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Thought for the week - Corpus Christi

I have no sermon to give on Corpus Christi. Not because I have no thoughts to speak of – quite the opposite – but because we simply have no time for a sermon, procession and Benediction if we hope to keep our celebrations at least modestly within the expected timeframe. I have thoughts about that as well, having spent a long time in an area where the quality of Sunday worship was measured partly in how long it lasted – the longer, the better! When I first came here to meet you, someone made their dislike for sermons over five minutes quite clear, and I thought ‘how do you teach the children about the faith in five minutes a week’ particularly against a backdrop of other religions having adherents well versed in their beliefs and us being, generally, less so.

Today is a day which needs thought and teaching, for all of us, because otherwise what we do can seem almost farcical, a little dressing up and a bedraggled parade. None of which would be true. It’s a matter of deep faith and love that we process the risen Christ in His body, soul and divinity around our parish, to bless it and to encourage others in their faith, to take what we believe out into the street precisely because those out in the street are not coming in here.

We do all this out of love, and I have a sonnet to share with you by the wonderful Fr Malcolm Guite, which explains a little of how I, and I hope you as well, feel about this day, this gift;

Love’s Choice

This bread is light, dissolving, almost air,

A little visitation on my tongue,

A wafer-thin sensation, hardly there.

This taste of wine is brief in flavour, flung

A moment to the palate’s roof and fled,

Even its aftertaste a memory.

Yet this is how He comes.

Through wine and bread Love chooses to be emptied into me.

He does not come in unimagined light

Too bright to be denied, too absolute

For consciousness, too strong for sight,

Leaving the seer blind, the poet mute,

Chooses instead to seep into each sense,

To dye himself into experience.

May he who has laid Himself upon the cross and died for our sakes, who lays His body upon the altar day after day, bring us closer to an understanding of what we are witnesses to, who’s body we share, who’s blood we consume, who’s church it is and who’s example we follow in the hope that where He has gone, we may also, as we do this day, follow. We should not fear death, because we have faith in everlasting life, but we should very much fear the death of our faith, for then the world knows nothing to counter the darkness which ever threatens to consume it. Today we celebrate the light, let us pray that we may magnify it by our lives and our actions that the world may come to know the meaning of this blessed, glorious day.

Picture: Eucharist

Source: Pixabay

Artist: Robert Cheaib


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