The Church does not seem to want to give into ordinary time following Easter for what follows the end the Easter Sundays is the Ascension (celebrated on Sunday in some places), Pentecost and the feast of Corpus Christi. Now I know ordinary time refers to numbering, but for me it also refers to well ordinariness. No distinction – commonplace. Just regular Sundays.
Sunday’s feast reminds us that no celebration of the Eucharist is ordinary in that commonplace way. Each celebration is gift. It is gift from a loving God who gave manna in the desert. It is the gift of a God who gives food and drink, which is Christ Himself. It is the gift that is not just for me as an individual, but a gift that makes the community gathered one.
This is the day remembering again as we did on Holy Thursday that as Meister Eckhardt said, “Your heart and His will be one heart; your body and His, one body. In this way all your physical powers and spiritual faculties will be engrafted in Him, and you will be conscious of his presence.”
Eckhardt continues, “this union is unique in its intimacy, because the soul is more closely united to God than to the body, which it inhabits.” What an astonishing gift we receive! No ordinariness here.
And this union is also communal. Here is the rub. Those around me who have different political positions; those around me who don’t seem to be able to be attentive rather talking and fidgeting; those who embrace a more conservative outlook; those who are pro-life and yet vehemently support the death penalty; those who scoff at climate change; those who… Yes, in Eucharist we are one body for we partake in one loaf. We partake in one Christ. The call of grace is to find ways of making one so the Christ who unites us heals us and challenges us to live that gift of community. And our brother Thomas Aquinas also reminds us in the sequence,
You who all things can and know,
Who on earth such food bestow,
Grant us with your saints, though lowest,
Where the heav’nly feast you show,
Fellow heirs and guests to be. Amen. Alleluia.
Let the celebration of this feast remind us of the gifts we need from the Eucharist. The gifts of intimacy with the God who gives and the gifts of creating communal relationships that foster God’s call for right relationships. This is no ordinary call; no ordinary challenge; no ordinary gift. This is no ordinary Sunday.