The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ | May 28/29, 2016
Fr. Brian Zumbrum’s homilies and reflections are posted weekly at Leaven in the World. To see the archive of all his posts, just click here: Salesian Sermons
PROTIP: You can take a look at the Sunday readings here. This homily focuses on the Gospel reading.
So I must admit, Friday was an incredibly difficult day.
On Friday I buried a 15 year-old graduate of Nativity Prep who was murdered last week.
I remember when I first heard the news, it was as if someone had punched me in the chest.
And as the days went by, I came to appreciate just how large the hole was in my heart. I would look at his picture and tears would come to my eyes.
I guess I had underestimated how deeply these children had become a part of my life. And now one of them had been stolen away.
It was a painful reminder of just how high the cost of love is.
On Friday, after I got home, I wandered through the empty church collecting the items that had been on display during his viewing.
I felt utterly depleted. I had poured out my very self that day and it now seemed so inadequate.
How could I still serve as God’s instrument when I was so obviously broken.
But that night, as I chanced a glance at the readings for this weekend, I felt as if God smacked me over the head with a ton of bricks.
And suddenly I understood something about this feast that I had somehow missed before.
Look at the Gospel and see the meager offerings that were presented. They seemed so inadequate in the face of so much need.
But Jesus did not simply accept these offerings as they were. No, he broke them in order to give them to the people.
It was only through brokenness that all were fed
And in reflecting on these words, I have gained an appreciation for what it means to belong to the body of Christ.
For on the night of the last supper, Christ broke bread and shared it with those he loved.
And the very next day he would share the same fate. Allowing his body to broken for the sake of the world that he loved.
It was only in and through his brokenness that we were saved.
My friends, we have all been broken at some point in this journey.
We have known loss and struggle. Failure and heartbreak. Prejudice and shame.
But as members of the body of Christ, our brokenness does not have the final word. Love does. And it is this love that can transform our brokenness into a pathway by which others will be fed, by which others will be healed.
When you have been bullied or belittled or mocked for who we are, God can transform that into courage to stand up for others who have lost their voice. God can transform it into compassion for those who are different from us.
When we fail, when we mess up, God can transform that into wisdom so that we can learn from our past. God can transform it into grit that allows us to push forward and keep on laboring in in the vineyard.
And when our hearts are broken by loss. God can transform that into love. Love that makes sure that we don’t take anyone for granted. Love that dares to say I love you. I’m with you. I’ve got you. Love that can heal by standing with another in their dark valley because we have trod that road before.
So as we approach this table to receive the love of Christ, broken and poured out for us all. Let us have faith.
That God will keep taking our broken offerings and making a miracle for the world.
Let the church say, Amen.
May God be praised.