MySpiritualAdvisor.com’s Mark Kurowski reflects on how crazy it must look to the world that we walk around with a round piece of bread in a gold “thingamajig.” Yet, the contents of that gold thingamajig is amazing if we let Him loose within us. These thoughts and more are pondered in this audio. Contact us to make a comment, we may post it at the end of the text of this reflection. Please read Mark 14:12-25.
MySpiritualAdvisor.com, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday, 6/10/2012The Feast of Corpus Christi
Please pause this audio and read Mark 14:12-26.
It seems so far removed from any reality at all: a bunch of people walking around a block with a round piece of bread under a canopy. It makes no sense at all from the modern human mind. When there is virtual reality and then a disconnected “reality” reality, it makes little sense to believe in anything but that I have myself. With the prevailing ethos of the United States being that we are in this alone and must be only for ourselves, it seems totally ridiculous that we would think that there is someone who embodies himself in a little piece of round bread in a golden thingmajig.
The Catholic theologian Henri de Lubac says that the human being is oriented toward something that he or she cannot reach. We know about eternity. We sense that beyond us is something that is continuing. We want to be a part of that continuation of time and space. We want to be remembered. We want to be important. Yet, we understand that we are trapped. We are within these bodies and cannot escape.
We build buildings , foundations, organizations, ministries, you name it, we build it. We build these things that we can see neglect wear out and crumble, but they last much longer than we do. They last when we don’t. We want to last. We want to be important. We want to be empowered. We want these things because we know that beyond us, there is something that goes on and on and on.
What we are feeling is the longing for God within each of us. Every civilization known to humanity has understood this urge and need. The beauty of Jesus Christ coming as both fully human and fully God is that it is Jesus who crosses the threshold of need to reach down from God to lift humanity up to God. The way that Jesus lifts us to God is from within.
I am not talking about a sense from within. I am not talking about a vague spirituality from within. I am not talking about an “awakening” from within, although God can communicate with us in all these ways, yes. It is Jesus alone who enters our bodies and goes to every length of our extremities and physically renews us spiritually. He does this through the reception of his body and blood made possible through the Eucharist.
In the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at the Church at St. Anselm Abbey at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, there is a tabernacle with the most interesting artful depiction of the presence of Jesus as Eucharist. We have the advantage over other generations that we have pierced outer space. We know what an exploding star looks like. The mass at the center of the exploding star is almost round. It is oblong. From that central explosion, there is an almost perfect, yet unmistakable explosion of objects that leave streams of light in their wake as they spring forth from the central explosion. It is a picture of power, energy, light and transcendence.
On the tabernacle in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at St. Anselm Abbey is the depiction of Jesus as this central star that doesn’t just spread light in an orderly way like most monstrances do. Our monstrances have the light coming forth from Jesus in perfect intervals, neatly shining. The look is very passive. The depiction of Jesus as Eucharist on the tabernacle in St. Anselm Abbey’s Blessed Sacrament Chapel looks exactly like an exploding star. The image sends an incredible message.
Jesus is not a passive Lord who sits pondering his navel in the Eucharist. No, not our Lord. He is depicted on the Abbey tabernacle as a Lord who comes into us and EXPLODES with energy, enthusiasm, power, might and glory. The depiction gives us the idea of God’s re-creative power coming into us and exploding into new and energizing ways of living life from God, for God from within us.
When we think of Jesus in the upper room with the disciples in the passage from the Gospel of Mark today, we could think of a quaint little meal of introverts who sit pondering what kind of message this could be. What we know, from the hindsight of two thousand years of history is that this meal is followed by a war. It is a defeat of the devil in the eternal realm. Then, after the war is won, he rises from the dead and sends his adventurous and daring disciples to take his message to the world. HIS disciples will cast out demons. HIS disciples will pick up serpents. HIS disciples will drink poison. HIS disciples will heal the sick.
The encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist is not about domesticating our faith. It is about being part of a dynamic loving community that believes all things, bears all things, hopes all things and goes forth to do all things for the kingdom.
This Corpus Christi Sunday, the feast of the Body and Blood of our Lord, I encourage you to have the faith of the St. Anselm Abbey Eucharistic Lord. Let Jesus explode in confidence, power, might, love and action within you. Amen? Amen.
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