Sunday, June 2, 2013

Corpus Christi (2013-06-02)

This is my homily, Corpus Christi  Sunday  June 2 2013, Pentecost.   I am a Catholic chaplain at  Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU, Teaneck),   FDU Newman Catholic Association,  New Jersey City University (NJCU) in Jersey City.  At FDU, Sunday Evening Mass resumes,  August 25, 2013 @ 5:00 pm at  FDU Chapel, 842 River Road, Teaneck. ***

[__01__]    This is Corpus Christi Sunday. In our Gospel, we read about the crowd of 5 thousand-plus   for whom our Savior multiplies the loaves and fishes.

The Good News is the nourishment they receive. The Good News is also the location, the venue, the place.

[__02__]      Sometimes, a certain place is preferable – if not required – for nourishment.

In the Gospel, we read about a large gathering – the 5,000 --  away from home, away from town. 

For this reason, the Twelve Apostles came to Jesus, suggesting this new traffic pattern,

Dismiss the crowd so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms and find lodging and provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.”  (Luke 9:11-17)
The Twelve believe that a different place is required. The current venue is impractical.

[__03__]       Location would be significant if we were making camp for the night, away from home. Our guides – or our group would seek a safe place, safety for the campfire, safety from animals – safety of the water supply.

In such a scenario, a location is also chosen for the benefit of all, to keep the team, the family, the group, together.

[__04__]         This unityis both Good News and challenging news.

Jesus does not accept the suggested traffic pattern, choosing rather to keep the crowd together.  We might, then, say he is keeping all of his disciples together, his Church-community together.  In a relationship.

Do not dismiss the crowd, Jesus says.

[__05__]         Who is my crowd?  Who is your crowd?  This could be our family, our marriage, our extended family, important friendships.

[__06__]          Our lifetime commitments of marriage and family, for example, or our life’s vocation/work, can bring us great peace.

This invite us to maintain a certain stability and focus. This stability enables us to be more productive, happy…

On the other hand, every commitment can bring days if not years – or decades – of hardship.

We might wish for dismissal. Dismissal would be logical .

Dismissal might be equated with “class dismissed” and “summer vacation”.

Dismissal would give us independence, the ability to choose a new location, to go into town, and find lodging and food for ourselves, right?

[__07__]      The logical response to our emptiness, or our fear, or our pride is to change location.

Relocate. This was the logical and immediate response of the Twelve Apostles, surrounded by 5,000 plus physically hungry followers.

Check out their Twitter feed  – “OMG we’re empty here. Send them away to be filled / fulfilled.”

[__08__]          Relocate Go to a new place. This was the logical and immediate response of the Twelve Apostles, surrounded by a crowd that had arrested and imprisoned Jesus.

No more updates. Their ministry was appearing void, empty. They dismiss – excuse – themselves. Nearly all of them relocate, go elsewhere.

[__09__]           Presented with a challenge, crisis, emptiness, we may be tempted to relocate, to seek fulfillment elsewhere, outside of our current vocation, life, family commitments.

In this particular miracle, in this particular example of nourishment, Jesus invites us to take our place at his side – to remain at his site – to be nourished in the current location by the food, the gifts, the talents which he can multiply, creating an abundance, given for the many, and given for all.   [__fin__]       

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