People are more important than things.

Dwight Wilson and his wife Sarah and their sons Ethan and Thomas live in Tiffin, Ohio. Ethan is the second son, and he is a perfectionist and he loves to paint. Ethan received a new paint set for his birthday and he was dying to try it out. But before he could do so, Thomas, his brother, accidentally dropped the paint set onto the tile floor in the kitchen and one of the bottles of paint was shattered.

Ethan had a fit. He ran to his room and cried for several hours. His mother went to his side but there was no way that he could be consoled. Then his father went to his room. His father said, “Thomas will come to see you soon and he will say that he is sorry. “Will you forgive him?” “No.” Ethan said. “I need that bottle of paint.”

“Let’s talk about this situation.” his father said. “The paint can be replaced. I will buy more paint for you. The paint can easily be replaced with another jar. But you have only one brother. You need to be on good terms with him for the rest of your life. Do you remember our family lesson from last week?” “Yes.” “What was it?” “You said that people are more important than things.” “That is correct. That means that your brother is more important than the jar of paint. Now, do you think that you can forgive your brother?” “I will think about it.” Ethan said.

Later that day, Thomas said that he was sorry, and Ethan forgave him. Dwight watched from a distance and smiled. His fatherly lesson had reached home: People are more important than things.

Since today is Father’s Day, I wish to recommend that we thank our fathers for the lessons that they have given us. We should thank them for faithfully providing us with religious instruction when we were protesting and wishing we could be somewhere else.

We should thank them for leading us away from websites and movies and TV shows that glorify violence. We should thank them for leading us toward forms of entertainment in which people are treated with respect. We should thank them for teaching us how to respect the coaches and referees and umpires when other adults were heaping verbal abuse upon them. We should thank our fathers for showing us how to treat our mothers and grandmothers and all women with respect.

We should thank them for enduring criticism and ridicule when they stood up for Christian values. We should thank them for showing how to go through each day with our lives centered on Christ.

Those are just a few of the many reasons why we should say Thank You to our fathers during this Father’s Day weekend. And, most importantly, we should thank the Lord for giving us caring fathers to love us and to teach us the life lessons that we all need.

And now I will offer my thoughts concerning the Feast of Corpus Christi. On the night before he died, Jesus celebrated the Banquet of Love…the Holy Eucharist. He began that sacred meal by following the Passover Ritual. He took up the first cup of Passover wine, blessed it, and poured it into smaller cups so that it could be shared around the table.

When he saw the red wine pouring from one container to another, Jesus said to himself. “I see my blood being poured forth. This will happen because I love my people with all my heart.” But he did not say what he was thinking.

Then Jesus took up the loaf of Passover bread. He blessed it and broke it so that it could be shared. While breaking the bread, Jesus said to himself, “I see my body being broken, so great is my love for my people.” This time Jesus did not keep his thoughts to himself. He said to his disciples, “This is my body which will be broken for you.” Then Jesus took up the second cup of Passover wine, said the blessing and poured the wine and said, “This is my blood which will be shed for you. Then he said, “Do this in memory of me.” Let’s take a closer look at those closing words. What did Jesus mean when he said, “Do this in memory of me.”?

First of all, he was calling us to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. But he was also calling us to look carefully at the breaking of the bread and the pouring of the wine whenever we celebrate the Holy Eucharist. Jesus is calling us to see the breaking of his body in the breaking of the bread. Jesus is calling us to see his blood being poured forth in the pouring of the wine. He wants us to see that the breaking of his body is his call for us to break our selfishness so that we can love each other. He wants us to see that the pouring of his blood is his call for us to pour forth our lives in serving others.

Time for a conclusion. We came to this church today to celebrate the Eucharist and Eucharist is the Greek word for thanksgiving. We thank the Lord for giving us caring and loving fathers and we thank the Lord for offering up His body and blood so that our sins could be forgiven and we could become more loving.

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