The following is my homily for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C. The readings can be found here.

A few weeks ago our our internet went out at the friary. It was horrible. No Netflix, no YouTube… just Fr. Frank and I… enjoying each others’ company. Luckily, we called the cable company and they said they’d send a technician out the next day. Unluckily, they said that he would be there anytime between 11 and 5. Lovely.

And so I waited at the house. At first, I was very vigilant, knowing that he could come at any moment. I didn’t make any phone calls, didn’t take Louis for a walk… I didn’t even want to take a shower or use the bathroom, just in case he came in the five minutes that I couldn’t answer the door. I just waited around the house, ready to answer the door at the drop of a hat.

After a few hours… I was not so vigilant. He’s not coming now, let me just run up to the center for a minute; I’ll just pop into the shower; maybe I’ll go take a nap. As the day rolled on, it was difficult to remain perfectly ready for whenever he showed up. I had things to do. I couldn’t be waiting by the door for six hours. Life moves on.

Happily, the technician finally came, fixed the modem, and so we have internet… I’m sure you were worried. But it reminded me a bit of our readings today. In each one, we hear of God speaking of a future reality yet to come, a reality that will come at an indeterminate time that we must way for. Wisdom reminds us of how the Israelites, those who were slaves and oppressed, waited to be saved for many years, how they had lived not knowing the time or day when they would be set free; the letter to the Hebrews tells us that many lived their entire lives waiting for their faith to be fulfilled, but died before that happened; and of course, o Gospel speaks of the master returning to the servant, a clear analogy to Jesus returning to his people in the second coming. In all of this, God tells us that we must wait for what we want. He tells us to be vigilant, to be ready at any moment for our Lord to return, to gird your loins. Everyone’s loins girded?

I’ve heard preachers say, “Treat every moment as if the Lord is on his way. Is this where you wanna be when Jesus comes?” they ask. And on one hand, it’s great advice, right. It reminds us to have integrity, to do what’s right even if no one is watching, to be ready at any moment. Good stuff. There’s just one problem—it’s entirely impractical. If people actually did live their lives as if Jesus were coming back right now, no one would ever go to work and there would be no dinner made tonight. If people actually did live with that much vigilance, they would run out of energy almost immediately. Does that mean we’re not supposed to sleep? Not supposed to go to the gym, clean out the gutters, or ever get dirty? Are we supposed to avoid Georgia football games, just in case Jesus comes back part way through the fourth quarter and our church is empty?

If you’ve ever tried to wait for the cable guy and found that 11-5 window a bit difficult to manage, then what do we do with Jesus who left us 2000 years ago and said he’d be right back? What does “being ready” even mean? I want to suggest three things.

The first is that we wait with surety, not worrying

Whether it’s with the cable guy or waiting for the that cute guy or girl to text you because they said they would, there’s always a doubt that it’s never going to happen. You can wait all you want, but it might all be for naught. Not with Jesus. As people of faith, we have no need to worry, no reason to doubt. Jesus said that he would come, and so we can take that to the bank. Our hope, in this life and the next, is not just some wishful thinking, but the most unbreakable promise that we could ever receive. 

How do we know this? Because we already possess what we await. 

While we do wait for heaven, we do wait for the second coming—events, places in the future—the fact of the matter is that our hope is rooted in the past and in the present: Jesus has already come. He already took on human flesh, walked this earth, performed miracles, and died for us. Not in the future, but in our midst does he make himself present in the reading of the word, in me, in you, and of course, in the sacrifice on the altar. It’s why, if you ever noticed, we begin by referencing four things—I kiss the altar, the book of the Gospels is placed in a prominent place, I greet you with the Lord’s blessing, and you greet me back. At each and every mass, we begin Mass by acknowledging the presence of Christ right here among us. The very first things we do when we worship. What we await, what we hope for, is already in our midst. We’re gathered here, not just for some distant, far off, abstract future… but for the living and true God among us.

And so, point number three, our waiting must not be passive, but that of active disciples. We do not sit around, waiting at the door, waiting at the phone, hoping that something will happen to us. As Christians, we know that something has already happened to us: in our baptisms and confirmations, we were grafted with Christ and infused with the Holy Spirit; in hearing the Word and receiving the Eucharist, we are continually filled up and sent out. The very reason that we are a Church, the mystery of Pentecost, is so that we would not need to sit around on our hands waiting for Christ to come back before we did anything, but that we would take up where he left off, that we would go out and heal people as he did; that we would go out and feed people like he did; that we would go out and be ministers of peace and justice in a violent and isolated world. 

What does it mean to be ready for Christ’s return? It means living with sure faith that it is not a matter of if, but when; it means recognizing in all that we do, in everywhere we go, that Christ’s presence is among us, filling us with his love; and it means devoting our lives to the mission that he started. 

And so, I have to ask… Are you ready?

Advertisements

The following is my homily for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C. The readings can be found here.

Does it really matter?

When I was a freshman in high school, I decided to run for student body president. It… did not go well. The school, very wisely, did not release the actual vote tally, but it was clear after the fact from my unofficial exit polling that I had not only lost, but lost by a lot. It was pretty embarrassing.

Now, truth be told, I don’t actually remember much about the campaign or the election itself, but I distinctly remember the conversation I had with my dad that night… because it seems so ridiculous to me now. I was so upset you would have thought that I had just been sentenced to life in prison and I remember him asking me why it bothered me so much, that it was just a freshman class election. I told him that it was so much more than that. I had lost this year, which meant I’d be a year behind next year, which meant I wouldn’t win next year either, which meant that I would never be president of the school and colleges would see that and so I wouldn’t get into a good college and then I wouldn’t get a good job and so my life was basically ruined at that point.

A little dramatic, I know.

Sometimes it’s helpful to be able to take a step back and see the bigger picture. When we were younger and something went wrong—we failed a test, someone broke up with us, something embarrassing happened at school—it seemed like such a big deal, like our life was ending. Years later, with many more experiences, realizing that there are far more important things to life, we just have to look back and laugh. Why were we so upset over something that had literally no impact of our lives whatsoever?

How much time we’ve probably spent worrying, sulking, crying over nothing! Had we seen where we are now, known what’s really important, we would have realized that those things really don’t matter, and spent our time on things that actually do.

This, I think, would have been great advice for the rich man in our Gospel. On the surface, if we’re honest with ourselves, we probably identify pretty well with him. What he does actually makes a lot of sense. He’s just being prudent and responsible, saving for a rainy day. Who can really fault him for working hard early in life, saving up, and resting at the end? Seems like he’s living the dream. When we look at his actions in the moment, they seem quite fine.

But take a step back, take the longer view, look at his life from the perspective of heaven, and things appear very different. What we see is a man who is so very worried about what he will eat tomorrow, how much money he will have left, whether or not he will be safe, that all he can think to do is build a bigger barn to protect his wealth. While his story and mine might seem very different—mine of failure and his of success—they are, actually, the very same: we have spent time thinking and worrying about things that mean absolutely nothing in the long run. Just as my dad asked me why losing bothered me so much, God asks the man, what good his possessions are to him now that he is going to die. In fact, he calls him a fool for wasting so much of his time on such things… which is never good, God calling you a fool.

Rather than feeding the hungry, sharing his wealth with the poor, virtuous things that would have benefited the man after death and built up the kingdom of God, he has spent his life worrying about something that has literally no impact on his soul whatsoever. You can almost picture the man after death, standing before God, feeling the same way I do when I think back on high school. “Why did I spend so much time worried about those stupid things. I wish I would have spent more time on things that mattered to God.”

By the time he realized this, though, it was too late for him. His life was poorly spent.

Luckily, it’s not too late for us. The reason that Jesus tells us this parable is because he wants us to make a change, because he doesn’t want us to stand before God at the end of our lives and realize we wasted them on things that don’t matter. Because we often do. How true the words spoken by Qoheleth were in our first reading: “vanities of vanities, all things are vanity!”  We spend so much of our time and energy worrying about things that seem so important at the time, that make us feel like they are the only thing that matter, and yet have literally no impact on our lives in God whatsoever.

Like the rich man, we worry about money: how much of it we have, what we spend it on, who has more of it than we do, where we can get more.

Here on a college campus, we worry about grades. In the grand scheme of life, could there be a more useless form of currency in all the world? Once you graduate, maybe even before that, no one cares or remembers what you got in biology or history. And yet, how many hours of sleep are lost, days ruined, not in actual learning, but in worrying about some arbitrary letter on a transcript?

I look at the fights we have, the things we choose to fall on the sword over. I’ve seen friendships ruined because one person had this political view and the other had another, and despite the fact that it in no way affected either of their lives—they were just opinions—they refused to speak with one another.
How sad it is to see so much time and energy wasted on things that do not bring us closer to God, that do not build up the kingdom.

We get so caught up in the moment, forgetting the big picture, that we let petty and useless things convince us that they really matter, that this is worth getting upset over.

St. Paul says no: seek what is above. Do not get caught up in the things that are below, the things that distract us from what’s important. Keep your eyes on what is above, on heaven, the kingdom of God, the thing that matters above all else. Never let this image leave you. Never forget what really matters. When we find ourselves upset over something trivial, annoyed by how someone spoke to us disrespectfully, how something didn’t go how we wanted it to go, we can step back and ask ourselves an important question: “does it matter? In the grand scheme of things, if I’m standing there in heaven after I die, will I be able to say that this thing that I’m spending so much time and enter worrying about actually made an impact on my soul, on my relationship with God?”

If not, let it go! Do not waste a second of your life worrying about something that will not bring you closer to God. Do not waste a moment on something that does not make the kingdom of God more present in the here and now. It’s not worth it. It’s not worth it looking back at your life with embarrassment, realizing that you lost your temper over a freshman election, that you lost a week of your life moping over something that didn’t matter. It’s not worth being the rich man, standing before God, having wasted his life worrying about things that didn’t matter.

You do not want that.

In everything you do, keep your eyes on what is above. Commit yourself to peace, justice, mercy, and truth, treasures that really matter, and you will find yourself, at the end of your life, rich in what matters to God.

“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.”

When I was in college, I interned for a summer at a property management company. My job was to convert all of their paper documents to digital files. They had two large filing cabinets, in no apparent order, and it was up to me to go through everything, come up with a system of organization, and scan them into the computer. Thrilling, right? As I sat there for hours and hours at a time, I found myself thinking, “If only I had an extra hand to split up this labor, things would be so much easier.”

Having never worked a harvest on a farm, this was the closest I could get to understanding Jesus’ words: with more help, I could get more done in a shorter amount of time, which meant that I could go home. And maybe, if Jesus had been preaching to office interns rather than an agricultural society, he would have used this analogy. But if he had, I think something very critical would have been lost: a sense of urgency.

In my office job, those papers could have sat there for another 5 years and it wouldn’t matter at all. On a farm, there is a small window that crops can be picked; if there are not enough laborers to get it done by the end of the season, you can’t just go out later and put in some more work. Everything is going to rot and be completely lost. The mission that Jesus is sending his disciples on must be done right now. Do not stop to talk along the way, he says. Don’t get distracted, but stay single minded in your focus. Lives are at stake. We must hurry, otherwise we will lose them.

For us living today, those who do not live on farms and do not understand the stress of harvesting crops at the right time, the image may be a bit lost on us, but the importance, and urgency, of his mission is not. Living in the time that we do, worshiping on a college campus, we find ourselves in the midst of an immense harvest that is quickly going to waste: young people are leaving the Church in droves.

I’m sure you’ve heard the statistics, but they’re worth repeating: in 1990, the number of people in the United States who said that they were of no religion stood at around 8%. Today, that number is above 23%. Tripling in size in just 30 years, it is now larger than the total number of Catholics. And it’s rising. Among millennials that number is around 35%, and for Gen Z, those who are in high school and college today, estimates are even higher. We have, all around us, an immense harvest going to waste… and we must do something about it.

But what?

In Jesus’ time, we would have been sent out two by two, walking from town to town telling people about the Kingdom of God. This was the case even 1200 years later, as St. Francis and his brothers, filled with the same sense of urgency, went out and did likewise. Today? Not so much. For the most part, we have abandoned that practice, and maybe rightly so—our world has changed so much, and I’m not sure if knocking on doors is the best way to evangelize. But it worries me, nonetheless, that we might have lost our sense of urgency. Have we stopped that one particular practice because we have replaced it with another, more effective one, or have we abandoned the mission of evangelization completely?

Now, as much as ever, our Church needs evangelical zeal. It needs laborers. It needs witnesses to the Kingdom. How horrible it would be if Jesus came back, looking at the immense harvest all around us, and was disappointed at how little we had collected. Is this it? Is this all that you could save? Why did you not hire more hands? Why did you let so much go to waste? If we want to call ourselves his disciples, we must take up his mission.

Luckily for us, we don’t need to go very far. Right here in Athens, there are 38,000 students. I’m sure that there are few harvests in this country bigger, few places with as much opportunity as this. And I’m happy to say that I see many laborers already in the field. I arrive here on campus excited about the great things this center has done for decades. I look out and see hundreds of people with faith, inspiration, and ideas already working in the field, already announcing the kingdom.

But I also look out on this campus, this enormous campus of possibilities, and see a harvest going to waste. Think about how much more we could be doing. Oh my gosh, the possibilities are endless! If only we had more laborers. If only we had more people so overwhelmed with the urgency of the mission, so taken by Jesus’ commission, that they were willing to drop everything, just as Jesus’ disciples did, and devote their lives to announcing the kingdom.

What our world would look like… what this campus could look like…

Maybe you already have an idea of what this place needs; maybe you are passionate about something already but you don’t know how to make it happen. Let’s talk. Let’s see how the Catholic Center, how I personally, can help you be a missionary. And let’s get you going.

But maybe not. Maybe you want to do something, you want to take up Jesus’ mission, but you just don’t know where to start. Sometimes, it’s as simple as following Jesus’ own words. To his disciples, he gives three commands:

“Eat what is placed before you.” In other words, eat the food the people eat. Sit down with them, and get involved with their lives. What could be better than sharing a meal with someone, of experiencing what they experience. How easy it would be to attend a regular meal here at the center and talk with people you don’t know! Maybe volunteer to serve, to clean up.  Eat what is placed before you, getting to know the person who is before you.

“Heal the sick.” In other words, find out what ails and burdens our community here, what people are hurting with, and work to make their lives easier. That could be as simple as a financial donation, and as serious as walking with people as they face hardship and tragedy. Heal the sick, in all the ways that they are sick.

And finally, “Announce the kingdom.” In other words, once you have gotten to know someone, once you have walked with them in their distress, let them know why we do what we do; let them know who gives us the love in the first place and who sends us out. At the Catholic Center, I want to be a people that lives with so much joy and love that people notice us. They look at us and say, “I want that too. I want to go where they’re going.”
Announce the kingdom with your lives, and see how it comes to life.

Jesus tells us that the harvest is abundant, and we certainly know that. But I think the laborers are abundant as well. Each and every one of you has the potential to do something extraordinary for the kingdom, and I can’t wait to see what that is.

The following is a homily for the 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time, year C. The readings for this Sunday can be found here.

What would you give up to have the opportunity to follow Jesus? He walks in the door right now and says, let’s go, what would you leave behind?

Would you leave you credit card and all your money?

Maybe a bad habit, a sin you often commit? Could you stop it right now if that’s what it took?

What if… and I’m just throwing this out there hypothetically, don’t shoot the messenger… what if Jesus was actually a fan of the Florida Gators? Could you wear blue and orange to follow Christ?

Jesus’ words today might seem kind of hard to us at first. People come to him wanting to be his disciples, and he tells them that they can’t go home to say goodbye; he tells them that they can’t even bury the dead. It would seem, at first, that Jesus is being quite heartless, a bit insensitive.

But of course, he is being neither. What he is expressing, rather poignantly, is what God has asked of his people since the very beginning: he wants our utmost love. Nothing, not even our family, not even ourselves, should come before God. In order to follow after Jesus, he must be the most important thing in the world to us. We must be prepared to give everything else up. 

That’s exactly what was asked of Elisha, was it not? Sure, he said goodbye to his parents, but he still got up at a moment’s notice and left his home to go to another country. He slaughtered his oxen, burned his plow for fuel so that he could follow God untethered. It might not seem like much to us, but in those acts, he became a man with no family, no livestock, and no means of earning a living. In the ancient world, he was essentially nothing. He gave up everything to follow God.

And why does he do this? Why does Jesus make his disciples leave it all behind? Because God wants them to know that following after him means putting complete trust in him. There is no keeping a little something on the side in case things go wrong; no holding back in case we need to take care of ourselves.

Either we trust in God… or we don’t. Those who trust in God give up everything. Not just their wealth and comfort, but everything.

Jesus is rejected and the disciples want to burn the city down. No, Jesus tells them. You have to leave your anger, your need for revenge, your sense of entitlement. You have to leave it all behind. You cannot follow me and carry those things.

Someone comes up to him and say that they want to follow him. Okay, Jesus says, but just know that we are homeless. We have no comforts. You have to leave your comfy body pillow, your safety, your favorite foods. You have to leave it all behind. You cannot follow me and carry all of those things.

You have to leave behind anything that binds you, everything that gets in the way of true discipleship. Jesus is not being harsh in demanding these things. No, quite the opposite: as St. Paul writes in the letter to the Galatians, all that Jesus wants for us is that we be free, free of the things and people and situations that trap us, that keep us where we are, unable to follow him.

And so I wonder again: if Jesus were to walk through that door right now, what would you have to give up to follow him. What do you carry with you that gets in the way of true discipleship, weighing you down, wrapping so tightly around you that you are stuck where you are, trusting and believing in yourself and not him?

Maybe it’s money and creature comforts, sins and bad habits. Let them go.

But maybe it’s something else. Maybe for you it’s nothing in any of these readings. Maybe what’s holding you back, preventing you from being free, is a negative view of yourself, a distorted body image. Leave it behind, and begin to see yourself as God does.

Maybe you have an incessant need to be right, to be in control, preventing you from working well with others. Leave it behind, and let Christ be in charge.

Maybe you constantly struck by fear, overwhelmed by anxiety, always afraid that you are doing something wrong. Leave it behind, and trust that God truly loves and protects you.

Maybe you hold a grudge against another, filled with anger and refuse to let it go. Leave it behind, and learn to forgive others as Christ forgives you.

Or maybe… maybe what holds you back are the wounds you bear, the pain you shoulder each day and the memory of those who have hurt you. Leave it behind, and let Christ heal you.

I tell you, as long as you cling to these things, as long as you let them rule your lives, you will never be free, and you will never be able to follow Christ as he asks.

And what a shame that would be. As pope Francis reminds us, “The Lord asks everything of us, [but] in return he offers us true life, the happiness for which we were created. He wants us to be saints and not to settle for a bland and mediocre existence.” Don’t settle what what you have on your own. Give it up, leave it behind, and follow Christ wherever he may lead.

So if I’m understanding this right, now that I’m a priest of the order of Melchizedek and will be offering you bread and a blessing, I believe you all owe me 1/10th of everything you own. I think that’s what the book of Genesis said. That’s how this works…right?

Of course, we know that’s not how it works; that’s not how any of this works! The reason we gather is not for a transaction, “I give you something, you give me something.” What I do does not merit a reward or payment for services rendered.

No, the reason we gather today, the reason we gather every week, is to engage in the outpouring of God’s love for us. What we receive is gift, something that we do not deserve and for which no amount of money could buy; what we receive is not the work of my hands, not due to my ability, but the complete work of Christ, the handing himself over completely to us so that we might live.

I think it’s important for us to remember that, important for me to remember that especially today, this my first mass, this my first time offering the sacrifice, blessing the meal—that this is not my sacrifice, this is not my meal—I am but a humble servant of God, asked to play my part. As fancy as I’m dressed, as many lines as I get in this “show,” I know that it is not my show, but his. I may be up here and you down there, but our experience together is fundamentally the same: we are, together, a people receiving a gift we did not earn and cannot pay for. Together, equally in need of God’s mercy and blessing, we celebrate this feast.

And yet, as I stand up here for the first time in this role, I can’t help but be overwhelmed with how different this feels. How many times in my life I must have heard the priest say “This is my body,” and yet today, on the feast of Corpus Christi no less, (how cool is that?) something is fundamentally different:

those words become my words.

For the first time, I will stand before you, saying those words, and in my hands will be the sacrifice; in my hands will be the true body of Christ. Just thinking about it I find myself going, “Wait what…? I get to… do… that? No! …Really?” I find myself in complete awe.

More than a great power, more than thinking about it as something that I can now do, all I can think about is what a responsibility I have now, a newfound call to personal holiness, a newfound call to serve others. If I truly believe Christ’s words, “this is my body,” truly believe that he is present through the sacraments and that I am able to bring that to others, my life is not my own. This gift is not mine to put limits on or withhold; this gift is not mine to change and fit to my preferences. Even when I am tired, even when I don’t feel like it, I have a call and responsibility to uphold what Christ has established.
These hands [my hands] are Christ’s hands, entrusted with the care of his body.

But of course, there’s more to it than that, right? It is on this feast of Corpus Christi, the celebration of the body and blood of Christ, that I am reminded that Jesus’ words “this is my body” have a second and no less important meaning: we are the body of Christ. As Christians, those who are baptized into Christ, we are more than just members of an organization, more than just casual associates… we are bound together in the blood of Christ, made one through the Holy Spirit. As much as we know that Christ is truly present here at this altar, we can be equally sure that Christ is truly present in you and in me.

In our Gospel today, Jesus didn’t tell his disciples to simply perform a miracle, making his presence felt and adored in some mystical way. He said, “Give them some food.” In other words, “my body out there is hungry. Feed my people.” Christ says this is my body here at the altar, and he says this is my body out in the world. The connection between the two is so intimate, so inseparable, that the great Saint John Chrysostom once proclaimed to his congregation that if they failed to see Christ in the beggar at the door, failed to care for the lost and the broken, the hungry and thirsty, then they would truly fail to see him in the chalice. Just as the species on this altar are a free gift from God, a gift of Christ’s very self, so too are we to one another; so too are the poor; so too are the lost and forgotten. It’s why he says in Matthews Gospel that when you serve the poorest of the people, you actually serve him. He is with the poor, he dwells in them.

“This is my body.” How many times in my life I must have heard this, how passionately I have believed this for years, and yet I find myself today, once again, having quite a different relationship to these words than before. Today,

those words become my words.

Today, for the first time, I find myself internalizing them, owning them, speaking them with a newfound conviction. While I may not be your pastor, there is a distinct sense in me now that, as a priest, as a shepherd—truly, as a father—I am to care for Christ’s body as if you were my children.

Again, more than a great power, more than thinking about it as some authority that I now have, all I can think about is what a responsibility it now is, a newfound call to personal holiness, a newfound call to serve others. If I truly believe Christ’s words, “this is my body,” truly believe that he is present in you, in the poor, and the lost and forgotten, then my life is not my own. I must provide for those in need through works of charity. I must devote my life to work for the justice of the kingdom, and most of all, I must be the first to lay down my life so that others may live, just as he did. These hands [my hands] are Christ’s hands, entrusted with the care of his body.

So, yeah… today is a pretty profound day for me, no doubt a day I will never forget. But lest I give the impression that today is actually about me and not about what Christ is doing through me; lest I give the impression that all of you are somehow off the hook because there’s another priest to do the work, let me remind you: we are, together, a people receiving a gift we did not earn and cannot pay for. Together, equally in need of God’s mercy and blessing, we celebrate this feast.

Even though our specific duties, our specific roles might be a bit different, our fundamental response is the same. Having been given such an amazing gift, we find ourselves with a newfound call to holiness, a newfound call to serve others. Here before us—for you and for me—is the true body of the Christ, the real presence of our living God. How can we come to this table and not be changed? Here before us—in our brothers and sisters, in the world around us—is the true body of Christ, the real presence of our living God. How can we see our Lord broken and battered and not be changed? As much as today feels different for me, as much as this seems like a tremendous change in my life, I can’t help but be reminded that, at the core of my vocation to follow Christ, today remains the same for all of us. Today, as with every day of our lives, is about the extraordinary love that Christ pours out upon us, the gift that we could never purchase, and how our lives are fundamentally changed because of it.

Which brings us back to Melchizedek and you giving me a tenth of everything you own. You can keep it, I don’t want it. This celebration is not about me—not today, not ever—and I deserve nothing in return for what Christ accomplishes. But I have to say… I do want something. Yes, there is one thing that I hope for, one thing that is worth more to me than your wealth, something that would make my life as a priest worth ever challenge and failure. That thing is this: in all that I do in my life and ministry, you may see nothing but the love and humility of Christ, that you may be overwhelmed with the love that Christ gives you and amazed at what Christ is capable of through a useless sinner like me. And that when this happens, you may not give me any credit or feel that you owe me anything, but may want nothing more than to give everything you have, not just ten percent, but everything, your whole lives, to the one who gives you everything.

This is my body.

those words have become my words

but they are your words too. And we are forever changed by them.