So I was looking for a good reflection for our communion service today and I must admit I had a bit of trouble. I am allowed to give reflections of my own at communion services since they are not Masses, but until I get comfortable with that idea, I choose a reflection to read from the Saints or the Church Fathers. This is more comfortable to me for the time being, though I know I will need to start coming up with my own soon as practice for actual homilies. For now, I can play it safe, and read from the masters.
Today was tough though. I just couldn’t find anyone that said what I wanted to say. To help you see why I had so much trouble, here is the Gospel for today:
“After making the crossing to the other side of the sea, Jesus and his disciples came to land at Gennesaret and tied up there. As they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized him. They scurried about the surrounding country and began to bring in the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak; and as many as touched it were healed.” Mk 6:53-56
Now, Jesus was basically walking around in a pastoral environment. These were farmers and merchants, your regular sort of people. I don’t know about you, but I imagine if someone walked into small town Nebraska, that your regular country folks would not generally have this kind of reaction. Regular working people are not easily fooled in my experience, and are generally leery of folks running around doing amazing things, they seem to to be the “proof is in the pudding” types. And yet it was very much these people who flocked to Jesus.
Jesus was clearly different to these people than anyone that had come before. Yes they were confused as to who he really was, but they were very clearly able to recognize that something different was going on.
Think about this. Jesus was walking around like a rock star. Everywhere he went, people were going nuts. They were like a bunch of teens at a Justin Bieber concert. Rich men were climbing trees to see him, the sick were breaking all the rules and coming into town to see him. They were packed in so tight that people were fighting through mobs just at the chance to touch his clothes.
I’m amazed they didn’t shred him to pieces.
Now, I in no way mean to say that Jesus was like a rock star, I am only trying to draw a picture of the scene that I see present in this Gospel. This was really intense. You just don’t see this happening in Farmtown America for just about any reason.
So what happened?
When I go to Mass, that’s the same Jesus up there on the alter, and He more famous then ever. Everyone knows His name now, and yet we just walk in and walk out of Church like nothing is going on at all. Can we really be so blind?
I love the group that comes for our communion services, they are so very faithful and so extremely reverent. When I come to Mass on Sunday though, my picture is as different as can be imagined. In some countries the congregation goes up the aisle on their knees to receive Jesus, we in America act like He is nothing but a stale cracker.
Oh, but if we could only touch the tassel on His cloak, we would be healed.