Worship At Home
The Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Worship at Home with
Corpus Christi Church

The Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

Whatever your present status in the Catholic Church, whatever your
current family or marital situation, whatever your past or present
religious affiliation, whatever your personal history, age, background,
race or color, sexual orientation, whatever your self-esteem…you are
invited, welcomed, accepted, loved and respected by the
Catholic Community of Corpus Christi.
Let us know your needs, your hopes, your gifts.
There is a place for you here.

 


Opening Song

Come to the Water:

 

 

Opening Prayer

We begin in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

Amen

God of the poor,
you call us to be attentive to the things we would rather not see and the voices we would rather not hear.
The goodness of your creation and the generosity of your abundance have been obscured and twisted out of shape by human greed and fear.
By sharing the loaves and fishes you gave us an image of solidarity with the hungry.
Open our hearts to recognize those in poverty and increase our awareness to the structures and systems that need to be changed so that we may all break bread together.
We ask this through Christ our Lord

Amen


The First Reading

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah
Thus says the LORD:
All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!
You who have no money,
come, receive grain and eat;
Come, without paying and without cost,
drink wine and milk!
Why spend your money for what is not bread;
your wages for what fails to satisfy?
Heed me, and you shall eat well,
you shall delight in rich fare.
Come to me heedfully,
listen, that you may have life.
I will renew with you the everlasting covenant,
the benefits assured to David.
The word of the Lord

Thanks Be To God

 

 

The Second Reading

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans
Brothers and sisters:
What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?
No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly
through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor present things, nor future things,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The word of the Lord

Thanks Be To God

 

 

The Gospel

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.”
Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me, ”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over—
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.
The Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

 

 


The Homily

Deacon Glenn Skuta

We often focus on the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes at the end of this gospel reading – with good reason, for it is a miracle after all, and it pre-figures the Eucharist. But I’d like to focus on the front end of this reading, before the multiplication happens. Because while the multiplication itself is miraculous, and a demonstration of Jesus’ great love for his people, what happens before it amplifies our understanding of the great love of Jesus.
Let’s consider that this all happens just after Jesus cousin John the Baptizer has been executed. We can surmise that in his humanity, Jesus is shaken by this. What human feelings must have welled-up in him? Shock? Sadness? Anger? Disbelief? Even guilt that this happened because of John’s role as Jesus’ herald. Perhaps some fear for his own life? Being overwhelmed, emotionally spent, and wanting to retreat and pray, the gospel says “he withdrew to a deserted place by himself.”
But Jesus’ reputation precedes him wherever he goes, and so instead of finding solitude and rest, he finds a vast crowd of well over 5,000 people! His reaction could easily, and appropriately, have been to tell the crowd upon disembarking, “go away – I am in mourning, and want to be alone”, or to not have disembarked at all, but to have continued on elsewhere or just remain on the boat until the crowd dispersed. But instead, the gospel says, “his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.” Instead of being annoyed, or angry, or wallowing in self-pity in his sad situation, Jesus feels pity for the crowd, and works miracles of healing, even as he had sought healing for himself in going off alone. Jesus’ love is so strong that it overcomes his own needs for solitude and recuperation for himself and compels him to provide community and healing for others.
And then, after all this, when the disciples tell him to dismiss the crowds so they can go find food for themselves, rather than doing so and finally securing some peace for himself, Jesus instead says, “There is no need for them to go away,” and he works the miracle of multiplication of loaves and fishes to nourish them. The gospel says, “They all ate, and were satisfied.” Jesus just can’t stop loving and giving.
As the multiplication of bread and fish prefigures the Eucharist, so does Jesus’ path to this miracle parallel his Passion. Here, he is emotionally overwrought by the imprisonment, treatment, and execution of John, as he would similarly become a prisoner and sentenced to death. Jesus propels his boat alone here, like he carried his cross to Calvary. In both cases he is met by crowds who eye him as a spectacle and demand miracles of him. In both cases, while completely spent, he gives everything he has in the multiplication, in the Last Supper, in the Crucifixion – all the same Eucharistic act of complete self-emptying for the good of others.
Jesus shows us that this is when we are truly at our best – when we dig deep, even when we are spent, to find empathy for others in their pain, to find the strength to help others who need us, to find the will to love. Nurses at the end of long shifts, sleep-deprived, parents of infants, business owners working hard to keep operating and their staff employed, first-responders dealing with intense situations, teachers preparing for uncertain conditions this fall, counselors offering empathy to the struggling, family members helping each other through mental and physical illnesses, volunteers in so many ministries that give of themselves and their time for no reward or return. We can all be nourished by Jesus’ caring example, his healing grace, his Eucharist.

 

 


Another Reflection from our Community

This Sunday in the Gospel we find Jesus needing some space to mourn the loss of John the Baptist. Jesus understands when we are overwhelmed and need to get away from everything to silence ourselves and think. And soon he notices a vast crowd forming and setting aside his agenda, with compassion begins to heal and minister to them. Jesus knows what it is like to be empty and yet have more asked you. He could have been angry or resentful. He doesn’t blame or complain. He doesn’t ignore the interruption. He simply is present to what is in front of him willing to do what he can. As the day goes on and the crowd continues to grow, the disciples want to send them away to buy food for themselves. The disciples have gone for the fix which puts no responsibility on them. They are willing to entrust the hungry crowd on the village markets and hope for the best. Hopefully, there is enough food in the village and those with money can eat: those without, can’t. For the disciples, money and commerce are the answer to hunger. Jesus rejects this solution, “There is no need for them to go; give them something to eat yourselves.” Jesus’ answer to hunger is hospitality, share what you have. Even in his mourning, he made sure that all were fed, with baskets leftover. The words and action of Jesus in this miraculous feeding event overshadow the events of the last Supper; he took the bread and fish, gave thanks, broke the bread, and gave it to the disciples to distribute. This event is captured no less than six times across all four Gospels (twice in Matthew and Mark, and once in Luke and John) which points to the theological significance and connection to our Eucharistic meal.
Sometimes people look at the poverty in the world and think, “How could God allow that?”  This question can cause us to feel distant from God, but in light of what God has given us and our ability to share from this abundance, when we think like this, guess who has moved away from whom? God has abundantly provided for us so that we can abundantly provide for all the world which is given to our care. The problem is that when we look around, we see that while some of us have so much, others have nothing at all. There is not justice or equality, we need to work to fix this. If we answer, as the disciples did, that they should fend for themselves and send people to their fate to buy what they can, if they can, then we have rejected Jesus solution and it will not satisfy. We have to take responsibility to share what we have and to be generous with what we have. At Corpus we have participated in many ways to help feed others including Loaves and Fishes, Bread for the World, collecting for Keystone Food Shelf, Feed My Starving Children, and we raise fresh produce for the hungry in our Giving Garden. There are multiple ways to make a difference, finding the time to answer the call can sometimes be the challenge. We all live in the tension between our plans and interruptions, our expectations and the unexpected, life as we want it to be, and life as it happens. Certainly, this pandemic is an interruption. Jesus didn’t ignore or deny the interruptions, he was simply present to the moment and in that attention to being present, grace and miracles happened. Ministry happens in the interruptions. We often hold our plans and the interruptions in opposition, as if it is one or the other. But what if it’s both? What if one is not necessarily better or more important than the other? What if we trusted that God was present in both? We come back to Jesus statement “Be not afraid.” When we are afraid to reach out and help, these are the times to come to Jesus and ask him to supply us with what we truly need, and Jesus will give us what we need. In what way is God calling us to be present in the interruptions of today? Are we recognizing the injustice of a situation? Are we able to feel the pain of someone else? Do we see that we are all connected? Do we see the needs of another as valuable and important to our own? In those times we are seeing with eyes open and can be present. When we offer peace, forgiveness, and act with compassion, we are present. When we look beyond ourselves and see the needs of others we are seeing as God sees, looking into the heart of the other person or situation. We live as hungry people in a hungry world. Everyone is looking for something that will sustain and nourish life, something that will feed and energize, something that will fill and satisfy. Everyone is looking for bread, but spiritual hunger cannot be fed by a loaf of store-bought bread. Jesus offers all in more abundance.

 

 


Profession of Faith

Let us together profess our faith:

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,          
born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.

Amen.

 

 


Prayers of the Faithful

PRESIDER:
Inspired to carry out works of compassion, we lift up these prayers for our sisters and brothers scattered across the world.
LECTOR:
For the Church:
As we move forward into the unknown future, may we have courage to be open to bold changes that will breathe new life into our institutions and structures by the Holy Spirit…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For an end to the waste and desecration of God’s creation:
May the bountiful fruits be shared equally among all people and clean water flow freely for all…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For farmers with limited or marginal land and those who lack access to water and other resources:
May they find support to feed the people near them…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For the poor, the hungry, and the neglected all over the world:
May their cries for daily bread inspire works of compassion and mercy among those to whom much has been given…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For the mayors, educators, administrators, and board members,
tasked with how to best serve and protect our students this fall:
May they be filled with wisdom and new possibilities…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For the sick and weary, for those longing to see loved ones, and those waiting to hear test results:
May they feel your healing love, knowing that you are by their side…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

We remember our beloved dead…

(PAUSE)

May they be welcomed with open arms in the Kingdom of heaven…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

 

PRESIDER:
Generous God,
you challenge us to live in ways that stretch us beyond where we are.
Give us the courage to make bold strides forward as peacemakers who love their enemies.
Hear the prayers we have laid before you and grant us your peace.
We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 


Closing Prayer

(Pope Francis, from the Laudato Si encyclical)

All-powerful God,
you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace,
that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray,
in our struggle for justice, love and peace.
United with our sisters and brothers everywhere,
together we pray in the words Jesus taught us:

Our Father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done.
on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours now and forever.

Amen.