2nd Sunday after Pentecost 14.6.20 No choice
We have just had the feast of Corpus Christi - ironic in a time of deprivation of the Eucharist.
Our lack of receiving and adoring the Blessed Sacrament should at least sharpen our hunger for the things of God.
Not everyone regards the Blessed Sacrament as important. It could be they do not believe or do not care, or even if Christian, not believe in the Real Presence.
When there is a Eucharistic procession there are people who will walk in faith with the procession. Others will look on indifferently, or bemused, as if to say, This has nothing to do with me.
Someone might say: I am not a Catholic, or a churchgoer, so I am exempt from all these things. But, [W]e must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.’ (2 Cor 5,10)
It will be awkward, especially for the atheists!
There are no exemptions at this point. There is, and only ever has been, one God, from whom comes all creation., and to whom all must account:‘Therefore every one of us shall render account to God for himself.’ (Rom 14,12)
Today individualism is the popular creed. You decide for you; I will decide for me. No one can tell anyone else what is what.
Religion is seen as entirely an optional thing that you may or not take up. But there is that judgment scene.
In today’s Gospel we see that God invites people from all over. He wants all people in the world to respond to His invitation, even if they have rejected Him many times before.
He invites them to a banquet. A banquet symbolises for us all that is desirable. To attend the banquet is to have everything we need and want; to miss out on the banquet is misery and darkness.
The invitation is intensely personal. He wants you, not just anyone, but you in particular.
Even here one might say, but I don’t need your banquet… but you do need it more than food or air; because this is how you are made, the way you are designed.
You need the Eucharist as much as fish need water.
Many will laugh at us, but it is not funny to be dicing with life and death – when Eternity is at stake. It is not funny to reject Jesus Christ.
He could reveal His full power and glory at any point, but He holds back to give people time to accept His offer.
To accept the offer means that we become His disciples, not just nominally, but fully, willingly, ready for anything.
For us who do believe already, we need the Eucharist to sustain us, and keep us focused.
We will hold firm, for our own sake, and to make it easier for others to accept.
There is no physical force to make anyone comply.
But there is a moral force – stemming from the wisdom that God plants in us, and then reinforces with His Holy Spirit. All signs press us to see that there is not really any choice.
This is an offer you cannot refuse because we are dealing with the One who made it all.
The corona virus has shown how powerful some authority can be. Well, what about the authority of the One who controls all things?
At present we cannot freely receive the Bread of Life, but we can still adore Him, and express our willingness to receive Him. That will keep us close to Him.
We pray that all people will realize their need for Him, and come to the Banquet.