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Our Lady of Lourdes Parish
130 Main Street
Carver, MA 02330
Phone: (508) 866-4000 Fax: (508) 866-5588
A Parish of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston MA

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Weekend: Saturday 5 pm; Sunday 10 am
Weekday: 9 am (except Thursday)
Holy days: 9 am & 7 pm
Confessions: Sat. 4:15 to 4:45 pm
Eucharistic Adoration: (1st Friday) 9 am to Noon


Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time June 14, 2015 Rev. Anthony Medairos, pastor Ezekiel 17:22-24 Psalm 92:2-3, 13-16 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 Mark 4:26-34 Now that the good weather has finally arrived, a lot of people are taking a good look at their bodies, and according to some research, most do not like what they see. Before heading for the beach, guys will debate with themselves: cover-all board shorts or something a little more skimpy. Women may decide whether to go with the day-glo bikini or rely on a conservative one-piece bathing suit with an XXL tee shirt for insurance. Recent statistics report that 80% of American women and 60% of American men are dissatisfied with their bodies. People view themselves as too fat or too thin, too wrinkled, too gray, too pale or too dark, too freckled, too short or too tall, not toned enough, etc. Stores are ready with all kinds of remedies for these real or imagined conditions. TV ads insist that this diet or that pill will solve the weight problem. And plastic surgeons stand ready to suck fat out, put silicone in, plant new hair, remove unwanted hair, sand down wrinkles, nip and tuck. Whether content or dissatisfied, we contemporaries are fascinated with our bodies. The classical world was different. Influenced by Plato, the ancient Greeks were also dissatisfied with their bodies, but for an entirely different reason than you or I. Theirs was not fascination with the body, but disdain for it. The philosopher Plotinus wrote, “The body is a tomb.” The Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus, wrote, “Thou art a poor soul, burdened with a corpse.” However beautiful or healthy you or I would have considered it, one’s body would have been an embarrassment to the Greeks – just some ugly flesh weighing down and imprisoning the beautiful soul within. Hebrew culture, hence biblical thought, did not emphasize the distinction between body and soul. And Western thought and concepts are still influenced by the Greeks’ body / soul duality. Saint Paul was educated in Greek philosophy and well aware of how this body / soul duality affected his converts in Corinth, Greece. So he addressed the problem, “We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord….” While there was a Greek tendency to dismiss the body as a meaningless distraction, Christianity proclaimed a different, positive message about the body. Saint Paul wrote of our judgment before God, that each will “receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.” Again and again, Saint Paul refuted those who negated the value of the body by reminding them that Christ became incarnate, taking on flesh and blood to redeem humanity – soul and body. Christ gave his earthly body as a loving sacrifice for the sins of humankind, and Christ had been resurrected in his own body to everlasting glory. Paul taught them that every baptized person dies to sin in Christ and is also promised resurrection in his or her own body on the last day. Modern ideas have gone in a direction opposite from the classical Greeks. Where the ancient philosophers thought the body a useless weight keeping them from “real” life in the soul, modern people seem to deny the needs of the soul altogether and live only for the body. This is the opposite body / soul heresy. We seem to measure our worth by how our body looks, how it’s clothed, and that above all our decisions are made based on what feels good physically. Our skewed value system was critiqued by comedian Billy Crystal in the days back when “Saturday Night Life” was really funny 40 years ago, when he parodied the romantic Latin actor Fernando Lamas, putting these words into Lamas’ mouth, “It’s not how you feel, but how you rook that matters. And I rook mahvelous.” But our life here and now is a continuum with everlasting life. The body is not something irrelevant to our eternity. Our body is not a “mortal coil” to be shuffled off as Shakespeare said, like a snake shedding its old skin. No; in our body is the beginning of eternal life. What you and I do now matters forever. Divine judgment depends upon our life here. Many contemporary people are uncomfortable with matters of the soul. So, feelings are anesthetized with every drug – from alcohol, to nicotine, to heroin, to pornography, to addiction playing on-line games. Without soul, human bodily impulses are acted out in bizarre ways from sexual harassment, to adultery, to unnatural acts, to immodesty in dress or language, to dismissing the relevance of faith and religion. Christian ethics are pushed aside to justify every social dysfunction from street crime, to domestic abuse, to abortion, because there is no higher motivation than the body’s immediate impulse or desire. What “feels good” drives the contemporary ethos of so many people. So health care is reduced to a profit center, law is divorced from justice, art devolves into ugliness, and entertainment panders to the erotic and to lurid violence. All because we moderns fear the soul, and pretend the spiritual is either non-existent or irrelevant. All we have left is our body. And we know what will become of this body, no matter how much the funeral director pretties it us. We have come full circle from the error of the Greeks to our own, modern errors. But Saint Paul centuries ago reminded the Greeks in Corinth that their bodies were integral to their spiritual life, that the body is not irrelevant while only the soul is “real.” Today Saint Paul reminds us moderns that we will have to answer in eternity for what we are doing with our body today, that the soul is not irrelevant while the body is “real.” The lives of all of us are to be revealed before the judgment seat of Christ so that each one “… may receive his recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.” You and I have gathered to worship where body and soul truly come together – in the Eucharist. Here, the Spirit of God makes Jesus present to us in his body and blood. And you and I are nourished in our soul by taking within our body the Bread of Life. You and I here, in this Holy Communion, receive the commission to transport our God from this holy place into the world through what we do “in the body, whether good or evil.”



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