|By Fr. Brendan McGuire
Pastor of Holy Spirit Parish, San Jose and Vicar General for special projects, Diocese of San Jose. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shining Like the Sun
Sunday, June 4, 2016
Thomas Merton was a monk, a priest and mystic, who lived in the 1960’s. In his book, “No Man is an Island,” he wrote about a visit he took to Louisville one day when he was called to do errands on behalf of the monastery. As he walked into the shopping district, he wrote: “I visited Louisville; I was in the middle of the shopping district when I was suddenly overwhelmed by the realization that I loved all these people. I could see in the secret of their hearts their beauty. They were walking around shining like the sun. I wonder why is it that we cannot see that all the time with all the people.”
On Sunday, May 29, we celebrate the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. We recognize that all Christians are the Body of Christ; that we are all children of God; that we all have an inherent beauty because God has created us. We are called to see that sun shining in and through us.
Yet we find it so hard to see the beauty in each other. Often we focus so much on our foibles and weaknesses. We do not even see the beauty of our own creation; of who we are as God’s child. It is so hard for us to see what God sees.
He sent his Son to be with us and he gave his very self so that we could see what he sees. He says every time, “Do this in memory of me” so that you can be me to the world; so that you can do what I did in the world, you can be God’s mirror; to shine God’s love in the world.
With 5,000 hungry people in the gospel Jesus says, “Give them some food yourselves. What?–we have only two fish and only five loaves of bread, what do you want us to do?” Jesus transforms their willingness to share what little they had and feeds 5,000. Many of us think we do not have that much to give; it’s just me and I don’t have that much. No, you do.
We are called to not just celebrate the Eucharist as a static reality at Sunday table but we are called to come and to serve the poor. We are called to renew our church once again and to make our church a church for the poor; a church of people who care for the poor, who recognize the needy; who recognize those who are broken; those who are heart broken, broken by disease and broken by loss in the family.
We are called to be the church for the whole world. Every one of us is a member of the Body of Christ. Every one of us shines like the sun. So too do all the people we meet. When we receive the Body and Blood of Christ, may we become what we receive, the Body of Christ broken for others; the Blood of Christ poured out for the world.