Corpus Christi Homily
The other day, I was speaking with my sister and we got reminiscing about our younger years. What life was like when we were kids and young adults, living at home, with our parents. Two things that I have never forgotten and hopefully never will and still miss today. 1. The smell of my mother baking bread… how when I came home from school, I want to cut the bread but she would always say… “no, it’s too hot… it has to cool…” but she always made rolls as well and so she would say, “have a roll instead…” It was routine. It was taken for granted.
That leads to the second thing that I miss: were the people that used to come and go at our home. Relatives, friends, always stopping by… no warning, no phone calls, no invites. People would show up and my mother would always make a pot of tea and offer something to eat… even if it were a slice of bread and some cheese or homemade jam. In many of homes, this was a welcomed routine… also… taken for granted.
Now people are so busy that we now have to call to come visit. But as well, in this day and age, simple luncheons are all but gone. People today have more strict diets; people have various allergies and many times, people are in a rush. Social visits, from what I can see, have changed… especially today in our current climate: we’re busy; we get distracted by so many things, (by our phones). As well we are confined by “who’s in our bubble,” “social distancing,” “follow the arrows,” and so on. That freedom we had is gone… at least for now. But we remember that life was not like that 3 months ago.
That is why it is good to remember. Moses makes this claim in the first reading when he reminds the Israelite’s how they ‘wandered and waited for forty years in the desert… how God fed them with food… manna. Moses is reminding them what God did for them. Yes it is good for us to remember what our lives were like, before the pandemic the freedom we took for granted. Rushing into the grocery store or the mall or whenever we wanted; getting our hair cut; coming to church with many others and sitting where we wanted to (receiving Eucharist each week or daily basis); going to our favourite restaurant for dinner or lunch; visiting our loved ones confined to nursing homes or hospitals; crossing the borders that surround us to visit relatives or take trips to other countries for holidays and for business.
“When will we return to normal?” How many times this question has been asked or prayed? Who knows when it comes to life? Regardless, God is always with us. And despite our current limitations, it is important to realize that like the Eucharist, Life is a gift that cannot be fully explained or contained; it explains and contains us. In the Gospel, Jesus describes himself as “the living Bread that came down from heaven.” This is the same living bread, the risen Christ within us. This is the Solemnity of The Body of Christ which calls us to remember that the Life Jesus offers us by eating his Body is an even greater gift. Although we have been hungering 3 months for this gift, look what we have witnessed… the Living Bread of Jesus being lived out:
Our scientist working so hard for a vaccine; political leadership keeping us up to date with the current situation; programs and monies available to those who need it the most; after the horrible riots, people waking up early in the morning, coming out, quietly, to clean up the mess and damage caused by vandals; people checking on each other- either a phone call or dropping of food items; family members and friends who stand outside nursing home and hospital windows to visit with loved ones; parishioners who continue to support the financial needs of our parish; groups who are still meeting by ‘zoom’ look at the teachers and administrators going above and beyond to ensure that the Grad Class of 2020 receive some sort of recognition in these difficult times; those who contributed monies for our bursaries; those on our pandemic committee who have worked so hard to ensure that we could open for limited numbers for mass… and the list could go on and on. This is the Living Bread that Jesus speaks of! This is Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ in action!
My dear friends, the day will surely come when green/red tape, arrows on the floor, waiting in line, answering questions, social distancing will become but a memory… a memory that we will not forget. Until then, on this feast of The Body of Christ, we remember and we pray that one day soon we will see the Eucharist for what it is- love in the extreme – and be changed into that love ourselves. AMEN.