Sunday, June 14, 2020

Bearing witness along the way (Corpus Christi homily)

This is Corpus Christi – and in case anyone doesn’t realize it, 
that’s Latin for “Body of Christ.” 
After the 11 am Mass, 
we will have our annual Corpus Christi procession. 
It feels good to be able to do normal things again, doesn’t it?

This coming Friday, we will have our annual Men’s Prayer Walk. 
We will meet at P___ and S___ F_____’s home and from there, 
walk about a mile or so along Darke-Shelby Road. 

All men and boys of all ages are invited; you don’t have to be Catholic; 
and if you can’t walk, we will have something to ride. 
Even if it rains, we will still meet, 
because the F_____s have a big barn, dedicated to our Lady.

So, that’s two opportunities in the same week 
to go walking for the Lord. 

And then I think about the first reading, what are God’s People doing? 
They are walking, in this case, through the desert. 
For Israel, their 40 years in the desert 
was all about purifying and preparing them 
for the promise that lay ahead. 

And while that’s still true for us – 
that’s what our journey through this life is all about – 
the walking we do on Sunday, and again on Friday, 
is mainly about exercising our share in the priesthood of Jesus Christ.

When you and I were baptized, Jesus gave each of us a share 
in his ministry of being a priest, a prophet and king. 
Maybe you didn’t realize you were part of something so awesome – 
but you are! You aren’t just a spectator or along for the ride. 

We talk about the privilege and responsibility of being a citizen.
Some of the people who are smashing things seem to hate this country, 
but you and I know what a tremendous gift was given us, to be citizens.

To be baptized, to belong to Jesus, is all that, but so much more!
We love our country, but the Promised Land we march to is heaven.
Along the way, you and I have the high responsibility
of praying and interceding – 
for our community, for our country, for one another. 

That’s what our Sunday procession and Friday walk are about.
Therefore, if you can’t walk, you can still participate. 
Come stand or sit on the sidelines, or follow along in a golf cart; 
or participate at home in prayer. 

The point is, Jesus is offering himself – on the Cross and in the Mass – 
for the salvation of the world, and you and I are privileged 
to join him in this great task. 

And if you say, well, isn’t that what we’re supposed to do all the time, 
you are exactly right. 
But we do these things, once a year, as a sign – 
to our community, to our own selves – 
of who we are and what our mission is.

When you and I lift up Jesus before others in the monstrance – 
that’s the ornate object we use a kind of throne for the Lord –
that is also what you and I, each of us, is supposed to be every day.
The “monstrance” shows and honors Jesus,
which is what you and I are here to do.

Let me emphasize that anyone and everyone can participate. 
This is a great opportunity to bring somebody along. 
Maybe a family member or friend who is a little disconnected.
Or someone who isn’t Catholic, who doesn’t have any church home. 

Just tell them we’re doing these things as public witness and prayer, 
and it will be very peaceful. 
After people have been cooped up for several months, let’s get out! 
And after witnessing so much ugliness and anger in so many places, 
let’s take to the streets not with violence and fury, 
but bringing the Prince of Peace! 

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