We could come at today’s feast – Corpus Christi – The Body and Blood of Christ – from many angles. We could spend this blog talking about Jesus in the Scriptures, and how he talked about food in his parables, ate with many, provided food for many and gave himself as food and drink for his disciples and for the ages. That could lead us to talk about the hungers of the world for essentials as basic as food and drink. We could talk about the ways nations and groups have politicized food and water, using them as a weapon to keep the poor in submission. We could look at Wegmans which provides the year-round varied and abundant food we have come to deem our right. And how about our national outbreak of obesity, countered by cool-sculpting the body to get rid of “love handles” of fat around our midriffs? There’s dieting of course – South Beach, paleo and more.
Instead, let’s recall that from the first Eucharist, Christians, throughout history have
received the Body and Blood of Christ.
A second meaning of the Body and Blood of Christ is given to us by Paul, when he describes the relationship of Christ and His followers. Paul refers to us as members of the Body of (Romans 12.5). That membership is given in baptism as is the work of a lifetime, as we
become the Body and Blood of Christ.
There’s an ancient phrase which links these two elements as we receive the Body and Blood of Christ and become the Body and Blood of Christ. That phrase is simple and profound. It says to us:
Become what you receive.
The Consecrated Bread and Cup and the Consecrated People.
Let’s think of that phrase “become what you receive” each week, as we come to the table of the Lord. This call and consecration is true of each of us – our loved ones, the people who make us irritable, those who do evil deeds, the unborn and the recently born, the soon to die. Our bodies and blood are energy sources, sources of nourishment for one another as we give blood and body parts to one another, as well as mouth to mouth resuscitation.
Through our hugs, handshakes, as we nurse babies and make gestures of love toward one another, and go about the many other things we do daily in life, we are the Body and Blood of Christ. Somehow, we don’t easily make the transition to grasping that each day, in our lives, we are Christ’s body being offered to the world.
Let’s offer this prayer today to our generous God and tuck it somewhere we’ll remember to find it and repeat it on Sundays as a way of renewing our baptismal consecration to be the Body and Blood of Christ:
Bread of Life, Jesus, Holy and Risen One, keep us as fresh as the bread we break and the wine we pour, that like these simple gifts which become your Body and Blood, our lives may become a source of freshness to all we meet. Amen.
~Sister Joan Sobala