Corpus Domini Nostri Iesu Christi [A]
Deuteronomy 8:2-3,14b-16a ─ 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 ─ John 6:51-58
June 26, 2011
Johann is not a happy camper. He found out this week that he doesn’t get to go on vacation with his master, and he’s been sulking ever since. I told him that he gets to go on his own vacation, to spend part of his time on a farm, but he replied that he’s a “rectory dog”, not a “farm dog”. I told him that he needs to expand his horizons. You know, when he’s sitting out in the back yard in the evening, there will usually be about five to ten rabbits that hop right by within a half hour. And he just sits there and watches them. If he could, I think he’d wave at them as they hopped by. He needs to get in touch with his “inner terrier”.
Eventually I think Johann will appreciate his vacation. But when it comes to taking a journey, we humans often are not much better than Johann. In our fallen human nature we tend to appreciate neither where we are, nor where we’re going. I suppose I was about eight where our parents took my brother and sisters and me on vacation into the Rocky Mountains.
One of the sites that our parents took us to was Pike’s Peak. As our father drove us—round and round—up the mountainside, our mother scolded my brother and me for not appreciating the scenery. Mind you, this was long before hand-held computer games: the two of us were reading comic books. We were probably reading about the inter-galactic adventures of Green Lantern, and missing the adventure that surrounded us, exploring the majesty of God’s creation.
In our fallen human nature we tend to appreciate neither where we are, nor where we’re going. Last Sunday as we celebrated the feast of the Blessed Trinity, we meditated upon the very nature of God Himself. But for all the many descriptions of God that have been offered through the centuries, Saint John the Evangelist put it best when he wrote simply, “God is love.”
Of course, many different people have disagreed with St. John, defining “love” in very different ways. In the 21st century, you can change the channel on the remote or go to each movie in a multiplex movie theater, and find as many different definitions of love as there are channels and theater screens. In the midst of this confusion, God wants to make known to us the truth about love: that is to say, He wants to draw us into Himself. He invites us to allow Him to draw into Himself through the Eucharist.
God the Son never had to become human. God the Son could have remained divine for all eternity without ever descending to earth to take on our human nature. Jesus Christ IS God the Son, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity whose life we celebrated last Sunday. In the beginning, it was through Him [that] all things were made. We owe the fact of the universe’s existence—and our own existence as individuals—to God the Son. So He is the Alpha, the beginning of all things.
But Almighty God did not create us to be His puppets. He did not create us to be His pets, whom He can watch, and laugh at. The purpose for which God created us is Heaven: a state of being in which we would share in the very life of God Himself, in which we would be completely “possessed” by God and enjoy union with Him forever. So He is the Omega, the goal of all human life.
God intends, from the beginning of each human person’s life at his or her conception, to draw that human being to Himself over the course of that person’s life on this earth. We for our part, though, have to co-operate with God’s plan. Our sins are failures to do just that. Indeed, left to ourselves, we are very weak people. We want to rely on ourselves. We want to do things our way. But Jesus shows us a better Way. He IS the Way: He shows us how to spend our lives on this earth. And when we receive Holy Communion, we are receiving a share in His Life, so that His Life would become our life. He is not >>only<< the Alpha and the Omega. He is not >>only<< the first and the last. God wants Jesus Christ to be God with us at every moment of our lives.