This week is cause for great joy as we celebrate the Body and Blood of Christ. True food and drink for the World.
This week brings back many memories. From the Eucharistic Adoration to the long processions. The smell of incense, the sounds of bells and the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard. Men of faith carrying the canopy for the Most Holy Blessed Sacrament. If you pause, close your eyes and reflect back, you find yourself deeply connected to your past as you remember this great day that truly celebrated and honored our identity and our Catholic culture. The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
So much focused on Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ but the scriptures speak to us of the blood and it’s ability to atone, and restore the relationship between God and humanity.
The scriptures speak to us much about the blood and sacrifices of ancient Israel. In fact the sacrifices of animals as worship was principal and primary to worship in most ancient cultures. Blood offerings in atonement for sin, as well as peace offerings and the sealing and signing of the Covenant between God and His people was vital to the religious, spiritual and cultural life of ancient Israel.
Thus what more and even greater an offering given in God’s own blood through His Son Jesus Christ. This is now the new and eternal offering, the New Covenant in God’s Blood. God chose to do this once and for all, so that all of creation might be restored to grace. This power, grace and restoration is for us today. So we must enter into this celebration of the Body and Blood of Christ with a new and clear appreciation and understanding of what it means to us, and what it calls us too.
Having been restored to grace through the blood of Jesus Christ has a great responsibility. Namely we “are the body of Christ”, must be Christ’s presence in the world. Christ. The Church is called “one body in Christ” in Romans 12:5, “ so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”.
The body of Christ is relational and we are linked to one another. Together we bear witness to the unity of Christ to the world. and Ephesians 4:12, “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,”. That is we are at service not only to one another but to all.
We must be the Christ that others see. I’ve shared my experiences in University Ministry as students of other faiths who do not know Christ were often inquiring about Him. I was reminded that I had to be the Christ that they experienced, that is the Christ living in me would be the only Christ that they might see. As I loved, shared and cared for them. Although they might not have known it. When we as Christians live out our identity as the Body of Christ, the world changes. We may be the only Gospel they read and the Christ they experience. So live and be the Body of Christ for the world.
Our worship of Jesus in His true and real presence must be lived out in our relationship to those on the peripheries. Those who find themselves left out are also invited to sit at the table. They are invited to share wine and drink, share food and eat. Our worship can never be truncated nor separate from being the loving presence of a Jesus for others.