Corpus Christi Homily

Posted on Jun 20, 2017


18 June 2017


My good friend Mike spent four years getting his doctorate in Rome at San Anselmo.

While he was there I was able to go over twice and do some touring.

I have to admit that while I was there I did conclude the best thing about Rome is the food.

I know it’s supposed to be the church or the art or something like that, but it’s the food.

While Mike was ther

e, since he was studying liturgy,

he made it a point to experience the great liturgies of the different rites.

In some cases he didn’t know much about what he was experiencing and purposely so.

He didn’t want the academics to inform his experience,

he wanted the experience to inform the academics.

At one point he attended the great eucharistic liturgy at a Russian Orthodox church.

While he admired the splendor of the surroundings he noticed several little tables

on which bread and wine had been placed. Their purpose was a mystery to him.

At communion time he noticed that each person who received communion,

then went over to the tables and ate a little bread and drank a little wine.

He did not follow suit because he didn’t know what that was all about.

However, when he returned to his pew a firm hand gripped his arm,

and steered him back to the nearest table.

Gesturing toward the bread and the wine, the usher waited for Mike to help himself.

When Mike asked the usher, “Why?”

The usher simply responded, “It’s the custom.” So Mike did as he was bid.

Later, he learned that the consuming of unconsecrated bread and wine after communing in the real presence of the Lord is a symbolic way of saying:

All of life: the sacred and the secular is one.

I think we too easily forget two things:

1.  That everything is sacred.  I’m not speaking, spooky God lives in trees so hug a tree,

but I do think we forget to treat the things of this world with respect.

We’ve created a throw away world. It’s no wonder we can believe there are throw away people.

2.  Perhaps as well, we neglect to respect what it is we do here, what it is we consume here.

We need a sense of sacred for things religious as well.

We need again to be able to stand in awe of God.

So often I hear about church: “Well, I didn’t get anything out of it.”

As if that’s the point.

Perhaps the point is not what we get out of it, but the thanks we offer to God.