Sunday, August 19, 2012

Remain in Me

Remain in Me

August 20, 2012
Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2012 B
By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

"Let whoever is simple turn in here; To the one who lacks understanding, she says, Come, eat of my food, and drink of the wine I have mixed!  Forsake foolishness that you may live; advance in the way of understanding."  Proverbs 9:4-6

Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.  Ephesians 5:17

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.  Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.  This is the bread that came down from heaven.  Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever." John 6:56-58


Piety is the heartbeat of our love affair with God.  Our response to God’s love is seen in our piety.  Love is given its greatest expression in God’s desire to be one of us.  It is not simply that God is our creator.  We are so much a part of God that God became one of us in the Word made flesh.  God loved us so much that he wanted to be one of us.  Our piety is seen in our willingness to be one with God.  Eucharist is the love of Christ who is willing to be one with us with not just his humanness in having been human, but also by giving us his body and blood to eat and drink as Eucharist.  Human love takes us to an ever deepening relationship with the one we love.  Eucharist is the living expression of how much God loves us in his Son Jesus.  Jesus offers us his body and his blood.  The bread and the wine become the living expression of the human love of Jesus in the life of his Church.  He gives us his body and his blood in the ultimate statement of how much he loves us.  He is not only willing to take himself to the Father as one of us but also to take us to the Father with us in him.  Christ is the best part of us in so far as our souls are with him in heaven.  The Sacraments are his humanness in the life of the Church.  In the Eucharist Christ takes us into himself even as we take him into ourselves.  Even as we can live in Christ, Christ lives in us as we feed on his love for us and his willingness to grow in us.  Christ came to us in Baptism.  We come to him in Eucharist even as we grow in him by his becoming more of us.  We not only grow up with Christ because of Baptism, we also grow into being a greater fullness of him by Eucharist. 


Our reading of the Scriptures, our reception of the Eucharist and our companionship of each other in Christ creates the Mystical Body of the Church.  We study how our baptism and Eucharist in Christ give greater meaning to whom we are.  We are created to the image and the likeness of God in Christ.  Our study discovers for us the deeper meaning of our lives that is found in Christ.


Our action is to remain in Christ even as he remains in us.  Our hunger for Eucharist should be a daily thing.  Even as we recognize that Christ is our food of life, our gratitude to God for life is shown in each Eucharist we receive.  The prayer of the Christian has gratitude as its chief ingredient.  Each reception of Eucharist in our lives makes the perfect expression of the Gratitude that lives in our hearts when God recognizes us in our reception of the Body and the Blood of his Son.  Even as Christ is God’s love for us, Christ becomes our love of God.   Our Eucharistic thanks is the perfect expression of the gratitude we ought to have for God’ love for us.  Eucharist is Thanks.  Baptism made us God’s children.  Eucharist allows us to grow into bigger and better children of God. 

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