Did it work out?

A few years ago, the Queen of England was visiting the “English Market” in Cork and stopped at the fish monger. “How are you?” she asked him, and he replied, “To tell you the honest truth, Mam, I’ve never been so nervous since the day I was married!” Totally un-baffled, the Queen then asked him, “And did it work out?”

A great moment and an interesting question! Often we will meet someone and they will have reason to say, “I am a Methodist.” “I am a Seventh Day.” “I am a Catholic.” One might be drawn to ask, “and is it working out?” There could be a brief answer to that or a more thoughtful one.

This week-end some Christians celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ, a religious festival going back hundreds of years. The priest used to move through the streets and the fields with the Sacrament, linking up the life of the people with the life of God. But is this link, this ‘marriage’ (see the prophet Hosea) of God and his people working out?

It is not enough to just say our prayers. We are not simply spirits; we are also bodies. And our bodies have needs. And when Jesus says “This is my Body” he is saying “I give you my humanity so that your humanity may grow and come to perfection.” This may come about through education, success in work and other achievements. But it may also come about through suffering, illness, frustration or disappointment.

In one sense it doesn’t matter how it comes about as long as it happens. Jesus was rejected, tortured and killed. But he still achieved his purpose. St Paul says in the 8th chapter of Romans, “Everything works together for the good of those who love God.” So, you are no better off if you are a successful business man or a powerful politician, or if, on the other hand, you are poor or are living with a profound mental disability and can achieve “nothing” in life.

In the community of l’Arche in Waterfalls, Harare, you will find Enoch. He lives with a disability but he is a truly happy person. He will welcome you with a big smile and take a firm hold of your arm. He is someone very close to God. On the other hand you may meet someone who has a big car and a large house but who is constantly watching for his position or his wealth and is anxious.

Post published in: Faith

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