Corpus Christi / 3 June 2018 At Sunday June 3rd Mass at 11:30 am
•• Exodus 24:3-8 •• Psalm 116 •• Hebrews 9:11-15 •• + Mark 14:12-16, 22-26 ••
Title: Search. Study. Sacrifice (Corpus Christi)
[__01__] This is Corpus Christi Sunday. Jesus sends his disciples to prepare for the Passover, which is really a preparation for Last Supper and Holy Communion. I’d like reflect on the way in which the disciples – and you and I are called by Christ to a…
► continuous [SEARCH]
► continuous [STUDY] …and by “study” I don’t simply mean book-academic study at the library.
And ► continuous [SACRIFICE] by our Communion with Christ and each other.
SEARCH. STUDY. SACRIFICE.
[__02__] What is the
► [SEARCH] of the disciples?
Jesus sends them to SEARCH the city, asking “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”
How do they find this room? They search not for an address – the Manor, Mayfair Farms or some random restaurant. He sends them to a person. He said you will meet “a man carrying a water jar.” In communities ancient and modern where water must be drawn out of a well and carried home, typically the division of labor is that women would carry water. To see a man, a male, carrying water indicates someone doing an unusual service, an uncommon service.
Do you and I fit that description of unusual, uncommon service? If the disciples were sent out with DNA or bloodhounds to find someone with the virtue of hospitality, would they find me? you? We have all taken both routes toward or away from hospitality.
Jesus is emphasizing that Holy Communion begins with a continuous SEARCH for an uncommon, unusual servant, not just the man with the water, but the person of Jesus Christ.
[__03__] The disciples – you and I are also called to ► [STUDY].
What do I mean by ► [STUDY]?
You are saying to yourselves – he wants me to “study” – it’s almost the 1st day of summer! Or …maybe you say that study is not for you (or me) because we’re not officially enrolled or getting academic report cards or transcripts
And yet… God is continuously searching us and studying us. Prayer is our continuous study.
Psalm 139: “O, Lord you search me and you know me, you know when I sit and when I stand; you understand my thoughts from afar.” (Psalm 139:1-2)
Prayer and reflecting on God’s love and mercy is a type of studying. Is this ► [STUDY] meaningful to you? Me? Do I want to be known?
Coming to Sunday Mass is a moment of ► [STUDY] and contemplation.
Knowing that the Lord searches us and studies us, we allow ourselves to be known by him and to be known by others.
Loving another person is also a call to ► [STUDY] in our relationships: marriage, family to know and to be known.
Isn’t it true that – for all couples here, all married couples here, all families here – engaged couples – there is a paradox?
The paradox is that in order to
talk with someone, we also have to be comfortable being silent with the person or experiencing the silence of another person.
The paradox of ►[STUDY] or contemplation in a relationship. We know each other not only by what we say and do, but also by how we are …and how we are silent.
Also, we do we not ►[STUDY] and continuously learn from our loved ones? Loving someone does not mean that we have him or her figured out, but that we are open to the mystery of the person.
Jesus is also calling us to continuous ► [STUDY] to grow closer to Him, our Daily Bread.
[__04__] In the sacrament of Holy Communion / Holy Eucharist, Jesus gives us a continuous ►[SACRIFICE].
What is he talking about, a continuous sacrifice? IN the words of the Eucharistic Prayer, the priest says, “This is my body given up for you” – in present tense, here and now, continuing. And, we are called – all of us to make continuous sacrifices for each other.
And, Jesus is sustaining us by leaving Holy Communion for he sacrifices himself every day on the altar at every Mass. You may say..Ok, that’s not really not possible.
But, isn’t it true that continuity of ►[SACRIFICE] changes the world .. changed our hearts …and reminded us that our own gifts of love connect to the Body of Christ?
Such continuity and connection = Memorial Day last week…
Jesus is also handing down his sacrifice to his disciples as we hand it down to our children and families and friends.
This continuity can be stunning.
[__05__] I was stunned. When I was a freshman in college/university, our coach thought it would be a good idea if all every player of you would go to the local hospital medical center and donate blood. I understood his “suggestion” (order?) but I was also stunned/terrified, having never done this before.
Fortunately, no one knew that I felt scared … nor did I pass out. They made me have the cookies and juice.
The coach thought it would be a profound gift that would be good not only for the community but for us as well. We might get in the newspaper, good publicity. I think there was a photo in the newspaper of the team captain and his arm. But, the impression on me was not the photography of the moment but the biography of the messenger. Our coach was the messenger.
He was trying to connect the sacrificial gifts he received and one we were asked to make.
While inviting us to get to the blood bank, he told us how as a young boy, he had been in a fire and had needed many blood transfusions to survive. It was a miracle that he survived. To this day, if I were to give blood or see someone giving blood, I recall his biography, his message.
So, in this regard, I see a connection between my sacrifice (our team sacrifice) and the sacrifice of others of many years before for him, when he was a young boy hanging on for life in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.Jesus is helping us to hang on for life – through our search, through our study, and through his sacrifice, his body sacrificed and risen for us, our Communion. [__fin__]