My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
May the Peace of the Risen Christ be with you!
I never realized how much power a pair of socks has! When Dillard’s had their 40% off the 65% off sale a few weeks ago, I bought a pair of socks, not just ordinary black socks that I usually buy, but a pair of striped socks with some blue, pink, yellow, light brown and a light shade of purple. They are very colorful. Well I wore them to Dallas last week for a funeral which took place in a Baptist church. Now you have to realize that I was wearing my black suit with my roman collar. As I pulled the socks over my big feet, something miraculous happened – I felt very young like I did when I was in my early twenties. All I could say was “WOW”. Every time I looked down and saw my socks I felt like I was a new person. I was rejuvenated!
I know that this sound kind of strange coming from a 74 year old man, but it is true. That’s my story, and I am sticking to it! Who would ever believe that a pair of socks had such power to make one young again. When I wore those socks, I had more energy and a whole different outlook on life. Yes, I felt young again! I was alive.
I also wore them on the flight home from Dallas as well. As I sat in my seat reading some material for the sermon for today, it hit me. Jesus has been telling us for the past few Sundays that He is the bread of life and if we eat of this bread, we will have eternal life. As I was reflecting on the Gospel where Jesus was telling His apostles that He was the real bread from heaven, and unlike their ancesters who ate the manna from heaven and died, but if you eat His living bread, you will never die, I looked down and noticed my socks. They stood out since they were a source of color between my black pants and my black shoes. If putting on those socks made me feel so young, how much more does eating the Body and Blood of Jesus keep me alive? I know that my earthly body will come to an end one day. Eating of this New Bread from Heaven, the Eucharist and his word, means that I have to “put on” Jesus like I did the socks.
Receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus, the real bread from heaven, means that I have to put on Christ.As the socks covered my feet, the Eucharistic Jesus covers my entire being – inside and out. The more I realize the significance of this reality, the more I have to change. I find myself asking myself what is it that I am doing that prevents the Resurrected Christ from entering and taking over my body? How do I allow the eating of the Body of Jesus to make me into a new man – Jesus Himself? Am I really conscious of being Him when I get upset with the car that just cut in front me on the freeway? How about when I get upset because things do not go my way? How about allowing music and movies and TV shows influence my action more than the Word of God that I hear proclaimed at every Mass?
And if I really believe that I become Jesus when I receive His Body and Blood (communion), how do I make Him present in school or in the work place? Am I a better priest and shepherd to the SSCM community because I have partaken of the real bread that has come down from heaven? Are you a better and different person because you received the Eucharist during the communion at Mass? Do we really allow becoming one with Jesus by eating of his Body and Blood influence our actions and words and thoughts? Think for a moment, do you think that by putting on Jesus you help in making Him present in this world of our’s? How about in your interaction within your own family and with your friends?
If a pair of socks has the power to renew this old body of mine, how much more does the eating of the Eucharist and the listening to the Word of the Lord renew His life in me and makes me feel alive again. Reflecting on the Gospel of this Sunday, do you find yourself doubting that Jesus is giving us His very Body in the Eucharist, the Bread of Life, or do you side with the apostles that accepted Jesus at His word? Put on the Body of Christ and become a new man. Eat the Body of Christ and you will live forever!
Every one of us needs to spend more time reflecting on what it means to be allowed to eat of the Living Bread that has come down from heaven, the Body of Christ Himself. How do you change each time you receive the Eucharist or hear His Word? What are you doing to share in His ministry preaching the good news to others whether it be in your home or in your school or at your place of work or simply driving your car on the Crosstown or SPID?
As my new pair of socks changes me into a more energetic youthful man, the eating of the Body of Christ makes me more like Him in everything that I do. Putting on Jesus is more powerful than putting on a pair of socks! Won’t you wear Him at every moment of your day and allow him to change you into Himself?
Wow, I never thought that a pair of socks could be meaningful. My new socks will only help me feel young in this life that will surely come to an end when I die. My eating of the Bread of Life that has come down from heaven and lives among us will assure me that I will never die. If I had to choose, I would toss out the socks! Having Jesus in me is everything and life giving.
Please pray for me and all the priests and seminarians of our diocese.
I love you,