The Body and Blood of Christ Year C – 29 May 2016
Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ Year C – Sunday 29 May 2016
“Every tear I’ve cried You hold in your hand”
(From the song “I will praise you in the storm” by Christian rock group Casting Crowns )
This year’s meditation by Pope Francis For Corpus Christi reminded me the very important fact that the Eucharist is given and broken by Jesus who accepted to be broken for us so as to to be more given. Pope Francis goes on to show that the Eucharist is given for those who are broken, broken in their bodies, plans, health and heart.
Recently a student asked me if I had seen a lot of sin in almost 20 years of confessing? I stopped to think and said “a lot of sin, no, but a lot of human pain and heartbreak? Yes”.
Good people ask; why me? Why should I have to suffer? This is the central question of our faith… what to do with our pain? Our heartbreak?
What you do with your pain defines who you are. There is a golden rule in spirituality and its this; what’s not transformed is always transmitted. Either you hold it and bottle it up and you become bitter, resentful, our hearts harden, or we transmit our pain to others, usually the people we love most in the form of harsh words or gestures. Rarely do we let Jesus transform it, and yet that’s why He came on earth to carry our pain and sin. It’s called the Good News!
Jesus on the cross carries substantially our pain. What does that mean? It means our pain has become His pain. If you have understood that then your life will never be the same again.
Our Catholic faith is so rich in helping us to deal with life’s crosses.
What do we usually do to stop pain or heartbreak? Humans often turn to alcohol, drugs or pleasure to numb the pain. It’s understandable but it’s not a real solution, its just “masking”, but not getting to the root of the problem. It, in fact, only makes it worse. The number one cause of alcoholism in the US is resentment; it just burns a hole in your soul. It’s a spiritual cancer.
“Come to me all you who carry heavy burdens and are broken hearted”(Matt 11:28)
So next time your heart breaks or you are in pain, don’t deny it, don’t transmit it. Feel your way out of it. The way out is the way through. “I am angry, I am jealous, I am bitter, I am sad”, then unite it to Jesus on the cross, He knows your pain, He carries it with you, He loves you.
“The great challenge is living your wounds through instead of thinking them through. It is better to cry than to worry, better to feel your wounds deeply than to understand them, better to let them enter into your silence than to talk about them. The choice you face constantly is whether you are taking your wounds to your head or your heart.”Father Henri Nouwen
“Breaking: Jesus was broken; he is broken for us. And he asks us to give ourselves, to break ourselves, as it were, for others. This “breaking bread” became the icon, the sign for recognizing Christ and Christians.
We think of Emmaus: they knew him “in the breaking of the
bread” (Lk 24:35). We recall the first community of Jerusalem: “They held steadfastly… to the breaking of the bread” (Acts 2:42). From the outset it is the Eucharist which becomes the centre and pattern of the life of the Church.
But we think also of all the saints – famous or anonymous –
who have “broken” themselves, their own life, in order to “give something to eat” to their brothers and sisters. How many mothers, how many fathers, together with the slices of bread they provide each day on the tables of their homes, have broken their hearts to let their children grow, and grow well! How many Christians, as responsible citizens, have broken their own lives to defend the dignity of all, especially the poorest, the marginalized and those discriminated! Where do they find the strength to do this? It is in the Eucharist: in the power of the Risen Lord’s love, who today too breaks bread for us and repeats: “Do this in remembrance of me”.
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