32 Sunday in Ordinary Time
We believe that Jesus, after being executed by the state, was laid in a tomb, and God raised his up.
We believe that Jesus is truly alive, in a glorified body.
So what does this mean for us, here, today, NOW?
How does our belief in the Resurrection make a difference in how we live as Catholics, as humans? What difference does it make for the world?
Is it making a difference in our lives?
I ask these questions because I have asked them of myself. I think every Christian needs to ask this of themselves every so often, otherwise we run the risk of becoming tepid/lazy in our faith, and that will mean we become tepid/lazy in life.
The Resurrection gives Life more meaning, more purpose.
The Resurrection at its heart, I believe, is about HOPE!
Hope that God loves us, is in control, and will make all that is bad, good. Hope that in what we endure now, has meaning in the future.
The Resurrection is HOPE; in a kingdom, in a future in which all people are in union with one another, and there is NO injustice, NO poverty, NO bullying and violence
A Kingdom, a future, in which there is enough for all people to live. In which we all know each other, fully and completely.
Our purpose today, NOW, is to live out that future kingdom. To make it as real as we can in our lives; in our homes, schools and workplace.
In other words, we are to live HOPE.
Yet, you do not need me to tell you that this can be difficult. It requires that we make sacrifices; that we endure hardship at times.
It requires that we give of ourselves, so that others can survive.
It means we appear as fools to the world. And that we do so with joyful hearts, because we believe. We believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We as Catholics, we make this Hope part of our ritual.
In a few moments the bread and wine are going to be offered up. Brought forth by the faithful, to me, the priest. Who will place these offerings upon the altar of sacrifice.
Our Hope is that the Father sends the Holy Spirit upon the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, which is turn is given back to us, again.
What I HOPE that we all understand that the bread and wine that is offered is a symbol of us!
It is a symbol of all that we have endured, the pain we have experienced, the sacrifices that we have made for the kingdom.
That bread and wine you who are Parents that struggle to provide food, clothing and shelter for your children so that they will have a better life, a chance at a future.
That bread and wine you teens who struggle with the bullies at school, who resist peer pressure, who are looking for love.
They are the efforts of those who give of their income and sacrifice having more “toys” so that others may simply have food to eat.
The Bread and Wine are the choice of a boyfriend and girlfriend to wait until marriage.
They are the struggles of a young unwed woman who chooses to give birth to her child, despite lacking support. Or the choice to give birth and give the child to a couple who can raise the child well.
The bread and wine are the choices of priests and religious men and women to give of their own lives, to give up having families, children, grandchildren, so that they can serve the kingdom and serve people.
The bread and wine are any choice, any struggle that we make that serves another.
Eucharist tells us that what we do, the suffering and the pain that we endure has meaning, has PURPOSE!
There is HOPE.
When we have this HOPE, that God will make our struggles have meaning, have purpose, that he will change them into the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and use them to build up the kingdom, we can have JOY. We can find reason to smile, amid the pain.
This is why Pope Francis tells us that we need to express JOY! Catholics are not meant to be dour, grumpy people.
It is because we are a people, a Eucharistic people, who have HOPE. Because we believe that as we live in Christ NOW, today and every day, we will live in Christ in the future, in the kingdom.
Do we believe?