The broken head of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, Laventille
Fundraising for broken statue of Our Lady of Fatima
May 28, 2024
Wednesday May 29th: Cross before Crown
May 29, 2024

Between spirit and intent

This Sunday’s Gospel from Mark 2:23–3:6 take us through a series of controversies and conflicts that ultimately reveal a profound truth about Jesus as the Bread of Life. This truth is celebrated annually on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, inviting us to reflect on its relevance for our modern age.

In the first scene, Jesus’ disciples are plucking heads of grain on the Sabbath to eat, which was considered unlawful work by religious leaders of the time. When the Pharisees confront Jesus, He responds by citing examples from Scripture of ceremonial laws being set aside for greater human needs. This principle of prioritising human well-being over rigid adherence to ritual points forward to Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice for our salvation.

In our modern, fast-paced world where productivity and efficiency are prized more than anything else, this story challenges us to pause and realign our priorities, to acknowledge that difference between spirit and intent.

Are we guilty of becoming so focused on rules and checklists that we neglect authentic human needs—our own and those of the people around us?

The liberating truth that Jesus embodies is that the rituals point beyond themselves to the deeper realities of love, compassion, and care for the other.

The next incident in the Gospel has Jesus healing a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath, once again defying the religious interpretation of Sabbath prohibitions on work. Here Jesus makes the startling claim that it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath, once more upholding the dignity of human beings over narrow legalism.

In our era of increasing isolation, loneliness, and dehumanisation, this story challenges us to step outside our self-created bubbles of priorities and agendas to truly see the suffering people around us, of which there are many.

What Jesus teaches us is that every single human life is precious, valued, and worthy of restoration—and that we are all called to be agents of that healing work.

As these confrontations escalate, plots against Jesus arise, revealing that His teachings strike at the heart of religious and social conventions. This pattern of rejection will culminate in Jesus offering Himself on the wooden cross.

On Corpus Christi, we celebrate this supreme self-gift in the Eucharist. Here the simple elements of bread and wine become the means by which we receive the very life of God.

This sacrament is the living embodiment of the truth Jesus taught—that human need, hunger, and brokenness are not disdained by God but are instead embraced, made holy, and transformed into channels of divine grace.

The modern world tempts us to shrink the divine to the size of our own desires and expectations. We prefer a god on our own terms, one that blesses our chosen narratives, beliefs, and behaviours.

The truth that Corpus Christi puts forth is far more radical –that God meets us in the ordinary, humble stuff of human existence, not just despite our frail, fractured state but precisely through it.

In the Eucharist, we become what we consume, the Body of Christ alive in the world. Our 33-day Journey to Eucharistic glory may be over, but our mission as a Eucharistic people continues.