Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Poet's Chair | Part 3

The set Gospel text for Holy Communion today is Luke 16:19-31, the parable of the rich man and the poor man covered with sores.

I would suggest that as a society, we are at war with our bodies, as evidenced by how much make-up some young women wear; by airbrushing of images of the body; by the obsession of older men with younger bodies which I contend is as much about failing to come to terms with their own aging body; by eating disorders; the cult of youth and our not wanting to see - be confronted by - the elderly or physically infirm...

I would also suggest that we are at war with God over our bodies. That whereas in much of the world, pain and suffering strengthen hope in God, in the West they are viewed as reasons to reject God.

This parable would suggest that we meet our neighbour, and ourselves, and God in bodily frailty and bodily touch that does not shy away from bodily frailty.

In Communion, we meet Jesus not only in the bread, but in the touching of hand to hand as the bread is given and received.

The post-Communion prayer for today:
Almighty God,
you see that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves:
keep us both outwardly in our bodies,
and inwardly in our souls;
that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body,
and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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