At the Mass I went to last Sunday, the homilist said something that I cannot stop thinking about. I heard him say that we need to remember who the focus of our worship is. We talk a lot about the community that gathers at the Lord’s table and how we live out the message, we focus on us. What we forget is that Jesus is the reason we gather. It is Jesus who is the true Bread come down from heaven. The priest was clear that we need to be careful when we gather for the Eucharist that we worship God and not ourselves and what we do.
This really challenged me. I am a firm believer that we need to work on being a community who are active and living disciples. What I forget is the one who makes us a community is the one who fed the masses, the one who went to Calvary and the one who rose again. It could be human nature to see ourselves as the center of the universe and see ourselves as the cause of our success. This is the reason we begin our worship and remember who we are …… “Mindful of our sinfulness, we prepare ourselves for the sacred mysteries”. What we do here is for the honor and glory of God.
What we do here, we changes us into community of disciples who gather and minister to the world. God knows us better than we know ourselves, so he provides all we need. He fed Elijah the prophet who was fed up with the people of Israel because they wouldn’t listen. He fed the people wandering the desert after they left Egypt and traveled to the promise land. He feeds us as we walk the journey to him in heaven.
The homilist last weekend reminded me who invited me to the altar to serve him and you. It was not my choice to be a priest, it was God’s. It is not your choice to be a disciples, it was Jesus who called you and me. Our choice is to be who God calls us to be. In this current moment in the life of the church, as see how power corrupts and some of our leaders made power their god, it is good for us to remember that Jesus is the one we owe our lives to and it is Jesus we worship and adore. We have a right to be angry and disappointed that those who serve and have served as successors of the Apostles have betrayed our trust, but, remember, Jesus is the Bread of Heaven. He is the one who feeds and sustains us. The Lord can work in spite of those who worship power and use control to harm others, but that is no excuse. Our faith is not in an institution but in a real, living, breathing person who is in our midst always, who teaches us in the Word proclaimed, who comes to us in the Sacrament of the Altar and remains as the Living Bread in the tabernacle, and changes us into to Body in the world. This is an eternal truth that no abuse of power or cover up will destroy. The man who calls us to follow Him was a simple carpenter and the Incarnate God. It to him we owe our worship and praise.
Let us always greet each other here with joy and peace. May God change our lives here. But, we all need to remember who we gather for……the Living Bread of Heaven, Jesus our Lord. He is the only One we give our lives too and him alone.