This week we celebrate Real food for our Journey. This is the familiar feast of our Catholic Faith. When we celebrate Corpus Christi Sunday, it brings back fond memories of the smells and bells. Eucharistic 40 hour devotions and adoration to great Eucharistic processions. There are memories of the beautiful canopies, the monstrance and elaborate vestments.
What is this feast all about. The scriptures teach us that Jesus is our real food for our journey. The scriptures are linked as we look at the journey and the daily walk of the people of Israel. A people who had lived in bondage and walking in freedom, find themselves hungering in the desert of their journey. Their hunger draws them to a desire to return to the familiar place of slavery, that place where although enslaved it was familiar to them, and they were physically satisfied. But God desires to continue to provide for them on their journey. Just as He had led them out of slavery with a mighty hand so to he would feed them. Manna, referring to what they saw falling from heaven, “what is it?” the people gathered and had sustenance each Day.
“Do not forget the LORD, your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
that place of slavery;
who guided you through the vast and terrible desert
with its seraph serpents and scorpions,
its parched and waterless ground;
who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock
and fed you in the desert with manna,
a food unknown to your fathers.”
As the people of Israel sought freedom and hungered in their traveling to that place promised by God they cried out to the Lord and God heard them. You see we too continue to Journey and in the midst of our sojourn, a moving from Racism and Hatred, to equality and love, find ourselves in need of food. This spiritual journey is very much a real one for us. This has been a long trek, for 500 years we’ve suffered under racism and oppression. Our journey has been perilous, we must walk this way together.
This celebration of Corpus Christi must be a celebration that reminds us and encourages us that we are not alone on this great trek. We’ve embarked on a voyage pressed upon us because we could not live in slavery, we could not live under segregation and degradation, we can no longer live in fear for the lives of our young people today. The Body of Christ and His ever presence with us is Real food for a perilous journey.
Jesus reminds teaches the people:
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world.”
The people of Jesus’ day suffered under oppression and tyranny, and he offered Himself as the food for their struggle. We must find in Jesus, the sole source of strength and ability to transfer the dark days we find ourselves in to bright tomorrows. To see in the precious body and blood of Jesus the divine presence united to us to face the perils of our time.
Again and again, even after Mr. Floyd’s death, we continue to see in some cities a few police officers subjugating and denying people of color their rights. From young men hand cuffed for simply walking down a street with no sidewalks, some just targeting young black youth and then fined for Jaywalking, another man found hanging from a tree in Palmdale, California. Attitudes of disregard, disrespect and indifference link themselves, to hatred and disdain for the person who is black or brown. As I ate for the first time breakfast in a local restaurant, an indifferent man, walked by with no mask and coughs. He’s clueless and doesn’t care about others. When confronted by one of our youth, he was again disrespecting seeing the youth simply as a nuisance. Giving a dishonorable and disrespectful gesture to the young man.
Just as it took the ten plagues to loosen the heart of Pharaoh it will take much to change the hearts of so many indifferent people from our halls of governance, to our suburbs to our heartland. Across our nation and our would the masses are rising. Young People, take your rightful place, stand for what is right. Not only stand against unjust policing, and racism, but examine your lives and make sure you are doing and being the very best you can be. Seek self determination and better yourselves in seeking excellence each day. Don’t settle for the scraps thrown from the tables of justice, rather take your rightful place at the table.
Sharing in the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ gives us strength to face our journey, to step forward empowered by the Divine life within us.
“I know you are asking today, “How long will it take?…How long will prejudice blind the visions of men, darken their understanding, and drive bright-eyed wisdom from her sacred throne?”
…How long? Not long, because no lie can live forever.
How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.
Matin Luther King Jr Montgomery Alabama 1965