Villa Duchesne / City House 2019 Alumnae Homily

    

     Did you hear Jesus’ command in today’s Gospel? He commands His disciples to “come and have breakfast.” This command is the second shortest saying of Jesus in the Bible and personally one of my favorite passages. It’s one of my favorites not just because Jesus is telling us to eat, but because, while it is short, it is packed with meaning.

     Breakfast is an interesting meal. Nearly ¼ of Americans skip breakfast[1] and if most Americans eat breakfast, they often do it on the run. Sadly, very few Americans take the time to sit down and enjoy breakfast with family or friends. I think our world would be a better off if we found time to sit down and enjoy breakfast. You see, eating breakfast isn’t just physically good for us, it is also good for our emotional and spiritual health. Breakfast is after all a unique meal; it is a chance for us to reminisce about the past and look to the future. Breakfast is a chance to start a new day to recall where we stand because of the past and then focus ourselves for the day that lies ahead. By lunch and dinner there is a whole bunch of stuff from the day to discuss and distract us, but at breakfast the day is still fresh and full of possibilities.

     In today’s Gospel, Jesus uses breakfast to remind His apostles of the past and to push them into the future. These same apostles had travelled everywhere with Jesus. They heard his teachings and saw his miracles. They watched from afar as He died on the cross and was placed in the tomb and then they saw first-hand the empty tomb. Jesus appeared to them the night of Easter in the upper room yet, they seemed to have forgotten and find themselves back to their old fishing ways. Jesus used that breakfast as a chance to reveal Himself to them again and to refocus them on their priorities and then to send them out to the world to continue His saving mission.

     Today is also a breakfast of sorts for us. It is here at this Eucharist that we receive our spiritual nourishment. For you see, every time we gather at the Mass. God reveals Himself, just as he did to his earliest followers in today’s first reading. In just a few moments we will be commanded to “take this all of you and eat it.” We will be invited to make the body of Christ part of us and then we will be dismissed to go and share Christ with the rest of the world.

     So then as we take a few moments out of our busy schedule, to gather here I pray your minds go back to your time at Villa or City House. It was there that you learned, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others.”[2] It was here that you were instilled with His reminder that “a man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to stand for that which is true.”[3] It was here that you were equipped and charged to stand for what is right, for what is just, and for what is true.

      Today’s reunion provides each of you an opportunity to ask yourselves “what did you take from your time here?” What did you take from your time at Villa or City House that has helped you, and can further help you, lives as a disciple of Jesus Christ, faithfully answering the demand to stand for what is right, what is just, what is true? Whatever it is, fond memories of the past, friendships that have lasted, lessons learned or role models recalled, today’s celebration of the Eucharist is a chance for us to remember what has been given to you and to recommit yourself to using it. So then in the words of Christ Himself, “come have breakfast.” Recall the past, refocus yourself on the present and allow those memories to spur you into the future.

 

[1] Buckner, Samuel , Loprinzi, Paul D, Loenneke, Jeremy. Why  don’t more people eat breakfast? A biological perspective.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2016 Jun: 103 (6): 1555.

 

[2] King, Martin Luther, and Coretta Scott King. The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr. New York, NY: William Morrow Paperbacks, 2005. Pg. 3.

[3] Martin Luther King Jr. Sermon the day after Bloody Sunday delivered in Selma Alabama on March 8, 1965.

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