One Real Presence Permeating All

Ed and Lois loved to dance. They met at a dance, fell in love, got married and have been waltzing around together for 35 years. They are pretty good at it, too. They even entered amateur dance competitions and whirled around the dance floor together with a number pinned to the back of Ed’s tuxedo. Lois wore a gorgeous gown and loved the feel of the material billowing about her as she spun and dipped with her husband. It was if they were born to dance, created to glorify God by embodying the music that God had built into all things. The sound, the beat, the rhythms, and the poetry of music all found expression in their arms and legs, their body and blood.

The philosopher Albert Camus wrote that true music, the kind that moves us, “banishes all reason and analysis.” Rather than understand it, one must feel it. The presence of God is beyond all understanding. Yet, it is available through what we experience in our bodies.

This Sunday is Corpus Christi, the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. On this feast, the focus is most always on the gift of the bread and wine which becomes spiritual nourishment. Intellectually, we can understand Eucharist. Yes, Christ is present in the consecrated elements, but Christ is also present in each person who gathers to receive the Eucharist. When we come forward and receive the Body and Blood of Christ, we carry this treasure with us in the “earthen vessels” of our very selves.

Greg Dues, in his book, Catholic Customs & Traditions, reminds us “The Eucharist is not only a holy bread and a holy cup, it is a holy moment – a saving action. It has been the faith of Catholics from the earliest times that Jesus Christ is present during this Eucharistic ritual. Those who share the bread and cup with each other become one with Christ and one with each other, because it is the one Christ whom they share.”

Saint Augustine, a 4th Century Doctor of the Church, challenged the people of his time to remember that “the one who worthily comes forward to receive the Body of Christ must worthily become the Body of Christ.”

Carefully observe the communion procession at Mass this Sunday. Take a loving look at each person in that procession. They are individuals coming forward in communion to receive the Body of Christ and committed to becoming the Body of Christ for the world that will encounter them as they are sent forth at the end of that Mass. Let awe and reverence arise in your heart for the Christ who dwells within you and every one of them.

Our bodies carry the living presence of Christ. Eat and drink of this reality. The Body and Blood of Christ feeds us and nourishes us, making us real, giving us hope.

For those wondering about the picture – the pelican is a favorite symbol of the Eucharist and redemption.  There is an ancient belief that the female pelican would rip open her breast to feed her young with her own life blood to avert their starvation in famine.

Question – Having been nourished by the Body of Christ, in what ways are you willing to be the Body of Christ for others?

June 18th, 2014 |