23rd June 2019

This is a lonely place      

You can almost hear the panic in the disciples’ voices when they realise that they have 5,000 hungry people on their hands and no means of feeding them. More poignant is their cry that ‘this is a lonely place’.  It could have been a comment on the loneliness of our own world. For we live in an age of terrible loneliness: fragmented families, divided nations and a planet that seems less & less hospitable. For many this really is a lonely place, a place of deep hunger for love and acceptance.

There is no simple solution to loneliness in this wounded world but our catholic tradition has always insisted that God left us a sign of his unfailing presence. In the Eucharist Jesus is present for us no matter what our status, talents, or track record. He is there for us in pain and pleasure, in sorrow and serenity. He is there for us not because we are virtuous, but because he always keeps his promises.            

It is this unshakeable presence that we feast this day of Corpus Christi. Its full title Corpus et Sanguis Christi  means the Body and Blood of Christ, and we keep this feast because we thank god for his real presence in holy communion knowing he is always there for us no matter if we are bright or dull, long or short, happy or sad. And he is always to be found when we are in a lonely place.

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