Does anyone here know who we Christians are? Can anyone tell me who we call ourselves? What is the name of today’s Solemnity? The Body of Christ!
Are you ready for a story about our history! Children, this is a triple history story of the people of faith and our family right here at St. P. Our stories are treasures to be carried in our hearts and to be revealed to our children, grand children and the people you encounter in life! To top things off my grand children are here today.
Children are you ready to take notes? Meme give them a note pad!
From the Book of Deuteronomy – For forty years He directed all our ancestors journeying in the desert, so as to test them by affliction to find out their intentions! He tested them with hunger and feed them with manna in order to show us, not by bread alone does one live, but by every word from the mouth of God. There is a hidden lesson in this story not to be missed. My grand children’s mother is celebrating her 40th birthday this weekend. Write it down – it often takes us humans forty years to begin to fully open up our spiritual ears so we can hear the truth revealed in the story.
And do not forget who brought us out of slavery; who guided us through the vast and terrible desert, with poisonous scorpions and serif serpents, with its parched land and waterless ground, who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock. Throughout lives God is with us through it all walking at our side waiting for us to acknowledge His presence.
Did you know, children, we have people right here in this parish, St Peter the Rock, who can identify with the spiritual journey of the Israelites through the desert for forty years? We have our own unique story. We have a beautiful tradition as well when our young children invite or come and sit with our elderly children who know the journey through the desert – living saints tho they would not call themselves such. Don’t lose that open invitation to be melted into one body no matter each persons age!
We are the off spring of a people who journeyed in adjacent towns for 46 and 48 years respectfully without a parish or a dedicated priest. We are the off spring of a people who were virtual church orphans and were passed on from circuit priest to priest. We too are a people tested to find out whether or not it was our intention to keep the commandments to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbor as our self.
We are the off spring of a people who took ownership for keeping faith alive. We are a people who elected to let individual mission self interests die. We are a people who were willing to risk death of one dream, for the hope of the birth of a new dream. St Peter the Rock was born from the ashes of dreams willingly surrendered. Two small communities decided to die that they could become one.
My own grand father helped build the first Catholic Church in my home town, the second largest Belgium community in our nation.
He was one the leaders who went to the local bishop to recruit a priest to minister to his people. He and his wife ran a grocery store during the great depression and world war two. The two of them willingly assisted the local community with food when food was rationed and money was scarce. They carried a heavy cross when those same neighbors did not pay them back or support their local store when the war was over and chain stores arrived. Their family built parts of the University of Notre Dame as well.
My father was a member of the Knights of Columbus and my dad took ownership for carrying metal folding chairs from the second floor of the Knights building down steep narrow steps to our car and then carried them up three sets of steps to the second floor of St Joseph school every time our community held an event. I still remember as a second grader climbing those steep steps – that building would probably be condemned today, yet we never complained. Year after year our family just did what necessary to support our larger faith family.
Each of us here has a rich family story to tell. We are descendents of a people who clearly communicated in word and action the unity of the Body of Christ we celebrate at Mass as the Body of Christ.
Children this is a lesson to be remembered particularly on this Solemnity! Self interest must die so that we preserve the unity of the whole Body of Christ.
The Catholic catechism teaches we are a people who gather around the altar that is the symbol of Christ himself, present and united in the midst of the assembly of his faithful people journeying though life. It is in the sacred gathering of God’s people at the Eucharistic Mass that we encounter the fullness of unity. It is during the course of the Mass that we are taught and experience a melting away our individual self and become united with Christ into one Body. At the end of Mass we take that Spirit of Christ out into a world thirsting and hungry for the truth and hope that can only come with a change that takes place in the spirit of ones heart.
The celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice is wholly directed toward an intimate union of the faithful with Christ through communion. We become the Body and Blood of Christ in union most clearly when we receive the Body and Blood of Christ at communion.
Who do we say we are?