-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at USCCB.org
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend at 4:00pm and 11:00am
Most sacred Body and Blood of Christ!
Many years ago I attended a house party. As I enter the house the hostess shouted "welcome" in glee. She was carrying a tray full of unidentified morsels. In her enthusiasm she picked up one of these morsels and approached me and said "father, open wide." I was not inclined to take this morsel of food. I said "what is it?" She said "trust me you'll like it."
I took it and as I sunk my teeth into it I realized I didn't like it and I asked "what is it?" She said "froi gras". Well I did not know what froi gras was at the time but I knew I didn't like it. I simply had to swallow.
On this feast of the body and blood of Christ I am afraid that too many of us Catholics are approaching the precious Eucharist with the same attitude. When we realize what it is - in its entirety- we do not like it but we swallow it whole. We move from our first holy Communion very anxious and welcoming to receive the body of Jesus. We welcome Jesus into our hearts.
However, as adults we are called to realize all that the Body of Christ proposes and contains and, quite frankly, we choke. Oh, we receive the sacred host, however we are full of reservations about all that it means for us. Many Catholics today have to swallow hard when it comes to the full embrace of the Body of Christ, the Church of Jesus Christ, that is present and signify in the holy Eucharist - His Body.
That is understandable. The difficulty in being people of faith is NOT believing in the miracle of the Eucharist and longing for the grace of salvation contained in the sacred species. The difficulty with being in communion is that we must live in love with the body of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. The body of Christ, the church, is a sacrament in and of itself however it is made up of people. As Charlie Brown is quoted to have said "I love humanity, it's people I can't stand." Too often the thorny, disagreeable, demanding, rule-making, mistake-making, sinful, Body of Christ, human-divine institution, is very distasteful to us. Many of us must swallow hard to remain in communion with the church.
We cannot claim to love the Eucharist and at the same time have reservations about the church. That's what makes it difficult. We are called to recognize in and through faith the presence of Jesus Christ in communion with the church as much and as readily as we recognize Jesus Christ present in the communion of the church we call the Eucharist.
This is the heartbreak of denominationalism in the body of Christ. People protest and leave the church - they do not leave Jesus, at least that's what they say. Quite frankly, it is easy to love Jesus it is almost impossible to be happy with his body, the church. However both are necessary for living a life full of salvation. How are you doing on swallowing the fullness of Communion along with the sacred body and blood of Jesus in the Eucharist?
Let me know.
Get into the ring! How this works...
This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily idea...my main focus for preaching this coming Sunday. What I am hoping for is a reaction from people in the pews. Does my "focus" connect with your daily life, faith, and experience? Or not? Either affirm the direction I am going in (by giving me an example from your life) or challenge me, ask for clarification! Questions are the best! Reaction rather than reflection is what I'm looking for here. Don't be afraid, get in the ring. Ole!