May 29, 2016 Corpus Christi C - Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Click to hear Audio Homily
Click to hear Ave Verum Corpus sung
Click to hear Behold the Lamb sung
It’s not often that a national news covers a miracle. Yet recently, an NBC News report was about a woman who regained her sight 20 years after she went blind from a stroke. “Blindness didn’t stop me,” she said from living her life. “The Lord was with me all the time.” She learned how to read braille and walk with a cane. A month ago, following surgery to correct injuries from a recent fall, she miraculously regained her sight back. Her doctors had no medical explanation for her healing. At age 70 she’s now ready for new challenges and new adventures. “Everything happens in God’s time,” she said. “God is still in control.” You can imagine the outpouring of amazement and encouragement from thousands of people after seeing her story. However, there were also incredulous people. One person quipped, “It helps many humans to believe there is a great man behind the curtain....Stuff happens and it's not a miracle....it's science. But do and believe whatever works for you my dear. (smile emoticon)” Another person responded, “A miracle from God! Oh, wait, the same God that allowed her to be blind for 23 years?? That a different God?” Another skeptic responded, “And all these people come out to praise God while he fails to save so many others. Sorry your God has done nothing here.”
How about you? Do you also share their skeptical views? When we look at events from the far past, such as the miracle of the multiplication of bread and fish performed by Jesus in today’s gospel, our tendency is to analyze them through the modern “scientific” lens. We look for holes or natural explanations for such stories. Yet, to dismiss such miracle as active imagination or fable is to deny countless witnesses whose intellect were no less sophisticated than ours.
Right before the miracle of multiplication of loaves was performed by Jesus, the disciples were appalled at a seemingly impossible request by Jesus to feed the hungry crowd of several thousands of people. Imagine, a stadium full of people who came to a papal mass, and Pope Francis turns around and tells you, “You go feed them.”
The disciples had a logistical solution: dismiss the crowd and let themselves go and take care of their own hunger. It was at this threshold of human incapability that Jesus performs the miracle.
What is a miracle? The word “miracle” comes from the Latin word for wonder and, literally means “a sight to behold.” Miracles are learning experiences for us. They point to something that God wants us to know or believe about Himself and His loving plan of salvation. God’s desire is to satisfy our deepest desire and hunger, which is to be in communion with Him. Jesus told a saint, “My love for man is so great that I sought a manner of being his food, his very substance and life...And this food for him will be so indispensable, that if he does not take it, he will not have life; and he who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood, I will raise him up on the last day, and he will abide in Me and I in him.”
It’s not enough for Jesus that we satisfy our own deepest hunger through Holy Communion. Jesus says to us, “You give them something to eat.” He desires us to share this inestimable gift of Himself in the Eucharist by giving away our own selves as a gift. Is it not a miracle that Jesus gives us all the grace necessary through the Eucharist, to love as He has loved? See what a blind woman can accomplish for Jesus when she has so much trust in God’s goodness! We ask Our Lord on this feast of Corpus Christi to fashion us into a living Eucharistic miracle so that we may become a vessel of mercy carrying His love to others.
-Fr. Paul Yi