Come have lunch! | Homily of May 1, 2022 in Épinay-sur-Seine

“Come on and have lunch! »
We, now, brethren, are invited by the Lord, the living, risen Christ, to go and dine with him. We are here this morning in this church, and all of you who join us in front of your television.
Like every mass. The Mass, as that morning by the sea of ​​Tiberias with the seven disciples, was the Lord Jesus, the Life, who wants us to sit around him, to share with us the food he has given us. prepared, the word and the bread. Feed us in his presence, in his true presence.
And I will always remember the summer morning when, with some pilgrim friends, we found ourselves on the shores of the Sea of ​​Tiberias, in the very place where it happened. There is an open shelter there now, by the water, where we were able to celebrate mass. We were there, we were with him, we were with him at the table, an unforgettable moment, a bright moment.
Yes, at every Mass Christ invites us, telling us: “Come and sit around me, come and eat the food I have prepared for you”, especially when we live in difficult times. We too, like Peter and the disciples, have many difficulties to overcome: all these efforts we make without result, the stressful working conditions, the conflicts between us – or, somewhat simple, when we are experiencing grief, pain, when we are in prison. So, yes, Christ tells us: come and regain your strength. Come eat, not each on your own, but together, in the morning light that Christ wants to revive in our night, in the darkness of our existence.

You know, every time Jesus goes to eat at someone’s house, his presence changes the lives of the people at the table with him. As in Cana, when he turned water into wine, it became a very good wine. Or when he feeds an entire hungry crowd. But more than that, the hearts of those present changed in his presence, it moved from selfishness to sharing, from sin to love, from error to forgiveness. This is what Christ did for us, again this morning, by coming to have lunch with us. That our existence may find, with him, a new breath. To change our heart, that it may begin to breathe again the great breath of God.
But then, on this day of May 1, Labor Day, I tell myself that this change, it must take place specifically in the field of our work. Peter and the disciples fished all night without any results. And all of a sudden, in the word of Christ, it was a miraculous catch! Yes, brethren, from the word of Christ we should seek to give our work its true success, its fruit, its happiness. The purpose of work, we often forget, is not for everyone, but to feed everyone.
As long as our working conditions are about money, selfish profit, as long as our working conditions remain stressful, inhumane, as often, it’s still night for many of us. Making a living, yes, but life is not primarily about money: life is shared by humanity. And work should be part of this dynamic. Work is always an effort, but it can be, it must also be happiness, happiness together.
And that’s not utopia – it’s something that’s starting to happen. I was thrilled when I recently discovered university researchers who, at a Grande Ecole in Grenoble, were committed to changing working conditions in companies. With a whole range of business leaders, they realize that if we continue in the present, we will destroy ourselves. The economic war must stop. Otherwise, we are headed for disaster. They are the ones who say it. This is why they are committed to rethinking the world of work by putting economic peace, well-being, the fulfillment of every worker at the center. So that our economy is no longer a permanent war, but organizing social peace and better living together. And for that, we must return the man and his capacity for brotherhood to the heart of the company, for the benefit of all.

This is also what Jesus wants to help us change, in our society, for the good of us all. Jesus, by inviting us to come and sit around him, by offering us his body and his blood, his presence, makes us look at one another differently than data. He brings us together so that this fruit of the land, the vine and the work of the people we bring to him, may be a food we share, a moment and a source of brotherhood.
And what he expects of us is that we let him change our hearts, our existence, our work, our whole way of life with each other.

“Come and have lunch”: our hearts, brothers and sisters, that Christ has come to feed this morning, so that in his strength, we can place sharing and caring for others at the center of our lives.

For us to live. From his own life, Le Vivant.

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