Sunday, June 10, 2012

Homiy for Corpus Christi: Innapropriate T-Shirts and Fifty Shades of Grey





You’ve probably seen some of those inappropriate T-Shirts with the cartoons on them and the phrases that take a minute before you get what they mean.  I can’t help but reflect on these, not to be inappropriate, but to get at the deeper meaning of what we are really longing for and the only appropriate way to meet that need. 

One is a picture of an old fashioned toaster, it’s plugged into the wall and its coils within are red hot.  It says to the piece of white bread “I want you inside of me…” The white bread says back to the toaster that’s hot!”  It expresses our want to be filled by someone or something. 

The other is a tall drink of beer in a frosted mug saying to the thirsty person… “I want to be inside of you.”  This in a playful way expresses the very strong temptation that we have to allow someone or something to tempt us into filling the void… seduce us… or promise us some escape from misery into inebriation, joy, exhilaration, or just the desire to get high or feel good. 

These T-Shirts express our most basic needs being met in the most basic way… bread and beer.

The whole idea of the toaster is that it has a physical opening in it… it has a space that was made for the toast.  We too have this insatiable hunger, this void that seems unable to be filled, this profound emptiness or loneliness that we want to fill with someone or something.  Think of your own hunger… Do you have an appetite that just can’t be satisfied?  We all probably struggle with some craving.  We all are trying to fill this void, “groping in the darkness” as Saint Paul says.  Maybe its food… those snacks that you can’t stop eating.  Maybe it’s a hunger for physical pleasure… Maybe it’s a sexual addiction.  The shirt is really expressing what lovers would say to each other: “I want to be inside of you.”  Think of the teenagers with premarital sex or addiction to pornography.  Think of the erotic Novel Fifty Shades of Grey that is so popular with all the soccer moms (I’m not recommending this book by the way).   All of it is seeking to fill this void in the most primal way. 

Think of the temptation the addict faces… hearing that whisper from the frosted beer mug: “I want to be in you.”  It may be alcohol… we all know just one more drink is never going to help us feel the way that we want, or take away the pain, but we do it anyways.  The same with drugs… drugs are literally consumed or injected or inhaled… I want you inside me!  We have this desire to consume… we want someone or something to “be inside of us” to fill this void that we have.    

God knows that we have this void… as a matter of fact, God created us with this void.  Think of it as a sacred void given to us by God. 

And just as the tall glass of beer said to the thirsty person: “I want to be in you.”  Even more than we want to have our void filled, God wants to fill us.  God wants to be IN you.   We are created to be filled by God.  And even more than we want to fill this void with someone or something… God desires even more to be inside of you.  And God wants it to be real and lasting. 

The Feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated today so that we may reverence and remember the most important mystery of our faith… the Body and Blood of Christ.  Corpus Christi, which means the Body of Christ, celebrates that what we receive in the Eucharist is no longer bread and wine, but is the Real Presence of Christ in His Body and Blood. 

Only God can fulfill our deepest need.  Only God can gratify our hunger.  Only God can quench our thirst.  He knows this and He created us for this.  More so than any lover, any addiction, any fantasy, God desires to be inside of us.  He knows that we long for this so often in the primal ways of bread and beer that he comes to us in the form of bread and wine (Jesus must have been just a little classier than beer).  This is not however bread and wine, it is the Real Body and Blood of Jesus. 

God wants to be inside of you even more than you realize that you want God in you.  This is why Jesus gives Himself to us, His very Body and Blood, so that He can meet that need. 

Get in touch with your emptiness; get in touch with your void.  You don’t have to be afraid that it can’t be filled, because it can.  The more that we know and believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist the more we will understand that God and God alone can fill our void.  He does, in this very primal and sacred way, fill you with His Body and Blood. 

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