RC Women Priests Celebrating the Body and Blood of Christ: Sunday 5/29/16

Here are three homiletic reflections on today’s celebration of The Body and Blood of Christ. There is nothing more central to our faith  than understanding the totality of the being of Christ-first the incarnate embodiment, totally divine and totally human of the historic Jesus who gave himself away in every way possible, body, soul and mind to bring the reign of God among us- really present in the bread and wine of the Eucharist and present at the table and all around the table where all are invited to partake;  and that of the risen and  living Christ down through the ages, living in us and in every face we see struggling in poverty, in illness, in war and on the margins;  and the sacrament of Body of Christ that is the church, that is each one of us.  We thank God for the complete being of Jesus, the Christ, and for the breaking and pouring out of the body and blood that draws us together in one body. The excerpted reflections are by Rev. Janet Blake, ARCWP of Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida and Rev. Dr. Beverly Bingle of The Holy Spirit Catholic Community in Toledo, Ohio and myself, Rev. Dr. Judy Lee, of The Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community in Fort Myers, Florida reflecting on the sermon of Rev. William Colon at the Church of the Good Samaritan today.

From Rev. Janet Blake, and Rev. Sally Brochu (Liturgy)

LITURGY OF THE WORD
First Reading: Genesis 14: 18-20                                                                                                                                     Responsorial Response – Psalm 110 (Adaptation by Nan Merrill)                                                                                                                                                     

The Beloved says to all who will hear,
“Come walk with Me.
Let us give birth to a new Earth!”
R: Come! Feast on the Bread of Life.”

For the Spirit is the One who makes all things new,

and ever awaits our “yes” to the Dance!

Those who offer themselves freely, without reserve,

are guided through life’s rough paths.

R: Come! Feast on the Bread of Life.”

Light beckons to light; divine dignity adorns all in holy array.

The Promise holds true forever, to all generations!

“As companions of the Most High,

Come! Claim your home in the Universal Heart!”

R: Come! Feast on the Bread of Life.”

You, O Divine Breath, dwell within our hearts;

with unconditional Love, You assuage our fears.

You call us to holiness, to justice, and integrity,

to free those bound by oppression,

to bring light where ignorance and darkness dwell.

Come! Drink from the streams of Living Water.

Come! Feast on the Bread of Life.

R: Come! Feast on the Bread of Life.”

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia

Gospel: Luke 9: 11-17
Reader: The good news of Jesus, the Christ!
ALL: Glory and praise to you, Jesus, the Christ!


HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI – Year C (2016)

Janet Blakeley ARCWP

Gospel: Luke 9:11-17

(Feeding the 5,000 men at Tabgah)

“This has to have been one of the favorite Jesus stories ever told.    It must have been recounted over and over amongst the early Christians because it’s the kind of story people relish telling, and children love to be amazed by.   Under any circumstances, somebody producing 5,000 fish tacos is amazing.

The environment sets up the story.   We’re at an out-of-the-way place called Tabgah at the northern end of the Sea of Galilee.   The weather is like ours of the last week – sunny with blue skies, sparkling blue water, a green hillside that slopes down to the shore.   A perfect place for a picnic!   We know that what happened here was remembered because 300 years later  people built a church on this spot which is still standing.   Its floor is typical mosaic of the era – with a large round picture formed in the middle of the floor.   It shows a basket filled to the top with round flat breads and a dried fish on either side.   (We have a small replica of that mosaic on the altar if you care to look at it.)

Today is the solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ.   Although the term, Body of Christ, may indicate the human body of Jesus, or his presence in the Eucharist, or the Church itself, or – in today’s theology the entire creation – today we honor it as the Eucharist and for that reason we have this Gospel showing Jesus feeding everyone.   We see that he likes to feed people as much as he likes to share meals with them.

Over time, people have suggested all manner of ways in which this “miracle of the loaves and fishes” might have come about – that people carried a bit of food with them and the real miracle is that they shared it.   Others have suggested that the women – that is the uncounted women and children! –  the women, true to form, had brought and prepared food for the 5,000 men.   We don’t know how this came about – but does it really matter?   Most important  is what we learn about Jesus.   Not only do we see an ordinary man acquainted with hunger and thirst, but Jesus as an infinite resource wanting to fill our needs – needs he identifies even before we do.   One who gives to the extreme.

This brings us to the Eucharistic meal in which Jesus feeds us with his very self.   In both Hebrew and Greek, the words “flesh and blood” do not refer to parts of a person’s body, but to the entire person, i.e., everything that a person is.   Incredible as it seems, Jesus gives us his entire being – which means we now (already!) share in his relationship with God the creator, we have his Spirit, we share in their relationships with one another – which means that even as we live in this moment, we are part of the Trinity!   We have wisdom, an endless capacity to love, the power to heal, the strength to endure pain, eternal life….   We already have all this and more because Jesus hasalready shared it with us.

Why is the world not thriving because of all that Jesus has given us and continues to give us?    Maybe that’s because we fail to acknowledge what we carry within us, fail to access what is there.   How many times have you heard someone say

“Oh Lord – Give me strength!”   He already has the strength.   Maybe the prayer should be “I know you have given me all that you are.   Help me to find your strength within me and to draw on it.”

“Help me to forgive.”   We already have his perfect forgiveness within us.   “Help me to want to forgive” or “Help me to draw on your forgiving nature until mine catches up.”

“God, we ask you to heal this person.”   We have his healing power within us as well.   What’s needed is some variation of “I believe.   Help my unbelief.”

The world is not thriving but hobbling along because we are hardly drawing on what Jesus has already given us in his Body.

Contemporary theology has taken the notion of the Body of Christ to include the entire universe from the Big Bang forward.   The concepts are scarcely within my understanding and vocabulary, but the god-life within me nudges me to think they are true and valuable.   Maybe one day we will be able to talk about them.   For today, let us stay with this thought:

Jesus, the Christ, has broken through like sunlight breaking through clouds, by acting through us to transform the world into a growing likeness of himself.   In praise and thanksgiving, let us take time to recognize where he has done that in us.”

From Rev. Dr. Beverly Bingle

“….The first century society that Jesus lived in
typically saw four different meanings in meals:
to support kinship,
to enforce boundaries,
to perpetuate social values,
and to gain honor.
And Jesus turned every one of them upside down.
He used meals to disrupt social values
and overturn cultural standards.
For example, Jesus used meals
to redefine who he considered his family.
When his mother and brothers called for him to come out to them,
Jesus said that his family
are the people who hear the word of God and keep it.
And Jesus used meals
to challenge exclusivism in his society and in his religion.
He put the needs of people
ahead of traditions about washing or fasting
or keeping Sabbath rules.
He ate with sinners.
He didn’t hesitate to call attention to a sinner
as serving God more faithfully
than a host with great social rank.
In short, when Jesus’ followers talked about him,
they remembered his subversive message of love
embodied in table fellowship.
________________________________________
Catholic theologian Joseph Martos
says that the question he asks,
and which most scholars do not ask,
is what experience is the evangelist trying to talk about
when language is being used metaphorically?
What experience of Jesus
is Luke trying to talk about in the feeding of the 5,000?
What experience of Jesus
were the gospel writers trying to talk about
with at least 18 different stories
of meals and eating and drinking—all that table fellowship?
When we look at Jesus’ teaching as a whole,
it makes perfect sense.
In his latest book
[Deconstructing Sacramental Theology and Reconstructing Catholic Ritual]
Dr. Martos says that the people of the time
who heard Jesus say
“This is my body” and “This is my blood”—
at least the ones who had followed him along the way—
they would have taken those sentences as metaphors.
My flesh is real food!
My blood is real drink!
I am real!
Chew on what I have said and done.
Drink in what I have taught.
________________________________________
The pattern in that letter of Paul we just heard
uses language that we still use at Mass—
took, blessed, broke, gave.
That pattern shows up in the multiplication of the loaves and fish.
It shows up in the Last Supper narratives.
It’s what Jesus did,
and what he tells us to do:
Take—you have life, so grab on and live it.
Bless—thank God for all that is, life and breath, wine and bread.
Break—put all you have into loving others, even if it breaks you…
until it does break you.
Give—give all out of love. Give your self away.
________________________________________
So we follow the way of Jesus.
We chew on his example,
drink in his teaching.
We forgive.
We include everyone.
We love one another.
We have potlucks.
And we break bread together.


Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m./Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue (Washington Church)

www.holyspirittoledo.org

Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor
Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH 43608-2006
419-727-1774

 From Rev. Dr. Judy Lee

Today  Pastor Judy Beaumont and Rvda. Marina Teresa Sanchez and Patricia Scorsone and I went to visit another neighborhood church, the Church of the Good Samaritan, Iglesia del Buen Samaritano in Fort Myers. The inspired and dynamic message by Rev. William Colon was “God loves the broken pieces”. His text was 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10-God’s power is made perfect in our weakness. When we are broken we are very close to God and it is God that shines through us. God is loving us deeply in our brokenness. It is often simply terrible to experience brokenness-be it physically, mentally and/or spiritually. Yet it is cause for thanksgiving, for God is reconstructing what has been deconstructed and broken for God’s glory-to build the kindom of God through us. Pastor Colon’s words were exactly what I have been feeling lately-broken physically and in many ways-facing uncertainty and perhaps another round of illness, hardly healed from the first rounds of illness.Broken, and yet knowing that God is using and will still use this broken person to serve God’s people who are also broken by the difficulties of lives of poverty, sickness of all sorts,difference, marginalization and all that can go wrong and become difficult in life . Pastor Colon did not preach specifically on the Body and Blood of Christ but he offered the Christ whose body and life was broken and poured out for us as the hand of God to reconstruct us when we are broken. After church all present were given bread to take home-this church is living the feeding of the many every Sunday, and also planning to do a feeding of the homeless on a weekly basis soon. The warmth and prayers of this congregation lingers with us still. A hymn that Diane Colon led us in stays with me:”Cubre me con su amor,O Dios”, “Cover Me with your Love oh, God.” May the Christ who gave it all away, poured out and broken, sustain us all in and as the Body of Christ today.   AMEN!

IMG_0236

ere, Gloria Laracuente, Titi Gloria, an Aunt of my dear departed friend and also a Pastor, Nancy Echevarria, listens raptly to the Gospel from the well worn Bible that she asked Rvda. Marina Teresa Sanchez to read and teach from. Her sister Miriam and I look on. Titi Gloria’s body was broken but her spirit was whole and so full of God’s love. She lived on for a year or so after this and left us in 2014, now she is completely whole with her loving God forever.  After my ordination in 2008 we visited Titi Gloria and she gave me her first well worn Bible,Santa Biblia, as she has gone through several in her lifetime.  I cherish it, and had it with me at Buen Samaritano today. We heal each other.  Pastora Judy Lee

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