My dear Sisters and Brothers! I am not showing you this jumper to offer you advice on what you should put on as I don’t know you well enough. However on this Corpus Christi Sunday I would like to turn our minds and hearts to the One who knows things well, Our Blessed Lord, as we read in the Gospel of Mark when Jesus’ disciples didn’t know where to go to prepare the Passover Our Lord proved that he is in control of the course of the events as he said: “Go into a city and you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him and say to the owner of the house which he enters. “The Master says: Where is my dining room in which I can eat Passover with my disciples?” He will show you a large upper room furnished with couches, all prepared.” If you wanted to be picky you could say that Jesus had arranged all those things beforehand, couldn’t you? But we don’t want to be picky and difficult. We want to be attentive and sensitive to what is revealed in the Holy Scriptures, don’t we? If we are attentive and sensitive we discover some other interesting and enlightening messages about God’s knowledge: “God knows your hearts” as we read in the Gospel of Luke or in the Prophet Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb of your mother I knew you.”
Today as we come to celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi we can find, if we really want to, an answer why we have Mass, why, for us Catholics, Eucharist is irreplaceable. The Eucharist is the gift of our God who knows us well and who cares for us. Jesus knew that we would face difficulties, problems and trials that can weaken our faith. That’s why he provided us with the Eucharist like my mum provided me with that jumper.
Let’s look again at the Gospel of St Mark, where did the Last Supper happen? You say in Jerusalem, in the upper Room. All correct answers but what about this answer? – it was in the midst of the disciples of Jesus. To explain the meaning of that let me use a scene from a movie I still enjoy to watch, it is called “March of penguins.” As you can guess it is a documentary and my favourite scene is about penguins in a huddling group. It is not a static gathering but it keeps moving as those penguins inside eventually end up at the edge of the huddle where they bear the brunt of the elements. In this way they “share” the exposure to the Antarctic wind. In that image I can see the image of the Church. We come to Church not simply to get something for us, to be comfortable like those penguins inside the huddle, but we are the Church, the Body of Christ as we read in many parts of the Scriptures, for the sake of others: to support, to encourage, to protect, to love those fellow sisters and brothers whose the same faith in Christ has drawn to the Eucharist. When people ask me why we need to live in this harsh world, why God didn’t change the harsh world, my answer is – Because there are good people who will shelter you. Then I ask them a question: “Are you willing to be a shelter for others?”
We get the warmth of Christ when we participate in the Eucharist to be the shelter for others.
Let me finish with a little exercise I would like you to do right now: Look around you and as you are looking at the people keep saying: “The Body of Christ, the Body of Christ, the Body of Christ.” Because they, you and me gathered here are the Body of Christ for the Holy Spirit is dwelling in us.
The Body of Christ. Amen.