Homily: Body and Blood of Christ
Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. http://usccb.org/bible/readings/062319.cfm
Become what you receive
As we celebrate The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ- The Eucharist- Holy Communion… I suggest that communion is both a noun and a verb.
Yes, we are privileged to receive the Eucharist– Holy Communion, but we are called to become a people in communion as well… you see Divine Communion begets human communion.
Over the last several weeks we have been celebrating being in communion in our scriptures to prepare us for today.
The communion of Jesus with his people until the end of time, the communion of the Holy Spirit descending at Pentecost to abide within and among us, the Divine Communion of love in the Holy Trinity, and now, Eucharistic Communion to sustain us for the work of human communion.
There are many who will try to explain the Divine Mystery of the Eucharist… but with my pea sized brain and inadequate vocabulary I am not so fool hearty, but I will tell you what I do know about Eucharist.
The Eucharist, Holy Communion is not a head thing… and is not something to be figured out… for it to be most meaningful in our lives it’s a heart thing to be experienced and lived.
It’s not magic, it’s a… faith steeped mystery…
It’s not a thing- a host- a piece of bread… it’s a Person- The Person
of Jesus Christ.
Our scriptures today give us insight not only to the Divine Communion but also into the work of human communion.
Abram receives the bread and wine from Melchizedek the priest and offers a tenth of everything he has in thanksgiving.
What is it that we offer when we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus? I’m not talking of a tithe of our material resources… I’m asking about the tithe of our heart, our will, and our being.
Paul, to the divided community in Corinth, lays out the Eucharist as an instrument of unity through receiving from the one loaf and one cup in the name of Jesus Christ.
How do we allow the divided communities in which we live to benefit from our receiving of the Eucharist? Do we share in the one bread and one cup here… and then… walk out the doors and practice a life separated from people… or separated from some people claiming superiority for ourselves and passively ignoring or intentionally marginalizing others… or does the Eucharist move us to see all others as sisters and brothers in Christ?
The feeding of the 5,000 shows us how human communion flows from Divine Communion.
The Apostles want to dismiss the crowd because the challenge to feed 5000 people is, in their estimate, too great and too personally costly. Jesus says to them words that need to resonate with us when we want to deflect challenges that are too great…He says… what must have been chilling words to the Apostles… “Give them some food yourselves.” In essence- do it yourself.
The Apostles identified the problem and Jesus does not allow the Apostles to turf the need elsewhere.
So the Apostles take up the task and quickly realize what they already knew… this challenge is more than they can handle…but this time… when they realized that… they include Jesus in the solution.
How many times do we have challenges that are over our head and we try to go it alone or turf it elsewhere or simply ignore it? The lesson here is that we need to invite Jesus into our impossible tasks.
The Gospel closes with “They all ate and were satisfied. And when the leftover fragments were picked up, they filled twelve wicker baskets.”
What the Apostles could not do alone, with Jesus’ help… was done with abundance. God’s abundant love bridged the gaps in this human community… just like he can do in ours if we invite him in and work with him.
We are challenged as a Christian people to become what we receive. We receive the Body of Christ… and we are to become the Body of Christ.
Heed the Mass dismissal today… Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.
Go… and Become what you have received… The Body of Christ.