Week of June 22, 2014

CLARY-MICHAEL-240

I am happy to announce that Michelle Stewart has accepted the position of Director of Religious Education for our parish. Michelle has already started the job and looks forward to working with our parents and their children.

Our parish Pastoral Council is in the process of bringing on new members. Monday, June 23rd, at 7:00 p.m. there will be a meeting in the A/B room to talk about what the Pastoral Council does, the qualities we are looking for in members, and the time commitment involved in this ministry. If you are interested in the possibility of serving on the Pastoral Council, please come to the meeting Monday.

Thanks to all of you who have turned in your pledge cards. The commitment you make to your church helps us to do the ministry that we do, maintain our buildings, and reach out to those in need. If you have not returned your pledge card, please do so. It helps in our planning for the coming year.

This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. In her reflection on today’s readings Angie O’Gorman writes about the strange effect manna had on the Jews as they wandered through the desert.

It helped organize them. They had to figure out a way to collect and distribute and consume this daily edible event, and do so before the day’s end…

So manna fed the people not just physically but socially and economically, too. And, of course, the experience day after day of this good gift, beyond anything deserved, hoped-for or imagined; this experience of being loved and cared for – it formed them, too. It meant they didn’t have to be self-sufficient any more.

I suspect that during those long years in the desert there were some people who had difficulty walking, some who could not sustain the scorching sun, some who really did not care about the Promised Land but went along for their own reasons. Some thought the trip was a mistake. Some would have gone back to Egypt. At least there was food there. Some got sick, or grew old and slowed down the pace for others. Some got angry. Self-sufficiency would say: These people can be left behind. We should be as independent from these people as possible. They impede everything. They can cost you your life.

But I do not find a biblical basis for leaving anyone behind, certainly not in today’s readings. Today’s feast celebrates our surviving because we refuse to be self-sufficient.

Centuries later, Jesus used the same dependency theme further. He also used food, materially and symbolically, to build community that was pointed toward the Promised Land.

His message was this. After walking in our own wilderness of loss and limits, broken bones and broken hearts, of tears and defeat – after all our mistakes and missteps, we can still depend on the sufficiency of love come down to save us…We don’t have to be self-sufficient anymore. Unlike the people who see themselves, first and foremost as self-sufficient individuals, we who share this bread see ourselves first and foremost, as a community caring for one another. It is precisely that connectedness that allows the human self to be as sufficient as possible. Outside of that connectedness, the drive toward self-sufficiency is merely a form of brokenness. It denies community and in so doing destroys part of what makes us human…We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: