Dear Friends, we come to this wonderful feast in our Church Year that reminds us that our worship of the Body of Christ only begins at the altars of our churches–we must indeed, carry it into our world and to all of God’s people to fulfill the mission of Jesus, the Christ, our brother and friend!
Have peace and know that you are loved–Pastor Kathy
Please always reach out if I can help in any way of even if you would just like to chat. 507-429-3616 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Loving God fed the people with the finest wheat and honey; their hunger was satisfied.
Let Us Pray
Jesus, you are the Christ—we praise you living among us. We are especially grateful today as we ponder your presence among us in the bread and wine of the Eucharist—we offer our love to you, in God who in three persons has first loved us. May we always offer ourselves to our sisters and brothers—our lives poured out in loving service for the kindom, where you live among us as Source of All Being, Eternal Word and Holy Spirit, forever and ever, Amen.
- Exodus 24: 3-8
- Hebrews 9: 11-15
- Mark 14: 12-16, 22-26
My friends, this has been a very busy, involved week for me—so much so that it took me until Saturday morning to begin this homily for us to consider. Most of you who regularly read my homilies know that I have been quite involved with our Honduran family of four here in Minnesota and specifically, Winona, seeking asylum in our country, running from violence in their own country. Personally, I can’t imagine what it must be like to be in flight with a young family, sleeping wherever you can find a place to lie down, constantly worrying for your personal safety. The image of another young family on the way to Egypt comes to mind as well.
As sponsors for our family, Robert and I have the ultimate responsibility for them until they can be reasonably secure on their own and even though we have the backing of a whole organization of wonderful volunteers; we do ultimately feel this responsibility and take it very seriously.
And beyond this focused responsibility for one family, Robert and I, along with a small group in Winona, see a larger view too—that of continuing this most important work for other families going forward. With that in mind, we and this smaller group are looking at purchasing a large house that might eventually serve people in staggered time frames seeking asylum within our country. At present all we can offer is short stays here and there without the stability to actually settle in.
One thinks about the stories of immigrants coming here in other times—many of our forebears when we think about it, and so, why not now? Is the plight of present day immigrants any less important?
These are some thoughts on my heart, as we come to Corpus Christi Sunday, the last Sunday of Easter time before we return once again, to Ordinary Time. And when we think of what this Sunday means, The Body of Christ, how appropriate it seems that we would focus on families fleeing oppression and danger.
The trouble, at times, with Christians from ordinary, everyday folks like us to the very hierarchy of our Church, is that we often have too small of a view. We concentrate on the “Body of Christ” upon the altar—which we should, but we should never stop there. The “Body of Christ,” as our brother Jesus always saw it in his earthly life, was—all of us, and unless we can see that bigger view, then we don’t truly do justice to all that Jesus intended in leaving us this wonderful, tangible reminder, on our altars, of how we must extend this gift by becoming that “bread” for our world.
The chosen readings for today’s liturgy don’t give us much except to show us the history of the People of God in understanding their relationship to their God—an extension really of animal sacrifice that would be atonement for their past failings and once again make them “worthy” before their God. Even the writer to the Hebrews is stuck in “atonement” for sins that only a perfect “sacrifice” like Jesus could make up for. This, in the end, doesn’t make our God very appealing.
Mark comes closest perhaps to what may have been in Jesus’ heart when he says, “This is my blood, the blood of the Covenant, which will be poured out on behalf of many.” And again, we can’t read this for its literal message, but see an inclusive message that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection was, on behalf of all of us.
God was always about showing us how much we are loved and this is made clear in the sending of Jesus so that we humans could understand life, in all its beauty. We really do our loving God an injustice when we make “God,” so small, saying in effect that Jesus came to redeem us from an angry despot in the heavens.
Corpus Christi Sunday is all about seeing our world and its people as God does. We, each of us, are a part of God’s great love and it would behoove us to more regularly look at our world and its people in this way.
Three years ago in my homily for this day, I included the words of Robert Kennedy for our consideration and they seem just as relevant today.
“Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, they send forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, these ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance!”
My friends, Robert Kennedy’s words challenge us today anew in our Christian walk, on this Sunday when we celebrate the Body of Christ! Whether it be the work of immigration reform, or challenging the deep-seeded racism, or sexism in our country, or justice for the LGBTQ community, and so on—all of this and more calls forth the best from each of us—and our endeavors in regard to any, and all of these issues make this feast of Corpus Christi—the Body of Christ worth celebrating! We only begin at the altars of our physical churches—the real “worship” of the “Body” happens in the world! Amen? Amen!
Prayers of the Faithful:
- Jesus, thank you for the gift of the Eucharist, a tangible way to have you close, we pray—Response: “Jesus, bread of life, hear us.”
- O God, let peace reign in our hearts and give us the strength and grace to be people of peace—help all world governments to strive for peace first in all conflicts, especially for a peaceful end to fighting anywhere in our world, we pray—Response: “Jesus, bread of life, hear us.”
- Jesus, you are present to us in the bread and the wine—help us to always recognize your body in the world of people around us, we pray—Response: “Jesus, bread of life, hear us.”
- Jesus, in your loving Spirit let us as members of this community, All Are One, always find room at our table for all your people, we pray—Response: “Jesus, bread of life, hear us.”
- Loving Creator, Savior, Spirit—give us your patience, your strength, your love for our world, we pray—Response: “Jesus, bread of life, hear us.”
- Loving Jesus, give each person in your body, the Church, what they most need today, we pray—Response: “Jesus, bread of life, hear us.”
7.Loving Jesus, be with all families who have lost loved ones this week, from Covid and all other causes—give each one your peace, and help them to find their way through their grief, we pray—Response: “Jesus, bread of life, hear us.”
8. In thanksgiving to our God for the blessings of 13 years of ministry for our parish, All Are One, we pray—Response: “Jesus, bread of life, hear us.”
***Let us pray for the silent petitions on our hearts—pause, we pray, then response
Let Us Pray
O good and loving God, made manifest so wonderfully and beautifully in Jesus, our Savior, the One who shows us “the way,” and our Friend, you know what we need before we ask—do give us what we most need today! Help us to be aware anew today through this beautiful feast of Corpus Christi of how much you love us and want to be close—to be part of our very beings in order that we can then be transformed into You. You are our Creator, our Savior, and our Spirit Friend—living and loving us forever and ever—AMEN.
Let Us Pray—Once again, we can’t be together in person, at the altar, but we will be in just two more weeks! In the meantime, let us remember that Jesus is always with us.
Prayer of Communion
Jesus, our Brother—we thank you for your presence among us. Guide us to always be willing to share your life with others. We ask this in your loving name, Amen.