Sunday 14 June 2020

The Body and Blood of Christ  – Year A

Word for today
The Gospel of Luke 9:11b-17

On the grass

The sun is turning its face to the horizon, melting its last warm rays on the shoulders of thousands of children gathered around Life made flesh. Life who gives the Word that gives life, heals every ailment and takes care of every wound, welcomes every hope and fulfils every desire.
It is becoming dusk and hunger appears at once. The only choice is to send the crowd away, but how could Life dismiss that beautiful and poor life gathered there? And, most of all, where could Life send all that life, all those lives? Life knows that there is no place, there is not any place in the entire creation away from Life.
There is no place where Life does not exist and where Life is not all that exists. There is darkness and hunger. There is no sun to light up the darkness and not enough wheat to satisfy hunger, so the search is started to see if there is something left somewhere. There, before Life, human history’s saddlebag is opened, the saddlebag of the immense human history. Millions of hearts and lives, in millions of years of life, experience, breath, science, philosophy, intelligence, words, wars, empires, research open the saddlebag. And what is in there? Five loaves of bread and two fishes, that is all there is.
After millions of years of life the children bring in Life’s hands the result of the entire human history: five loaves of bread and two fishes.
Here we are, the saddlebag is open. Fights, sacrifices, death, dreams, feasts, love, thanks, fear, conflicts, betrayals, journeys, laws, power, blood, runs, slavery, dances, school, cry, relationship, sons, jails, castles, work, prayers, songs, roads, sweat, hunt, sleep, discovery, screams, caresses amounting to a total of five loaves and two fishes. The saddlebag is turned inside out, thrown to earth, the gaze lost on the ground and in the air also that exquisitely human irritation, mixed with all the embarrassment of the universe in seeing in that saddlebag the result of human labour. That is all. All done for nothing because nothing was done for the Whole.
Life looks at it and feels compassion, He knows how much strain and tears, how much ignorance and fear, He looks and instead of accusing, judging and getting outraged, He gives his children some rest, He makes them lay down softly on the grass: Have them sit down – it is literally written: have them lay in groups of (about) fifty.
Now the Lying of Bethlehem, after all the useless human hasten, can teach His children the Happy Way: lying down in the grass.
They counted five thousands men, plus women and children, all together almost twenty thousands people lying down on the grass under the last few sunrays. Gathered in groups of about fifty, there were almost four hundreds groups.
It is almost dark, fires are lit, children are resting in their mothers’ lap, the air has never been so warm and bright, hundreds of points of light and warmth transformed the valley in a  starlit sky, it looks like a new world is being born. Life is there, quietly standing amongst people lying down in silence, there, in the darkness, people eventually start to see. The people start to see that nothing is left of the human hasten unless life is lived lying down in God.  They start to see that everything is a deception, everything is vanity and ambition, everything is sand in the wind unless we live lying down in God. They start to see and understand, and a deep and unexplained feeling, as an endless nostalgia, is pervading everybody, men, women, children, grass, earth, hands and feet. They start to see and inside their heart the words spoken that day start echoing, His Words that warm up more than fire, His Words that cut and heal. Life is there, standing, His arms and eyes turned skywards, a thankful prayer to the Father and the baskets, filled with the Spirit’s wind, start going around. There is fragrant bread, roasted fish, awe, tears, smiles, songs, blessings.  In the darkness, lying down on the grass, lying down in God, Life’s children are eating bread and wisdom, fish and knowledge. Life is there, standing, slowly walking and stroking heads and gazes, hands and thankfulness.
Life is there standing, showing  the Happy Way: living constantly, anyway, everywhere, at any moment completely lying in God, lying in His hands, lying and passionate, lying and full of life and enthusiasm.
It is night time, some people are heading back home, some others enjoy staying late, the disciples gathered twelve full baskets and there, close to them, is the saddlebag, empty. Nobody picks it up, it is a story of another history, it is not God’s history
They are looking for Life, He was here a moment ago, where is He? No doubt Life slipped away in what belongs to Him, in His own, as the text says literally, in the darkness, in silence. As He did the previous morning, and as He does every night, the Lying goes back to what is His own, essential, He goes back to rest in His Father’s arms.