The Lens of Grace, Joy, and Hope!


Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ  2018 2 JUN 18

Mark 14:12

Dad, who made the sky?

Dad, where does the wind come from?

Dad, were you alive when ants were born?

Dad, why do people have to die?

Dad, is there something beyond the sky?

Those are all questions that I have been asked by  our daughters as they were in the process of growing up.

Probably questions like those you all have been asked in your lived experiences too.  Maybe not the same, maybe some even deeper.

The human heart hungers for understanding. 

Who is God?  Where does God live?  What do you mean God lives in me?

As I was trying to explain the Eucharist to one young child before receiving for the first time she said to me….what do you mean Christ is in me…He didn’t ask me and I didn’t give him permission!

Jesus had the same struggle to help the disciples to understand how God’s presence would continue.

Take this and eat…this is my body….take this and drink, this is my blood.  Whenever you do this, do it in remembrance of me, Jesus says

Not to trudge up old memories and tears,

Not to relive the atrocities of the crucifixtion

Not to rewound our hearts and souls with our own fears,

But rather to remind us of our fundamental unity with God!

Jesus said it in his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemene….

“may they be one and you and I are one Oh God!”

You see my friends, I believe what Jesus was trying to get the disciples and us for that matter to understand,

is that the Incarnation, the indwelling of God with the human race,

was not just a 33 yr long experience culminated in the birth, life and death of Jesus!

I will send the Holy Spirit…Jesus said….to be with you,

to dwell in you,

to celebrate with you

and cry with you and hurt with you

and be in you,

and when you gather as a community

and you break the bread and share the cup…..

remember….I am with you always!

There are more books and papers and theological treatises written on the subject of the Eucharist than any other sacrament.

Why….because we want to understand the mystery of God…

But I wonder if maybe Jesus

in using Bread and Wine might not have been saying….

stop….

stop trying to understand the mystery of God

and simply be that mystery with each other….

eat and drink and remember and be….

Be the heart, hands, feet, voice and love of God…..

there is where you will see God.

I wonder what it would be like to walk through this week looking for Christ?

And point out to ourselves and to and for one another, like John the Baptist did…

There….there goes the Lamb of God…..

Things like the video I saw this week…a short video that went viral…of a young African American boy who stopped to help an elderly woman with a walker, up the front stairs of her side walk….

I am glad it went viral!

I wanted to scream…there…there goes the Lamb of God….

Or when I saw another person stop on a rather busy road yesterday, for a young girl who was trying to cross a very busy street and no one was stopping as she stood trying to decide if she should run or if she could make it across…and the person stopped put on their flashers and within seconds, the oncoming traffic stopped too and the girl looked up with the biggest smile…waved so joyfully and ran across the street to the playground….

There…there goes the Lamb of God….

I wonder what this week will be like if we set down the lens of sinfulness, negativity, gossip and pain

Put on the lens of grace, joy and hope….

And look to see God?

I have a hunch……. I have a hunch we will be amazed!

©Bishop Martin Shanahan