Sunday, April 14, 2024

'The Resurrection and the Eucharist' (Sunday homily)

 The title of my homily is, “The Resurrection and the Eucharist.”

It’s all bound up together.

Let’s start with the Resurrection. 

To be totally clear, that means Jesus really died,

and his body came back to life. That is what we believe.

There are a lot of interesting details about Jesus’ Risen Body,

But what’s really, really important to pay attention to is this:

What Jesus shows us, is what he promises to give us.

Let me say that again so it sinks in:

What Jesus shows us, is what he promises to give us.

To put it another way: everything Jesus has, we too will have!

You and I will rise from the dead.

We will have our bodies back, new and improved, forever!

No more eyeglasses, no more pills, never again to say, “I’m too old!”

This not only tells us what to look forward to,

it also teaches us that our bodies matter right now.

A lot of people today, even a lot of Christians, 

make the mistake of thinking, 

their bodies don’t matter, only their feelings matter.

This feeds so much of the confusion right now,

about male, female, identity, marriage.

But you and I aren’t only made up of feelings:

my body, your body is part-and-parcel of who each of us is.

Of course we wish we could escape our body:

if only I could eat whatever I want?

If only I could stay up late, and not be exhausted the next day.

This is a lesson that we tend to learn as we get along in years:

you and I really can’t escape our bodies and ourselves,

and all the challenges and limitations involved.

Notice how many people spend so much money and effort 

to hold onto their youth. That is impossible.

It is living an illusion, and it will inevitably fail.

The only way is forward, 

is into the redemption that God has in store for each of us.

As so many of us know from daily experience,

growing older is a path of ever-greater humility, leading to salvation.

We behold Jesus, having suffered, having died, and having risen.

He shows us: this is who you really are, and who you can be!

And very important: he still has his wounds!

You and I carry wounds, and Jesus is like us in that.

Redemption doesn’t mean the bad things in our lives never happened;

rather, redemption means that grace transforms our wounds

from being limitations, to being channels of grace for us and others.

He said to the Apostles, and to us: “you are witnesses of these things.”

One of the powerful ways you and I show others 

that Jesus is real and alive and powerful

is when we show our wounds and how Jesus heals them.

Did I forget to talk about the Holy Eucharist?

Not really. I’ve been talking about the body: Jesus’ body and our body.

What is the Eucharist? Jesus’ Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity;

and what happens when you and I receive Jesus’ Body and Blood?

He changes us – our body, our soul – into him! 

So what is happening right now?

This isn’t about this homily or even the readings.

Those are the warm-up for the main event, which is:

Jesus’ death and resurrection, made present here, for us.

We don’t just think about it, or call it to mind.

God makes it all fully real for us in the Mass, which is a true sacrifice; What happens here at this altar, in our presence,

is what happened in Jerusalem almost 2,000 years ago.

At the very same time, we are also united with the still-to-come:

That resurrection reality to which we are headed,

Where you and I will share the Heavenly Supper of the Lamb.

I cannot emphasize this enough:

As baptized Christians, we are not spectators.

And we must not approach this sharing in Jesus’ sacrifice casually.

Nothing is more solemn. Joyful yet serious. 

If anything is a true “life or death” situation, the Eucharist is:

Eternal life, either embraced or dismissed.

This is why you and I must never receive the Eucharist 

in a state of mortal sin without first going to confession.

This is why we do well to remind ourselves, every possible way, 

of the astounding reality: we are in the very presence of God;

God gives himself to us totally: 

Becoming human, in order to become the Lamb sacrificed, 

and we eat his Body and drink his Blood.

So in a way, I have to apologize. 

Maybe you just wanted a relaxing Sunday, and here I am, laying something very profound before you,

forcing you to deal with it.

But I think that’s what Jesus is already doing.

You and I must always re-ask ourselves:

Are we dealing merely with a happy story; 

or is this the Reality that defines all reality? 

Jesus presents himself not only to the Apostles, but to us:

“You are witnesses of these things.”


Anonymous said...

My name is Luke S. And I have a question. I have autism/Asperger’s and I’ve had some unexplainable spiritual experiences with a spirit. I don’t know if this spirit is my guardian angel but I have a feeling it is but I have a few questions:
1. Can my guardian Angel share a soul or spirit or essence with me so that we’re never separated and it’s with me forever?

Fr Martin Fox said...


There is a lot we don't know about spiritual beings, but realize not all spiritual beings are friendly.

My strong recommendation is to reach out to a priest who lives near you, and have a conversation in person -- not over the Internet.