3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Date: 
Sunday, January 27, 2019
Speaker: 
Fr. Kyle
Homily transcription: 

Who are we as a Church?  What distinguishes us from other groups?  What gives us our identity?  St. Paul speaks about how we are the Body of Christ.  This in not just some pious platitude or nice image.  It’s real.  I think there are three key things that Paul helps us to identify as our identity as a Church.

  1.       What we are not (society or club or group)

We are not merely a club or group of like-minded people.  We do not gather just because we are a bunch of like-minded people.  In fact, one of the most impressive things I see when I look out on Sunday is how diverse we are.  People of different fields of study, different opinions, different ecclesiologies and different socio-economic backgrounds.  Sometimes I like to look out at our congregation and say to myself, “Shoot!  The only thing that would bring these people together in the same place is Jesus.  We are not like a underwater basketweaving club or Cyclone fans gathered together at Hilton.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  In fact, I have big plans to be part of that group at Hilton on Wednesday.  But as a church we are more than that.

  1.       What we are (Living Body of Christ)

We are the living Body of Christ.  As a Church we make up Christ who is living and active in our world today.  We are not just people who follow a teacher or leader.  We are not Buddhists who follow the teachings of the Buddha.  We are not … who follow the tenants of …ism.  We ARE Christ.  We are the living body united as one.  And nowhere is this more evident than in the Eucharist.  In order to be the living Body of Christ, we must receive the Body of Christ.  In the Eucharist we are so deeply connected to Christ as a community that we become the living Body of Christ in the world today.

  1.       How we act

We act like a body.  As St. Paul says, all parts are interconnected and affect each other.  If one part suffers, all suffer.  If one part is honored, all share in the joy.  If my stomach is hurting from eating to many chicken wings (which sometimes happens) my head can’t just say, “well that’s your problem stomach, you figure it out.”  And neither can we just see someone else’s problem as something that they need to figure out.  It affects who we are as a Church, as the living body of Christ.  We all love to critique each other.  We love to point out flaws and failings and say that that are their problems.  But if we are who we say we are.  If we are indeed a Church, a parish family, the living Body of Christ, then another’s flaws or problems becomes our problem.  If my stomach hurts from Chicken wings then it also affects my head and so the head should do something like take an antacid to help out the body.  If we are not willing to do something to help someone with their problems, then we should not be offering our critique.

 

In a few moments we will come up to receive the Body of Christ.  As we do, we are reminded that we are not just a social club; we are not just a group of like-minded people.  We are the living Body of Christ intimately united and integrated with each other.