Homily (Sermon) - Draw Life from Christ
The Readings for Sunday 19th August 2012 or the Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B:
First Proverbs 9:1-6
Psalm Psalm 33
New Ephesians 5:15-20
Gospel John 6:51-58
[These readings can be found at www.universalis.com for the next few weeks.]
Where do you draw your strength and your life from?
The word draw, as used in this sentence, means to pull. Think of a women in the hot sun turning a large wheel on a well to raise a bucket of water 50 feet from the bottom of the well. It's a tough action, a difficult thing to do, but it needs to be done. The pictures Christ paints with words are sometime lost on us, in our easy lives. Turn on a tap and get clean water. Turn on the heating for warmth. Open the fridge for food. No longer do we draw water from a well, collect firewood or farm and hunt for food.
Our lives have lost some of the basic struggle and we in turn have lost the language used to describe it. However, we have added complexity, we have replaced simple struggle with complex struggle. We balance shift work, school runs, multiple jobs and overtime. We reapply for our own jobs each year as our corporation downsize and change around us. We are always available through email, mobile phones, twitter and facebook. Our debt costs more and our savings are worth less. Our struggle is as tough today as every generation before us, it different that's all. But because it's different we need pay more attention to those things that don't change, those things that can support us, those things that give us life and let us shine in this world, those things that will prepare us for an everlasting life.
We can't draw strength and life from our selves. Our daily food and drink while it fuels our body isn't enough for the dazzling quality of our immortal souls. We need to turn to Christ. We need to Consume him. We need to draw life from him, to fuel our souls for the weekly struggle. He is our fuel, He is our bread, He is our life.
Even Christ did not expect to live this life drawing only on his own strength. He tells us today that he draws his life from his Father and in the next sentence He offers us Himself to eat, so we can draw our life from Him. But this is a difficult message, how can we eat Christ?
The obvious answer I hope you are all thinking is the Eucharist. The making present of Christ on this alter, the taking and eating of Christ's body and blood, the source and summit of our Christian lives. The taking of Christ into ourselves, the life Christ offers us, His beautiful gift, everlasting life with Him and His Father and the Holy Spirit. That is what Jesus is talking about in today's Gospel.
But there is more, this Mass is an opportunity for you to meet and encounter our God. A chance for you to worship our Father and Creator. A opportunity to be filled by the Holy Spirit. Our God, the blessed trinity, is fully present in this Mass. We come here to bow down and worship, just as our psalm today starts, “We come to Bless the Lord at all times, his praise always on our lips.”
We encounter Christ in every member of our congregation. In your husband or wife, in your brother or sister, in your parent or child. Christ is there right now in all of them. Draw life from them.
We encounter Christ in scripture. In the old testament and in the New, in the Gospel and in this reflection. Christ is present in every word, His life filling this building, there to inspire you, to teach you, to love you. Listen to the Life in the Word you hear, draw life from it.
We encounter Christ in our Priest, in Fr Frank. Look past the man you know and love, see Christ standing there behind the alter. See Christ break bread, see Christ bless the wine, you are gathered with the disciples looking upon Christ at the last supper, you are stood with John and Mary at the foot of the Cross, during this Mass you get to gaze upon Christ. Draw life from Him.
Fill yourselves with Christ, consume Him, draw life from Him. Take that life out from this Mass into your weekly struggles. Live careful lives in this wicked age. Take the joy and song and love of Christ from this Mass into the world. Go and make a difference, Go and shine! Show the world you are fuelled by Christ.
About the Author - Deacon John Scanlon
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