Some ages burn books. Some ages destroy cities; to build their city. We seem to be entering an age of pulling down statues. We then spend fortunes creating, if possible, the burnt books, excavating the buried cities and rescuing the statues…in many cases to try to recover the knowledge so burnt, buried or smashed.
Our Church takes another path. Liturgically, we are in the midst of a Triduum celebrating Trinity, Communion, and, with the Sacred Heart on Friday, the true humanity of Jesus. All relate back to Pentecost and the inauguration of these feasts spans over 1500 years. All build on the life experiences of people trying to ponder anew, or for the first time, what the gift of Pentecost meant. You may say we are slow learners. The formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity took nearly three hundred years of, sometimes, bitter debate. We made it eventually. God showed patience in that debate as with many others. Slowly we reflected and passed on insights to the next generation; remembering the trials and battles, trying not to forget what had been handed on, be it truth or falsehood until the truth was hammered out.
All this is towards asking you to read the second reading for this Sunday, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17.
Jean, my next-door neighbour some 80 metres away, is fast approaching her tenth decade. She was still driving to the service station, for milk and the paper and to St KiIlians Church, just around the corner, until Covid-19 grounded her. We nodded for some years, waved, and now talk over the front fence, occasionally. The other day she bailed me up and we had a serious conversation…”I am really missing Mass, I am missing my friends. We have good chats at Mass. It is OK to speak in the Church isn’t it?” And so we chatted. “I am really missing Mass”.
It took nearly 1000 years for Thomas Aquinas to be asked to write the Mass for this new Feast of Corpus Christi. Clergy and people had become a little lax. A new liturgy was created, processions were introduced, and the true meaning of the Gift of Communion was reinforced and clarified. In a rather local way, Jean provided me with a valid insight to what Paul wrote about 2000 years ago.
“…though there are many of us, we form a single body because we all have a share in this one loaf.”
We hope Communion can soon be returned to all our people!