June 23, 2019 The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ Deacon Steve Whiteman

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Reading 1 GN 14:18-20

 Responsorial Psalm PS 110:1, 2, 3, 4

R.(4b) You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.
 Reading 2 1 COR 11:23-26

Alleluia JN 6:51

 Gospel LK 9:11B-17

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Looking for Love in all the Right Places

I’ve never been a big fan of country music…but as it turns out, there maybe a couple of topics in life that lend themselves to a country song. These include:

  • Trucks
  • Tractors &
  • Love gone wrong

One song that came to mind, that you might recognize is, “Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places.” Johnny Lee made the song famous in the 1980 movie Urban Cowboy. We won’t get into the lyrics or the music but the title is worth reflecting on.

Are there times in our life when we look for love in all the wrong places?

The desire to love and be loved is hard wired into our human nature. God’s creation was an act of love. He created us to love Him and each other. Jesus emphasized this fact when He gave us a new commandment: “love one another…as I have loved you…”

If we struggle to find love from family or friends in traditional relationships, it’s natural to look for a substitute. Unfortunately, this path can eventually lead us into misguided priorities, addictions and unhealthy relationships. Our consumer culture makes these worldly pursuits very attractive and our pride can lead us astray. Our pride will try to justify the need for a bigger house or newer car or latest gadget. Our pride wants to prioritize our whims and desires above everyone and everything else to keep us on top.

As it turns out, finding fulfillment from worldly pursuits is elusive because the promise of happiness is always just out of reach. It’s tempting to think we will be satisfied if we can only make a little more money or have a little more free time to ourselves. Surely the next promotion or the next vacation or the next phase of our life will make everything better.

These worldly pursuits have us looking for “love” in all the wrong places. What the world has to offer will never be enough to satisfy us because we are not made for this world. So…if we are not made for this world, what is our purpose in life?

Since our musical selection came from the past, let’s go a little further into the past for our answer to this question.…From the 1st lesson of The Baltimore Catechism we are asked: Why did God make you?

You may have the answer memorized from childhood:

God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next (repeat).

This sounds like a simple answer but as you know, the distractions we have living in this world can make this a challenge. As it turns out Jesus left us an incredible gift to help us. That Gift is the Eucharist which we honor this weekend in the Feast ofCorpus Christi or The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. This feast day is special because we honor a foundational truth of the Catholic Church: the Body and Blood of Jesus is truly present in the bread and wine we eat and drink at Mass.

So if we go back to the Baltimore Catechism, having Jesus truly present in the Eucharist makes Him very approachable and helps us get to know Him. The way you get to know anyone is by spending time with them. Having Jesus present in the Eucharist at Mass every day and in perpetual Adoration chapels can provide the strength and grace we need to get through a tough day.

By consistently spending time with Jesus in the Eucharist and reflecting on all He has done for us through His life, death and resurrection we can’t help but appreciate His love for us. Loving Him back is our choice. God’s love is unconditional, but He created us with free will that allows us to love Him or love the world. We can be devoted to Him or continue to look for love in all the wrong places. As we know from Mathew 6:24: You cannot serve God and mammon.

One of my favorite Eucharist stories is the Road to Emmaus at the end of Luke’s Gospel. You may remember, the disciples were talking to Jesus during their trip to Emmaus but this was right after the Resurrection and they were “prevented from recognizing Him”. After the 7 mile journey, the disciples arrived at their destination but Jesus “gave the impression that He was going on farther”. The disciples urged Him to “Stay with us.” Of course, Jesus stays and shares a meal with them. Just like the Gospel story today where Jesus feeds 5000, He “took bread, said the blessing, broke it and gave it to them. With that the disciple’s eyes were opened and they recognized Him…He was made known to them in the breaking of the Bread.”

One of the amazing realities of our Faith is that the meal Jesus shared with the disciples at the Last Summer is the same Eucharistic meal we have in Mass every day. Just as Jesus was made known to the disciple in the breaking of the Bread at Emmaus, we can get to know Jesus in the breaking of the Bread at Mass. Every time we receive Him in the Eucharist in a state of grace, we grow a little closer to Him and experience His love for us. By experiencing His love in the Eucharist, we are better prepared to share that love with those around us.

As we prepare to receive to receive Jesus in Eucharist today, we can be confident that we are looking for Love in all the right places.