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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

This Week's Reflection from Fr. Bob Warren: The Solemnity of the Most Hold Body and Blood of Christ

Franciscan Friars
Franciscan Friars
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
(Luke 9:11-17)
Have you ever felt like a nobody? Invisible? Most people have. You have to attend a party where nobody knows you. You try to engage someone in conversation, and the person says, "Excuse me, I see a friend of mine," but they really don't. So you spend half the evening deciding what kind of cracker you want with your cheese. Or you pour out your heart to someone, and that person yawns and says, "What was that you were saying?"
You have little money in the bank. You are a nobody.
You live in a dreary one-room flat. You are a nobody.
You look in the mirror and what do you see? A nobody.
Many people have gone through that experience at some time in life. Some people know what it is like to be nobodies all the time. Some people in nursing homes, rocking away their lives, nobodies who nobody visits.
No one wants to be a nobody. So from time to time, people get desperate and do wild things to attract other's attention, just to let them know that they are not nobodies.
Then there are the anybodies. They are a step up, because they are noticed. They are functionaries. They perform a service. They fill slots. They are cooks, cab drivers, priests, teachers, dentists and secretaries. We notice them for what they do. However, that is often the only reason we notice them. But anybodies can be replaced at what they do. And when they are not around anymore, we replace them with anybody else.
And then, we have the somebodies. A somebody is someone I notice and like because I find that person unique. It is the 'you' in the somebody that is loved and admired. But you... you may be a bumbling, inefficient anybody, not too great in the slot you fill, but that does not matter to someone who loves you. You are special to that person. When people are not liked, not loved, never noticed, they usually end up feeling like a nobody, when all the time, they are a somebody.
This week we celebrate the Feast of the Body of Christ. What difference does this Feast make in our lives? What is the Eucharist for me? What does it mean to me?
First, get rid of the notion that the Eucharist we receive at every Mass is my solitary supper, an individualistic moment, just me and Jesus. Yes, there must be time for prayer, but it is not my private party.
As always, Paul said it best. He tells us although we are many, we are one body, for we all partake of the one bread... the Christ who comes to us in the Eucharist.
Is the same Christ who nourishes the nobodies, the anybodies, the same Christ who feeds the Lebanese, the Japanese, the African and the Cuban? Christ is not divided. Christ is not multiplied. There is one and the same Body, one and the same Christ, for all. No one is left outside.
Did you notice that in the gospel, when the disciples wanted Jesus to send the crowd away, He rebuked them and said, "Give them some food yourselves." At every Eucharist, we come together to do again what Jesus did on the night before He gave Himself away totally out of love. We come together to be fed, to be challenged, to be encouraged, to be lifted up, to be sent out refreshed, and recommitted to feed and nourish others with caring and concern. If we respond to Jesus' command, "Give them some food yourselves," we will be preaching the gospel and practicing what we preach.
As you walk down the aisle at Mass to receive the body of Christ, focus your thoughts, in a special way, on Who it is you will receive. When the Eucharistic Minister holds up the Sacred Host and says, "Body of Christ," you will receive the Living Body of Christ. You will receive the same Christ who was born in Bethlehem. You will receive the same Christ who died on the Cross. You will receive the same Christ who rose from the dead. When you think about this, it is so incredible, that it is hard to imagine. Yet we know by faith that it is true. Only a loving God, a God who loves everybody, no matter who they are or what they have done, could have given us such an unimaginable gift. In Him we are all made one.
Fr. Robert Warren
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Robert Warren Signature
Fr. Robert Warren, S.A.

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