The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ | June 23, 2019

See today’s readings here. This homily focuses on the second reading. The archive of all of Fr. Brian’s homilies can be found hereSalesian Sermons

This past week I had the opportunity to gather with all of my brother Oblates from the eastern part of the United States.

And let me tell you, we are quite a crew when we all gather together.

We’ve got Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and an occasional Communist in the mix.

We have a guy in his 90s still teaching college classes and guys in their twenties preparing to take their 1st vows.

We have guys working with the elite of Naples FL and guys laboring in the slums of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

We are teachers, pastors, artists, college presidents, retired men, and students.

And yet, these men are so much more than demographics to me.

Some of them formed me into who I am. Others were the inspiration for why I joined and        still others for why I stay.

Some of them judged me. Others wounded me. And a handful made me doubt if I was meant to do this life.

Some frustrate me. Others can make me laugh no matter what.  And still others I think are crazy,

And yet, they are my family. My religious family.

And somehow, no matter who we are or what we have gone through, we find ourselves seated around the same table. Breaking bread, swapping stories, sharing life and love with one another.

And in that experience, I was reminded of the great truth of the feast we celebrate this day.

Which is that we too are family. One family in faith.

For in the celebration of the Eucharist, we too gather around a table.

We too swap stories. Stories of faith that we have passed down over the centuries. Stories of Abraham and the blessing given to him and his descendants. Stories of Jesus and a little child with a few loaves and fish.

We too break bread.  We too share in the cup.  And in so doing, we become what we receive.

We become part of Christ’s body.  

All of us.

And just like the Oblates we are quite a crew.

We are little children fascinated by the hosts we cannot yet receive and high school student struggling with whether or not we believe in this God we celebrate.

We are married couples gently holding hands and divorcees sitting alone in an empty pew. We are pregnant. And mourning a miscarriage. And contemplating an abortion.

We are transgender men transitioning and a married gay couple questioning if this church still wants them. We are women and men and some of us are not sure which we are.

We are cradle Catholics and recent converts.  We are Pentecostals and Lutherans and non-denominational. We are professionals and blue collar laborers and unemployed.

We are immigrants. We speak different languages and possess different skin tones. We are currently being arrested and deported. We are held in camps along our southern border, uncertain of when we shall see our parents again.

We are struggling against an addiction and are confined in a prison cell. We have been abused and we have perpetuated the violence. We are veterans.  And trauma survivors.

We are friends and neighbors. We are lovers and exes. We are siblings and parents. 

We are failures. We are successes. We are beautiful. We are a mess. We are fat and thin. Athletic and Book-smart.  

We are blind. And Deaf. We are anxious and depressed.  We are autistic and dyslexic   

We are grieving. We are rejoicing. We are nearing the end of our journey. Our future seems endless.

But no matter who we are. No matter what we have done.  No matter where we are going.

When we gather around this table, we are home. United together into one body.

One body. Broken and shared for the sake of the world.

In just a few minutes, we will each walk down the aisle and be offered once again the invitation.  The invitation to say once again to this family, yes. I choose you. All of you.

May we say that Amen.

To God.

To each other.

So that we may truly be the one body we are called to.

May God be Praised.