and you will give witness to Me in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

Through the liturgy of the Mass, the Church prays what she believes. The Mass Orations, the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharistic Prayers are chock full of doctrinal and moral truths. The Feast of Corpus Christi is an excellent example of the Catholic Church teaching us through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The Feast of Corpus Christi originated in Belgium in the thirteenth century. In 1264, Pope Urban IV extended the celebration to the Universal Church. He commissioned the Dominican, Thomas Aquinas to write the liturgical office for the feast. Saint Thomas composed the Lauda Sion, Pange Lingua, Panis Angelicus and the Verbum Supernum. These hymns are masterpieces of Eucharistic doctrine and adoration. Our choir sings these hymns beautifully for our edification. The Lauda Sion is the Sequence of the Mass of Corpus Christi.

Drawing from the writings of St. Augustine, the Second Vatican Council refers to the Eucharist as the Paschal Banquet. In the Lauda Sion, Saint Thomas writes: "At this table of the new King, the new law's new Pasch puts an end to the old Pasch. The new displaces the old, reality the shadow and light the darkness." What does St. Thomas mean by the "old Pasch" and the "new Pasch?" What is the Paschal Banquet? We find the answers in both in sacred Scripture and sacred tradition. In next week’s article we will continue our reflections on the Lauda Sion and the profound Eucharistic mysteries it explores.

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Today is the Feast of the Blessed Trinity. As usual, the Introit sets the tone of the Mass: ”Blessed be the Holy Trinity and undivided Unity. We will give Him glory because He has shown mercy to us.” Every day we offer all of our prayers, Masses and Sacraments: “In the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Constantly we Catholics invoke and praise the Most Blessed Trinity.
In the Collect of the Mass, confessing the true Faith, we acknowledge the glory of the Trinity. We adore the Triune God beseeching Him to defend us “against all adversity.”
Saint Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, expresses his wonder and praise: “O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God.” Filled with amazement, Saint Paul searches for words to describe the unfathomable Trinitarian mystery: “Of Him (the Father), and by Him (the Son) and in Him (the Holy Spirit) are all things.”
In the Gospel we read the principal Scripture passage which asserts the Three Divine Persons of the Trinity: “Go...baptize in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them whatsoever I have commanded you.”
For centuries, the Fathers, Doctors and Theologians of the Church have pondered this incomprehensible mystery. In the final analysis, man’s attempt at understanding must yield to faith. We must believe that which Jesus has revealed for He is the Son of God. He can neither deceive nor be deceived.
Trinity Sunday reminds us of God’s splendor and majesty. What are we in comparison to God? Today, when sins of pride abound, we must reflect upon the Blessed Trinity as an antidote to our pride. The pagan culture has its many false gods and their accompanying vices. It worships the false god of pop psychology, which has fed man's pride with inordinate notions of "self-esteem." In days of faith, Catholic schools taught students to know, love and serve God. Now we are immersed in our own ego. "Look at how great I am. I can be anyone or do anything I want. I am number one!" We become our own little gods.
Scripture remind us in the Books of Proverbs and Psalms that God hates pride and hears the humble. "Learn of me," Jesus said, "for I am gentle and humble of heart" (Matthew 11: 29). If we are to be like the Lord, true self-esteem must be grounded in humility and not in pride.
Saint Thomas Aquinas say that a well-ordered self-esteem humbly recalls what God has done for us. The Father, the First Person of the Blessed Trinity, has created us. He destined us for eternal life as His adopted sons. When man strayed from God by sin, the Father sent the Son to be our Redeemer. Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. After dying on the Cross and rising from the dead, the Son sent the Holy Spirit. He is the Third person of the Blessed Trinity, the Spirit of Truth, who sanctifies us and maintains the Catholic Church in truth and love.
Saint John says: "See what love the Father has bestowed on us in letting us be called children of God! Yes! That is what we are" (1John 3: 1)! Of ourselves, we are nothing. But in God's love, we have the infinite worth of having become sons of God. See how God loves us!
In the Communion Prayer of today’s Mass we humbly pray: “Bless the God of Heaven and before all the living we will praise Him because He has shown His mercy to us.”
On this Trinity Sunday, let us fall on our knees in adoration with Our Blessed Mother, the Angels, Archangels, and the whole heavenly host. Let us worship the One True God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. SANCTUS! SANCTUS! SANCTUS! Lord God of power and might. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory! Amen!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.