It’s 100 years since the beginning of WW1 and 100 years since my father was born.
In our family, we remember our dad by having an afternoon tea together.
It’s a good time to reflect upon family, the many people who have contributed to making us who we are, and the stories, whether positive or negative.
Community is life, and life is community.
The recent movie, “Still Life”, is the inverse of a life without community. It’s a film that’s very touching and reflects a sad journey.
So often, Jesus miracles are of his care of individuals. But other events don’t just fit this personal care picture. John called them signs and wonders. They point to something broader:
- The turning of water into wine could be described as the healing of religion
- The walking on water and the calming of the storm involved the healing of nature.
Feeding the Multitudes
But today we’re talking of the communal miracle: The feeding of the multitude (5000 plus)
The story of this event highlights the broader implications of the healing of a community.
Communities have their own sense of soul and spirit. When you enter a group you can often sense the quality of its life. This was his opportunity to give us a community to reflect upon.
The miracle highlights several vital components of community building
1. The contribution of every individual is vital
- The gifts of bread and fish from the young boy, reminds us that community is in our hands, and
- The importance of the contribution of each individual.
2. A shared vision transcends individual purpose
In Johns account of this event, he notes that while Jesus asked the disciples what they had, he points out that Jesus already knew what he planned. This brings out the importance of there already being a comprehensive vision of life - Its just awaiting our attention. When your vision is only for your own purposes, you ultimately isolate yourself and community breaks down.
Why do we think of mums as superwomen?
3. A vision requires people to bring it to fruition.
- The disciples lead the way in fulfilling the care of all.
4. Ultimately community challenges our attitude.
- Loving God keeps us open to all possibilities.
- Loving others as ourselves, modifies our attitude in community.
- Attitude is what brings all community dynamics together.
Body of Christ
In a minute we will share the peace and we capture its essential nature in the words:
We are the body of Christ
His Spirit is with us.
The ever-abiding image of Christian community is the body of Christ. We celebrate it weekly, in our Holy Eucharist. We are seeking to mature into the very being of Christ. Raimon Panikkar calls this experience, Christophany.
TV Bank and Baptism
It’s like a TV display section of an Electronic Department / Shop.
The TVs can all be playing different channels and different shows; they can be playing the same show on each TV; or they can fit together as a total TV Bank display, with the combined image played over different TVs: Each playing their part of the whole.
You might say that we are adding one more TV to that bank today, that of Miranda, who will be baptized today. What we are reminding ourselves of, is that we are affirming her in our great community.
We are each being called upon to contribute to her life.
To assist her finding whatever that bread and fish is in her life so she can find her place in life to make her contribution. To enable her to capture that spirit of Jesus in her life
Too often, people do isolate their purpose in life to their own needs. Community then brakes down.
In the famous words of John Donne… "No man is an island unto himself”
The spirit of Jesus is a communal spirit. The spirit of our community is in our hands.