Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 10, 2018
Last Sunday, the Church celebrated The Feast of Corpus Christi with Readings that brought the concepts of change and presence to mind. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, Whose real presence we experience in the Eucharist. And since we become what we eat, the Sacrament changes us, and we, in turn, make Christ present in the world, as we are better able to live the Gospel through the graces we enjoy when we come to the table for Holy Communion.
The Readings for this 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time seem to emphasize the same concepts, although in reverse order, and to a different end. The passage from Genesis demonstrates that evil is present in the created world. Dark forces stimulated in the first parents an appetite for something that was lethal, and, therefore, forbidden. They ate anyway, and they were changed. The original sin brought about more than a change of residence. Not only were the first parents evicted from the Garden, but their relationship with The Creator and with one another changed. What they consumed on that fateful day became part of them, incorporated into their spiritual DNA, and has been passed on through the generations, present in every human being to this very day. The original sin infected human nature with the tendency towards division.
Jesus certainly has something profound to say about division! If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
Fifty years ago…about two months before his assassination on June 6, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy also had something to say about division. What we need in the United States is not division…not hatred…but love and wisdom and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice towards those who still suffer within our country.
Politics aside, who can argue with that statement? Certainly no person of faith. Definitely no Christian. Any sincere call for unity, peace, justice, compassion, and love echoes the message of the Gospel. To challenge an effort to unite humanity is to challenge Jesus Christ! And that kind of challenge is nothing short of Original Sin!
Fortunately, our Second Reading speaks to the transformative power of grace. Grace enables us to overcome our inherited guilt and divisive tendencies. Grace enables us to “do the will of God” and to live in harmony and peace. Grace makes Christ present when darkness clouds our judgment. Grace heals that about our human nature which threatens to divide, and enables us to see one another for who we really are…sisters and brothers…all children of God, Who loves us equally.
So we gather for Eucharist, seeking the grace that makes Christ really present through us…so that we can change the world.