CORPUS CHRISTI – C
As we celebrate this Sunday the Solemnity of the Corpus Christi (Body and Blood of Christ), let us focus our reflection on the Body of Christ as a living organism. A corpse is a dead body because it is devoid of life due to the absence of a soul which is the principle of life. The Body of Christ is not a corpse because it was risen from the dead during the resurrection. It is alive, breathing, pulsating and full of energy. Being the physical body of Jesus Christ it was bruised, crucified, died and rose back to life. No other human being who lived on this earth experienced such phenomenon: Jesus alone! Others might have been resuscitated back to life but their physical bodies did not have the eternal qualities of Jesus’ body.
It was this physical body of Jesus who could generate life not just for itself but a new body which is spiritual and mystical. From His tortured body hanging on the cross in the height of excruciating pain, Jesus gave birth to the New Humanity. On Calvary, the Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ, was born from the open breast of Jesus. This was symbolized by the blood and water which gushed forth from the side of Jesus which are the sacraments of the Eucharist and Baptism respectively.
To become a member of this Mystical Body of Christ, one has to be baptized. Once baptized, a person is grafted into the very life of its Body whose Head is Jesus Christ. The Church being a living organism is made up of the followers of Jesus and they form one spiritual body which is patterned after the physical body of Jesus. In this mystical phenomenon, all the members are inter-connected with each other as if through a bond like interwoven threads that form a beautiful tapestry. Each member is also like a piece of tile which is placed in a particular design in the formation of a mosaic. The joys and pains, the glory and struggles of all the members become the living fibers in unity that creates harmony. That is why, each member is most valuable in the operation of that body because each one completes the masterpiece of God.
The Eucharist which also came from the heart of Jesus is the celebration par excellence that expresses the very essence of the Mystical Body of Christ. Like the body that needs nourishment, as a living organism it is also needs spiritual nourishment which comes from the sacrifice of its Head and founder. When the members gather to celebrate the Eucharist they enter into a living memorial of the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ. As they re-live the events in the life of Jesus, they enter into a Kairos, a sacred time when:
The sanctuary is transformed into Calvary
The cross now stands as the altar of redemption
The Eternal High Priest is now an ordinary man
The body of the hanging victim is raised as bread
And his precious blood flows as wine into the cup
Lo and behold the unfolding of a great mystery:
The Word becomes flesh again: “This is my Body….”
Every celebration of the Eucharist even in its humblest form is of epic proportion when grace explodes and radiates into the universe transforming every fiber of creation into the realm of God. This is the beauty and grandeur of the Eucharist. We may not see nor understand it but it is happening and we are part of this great mystery. That is why the Eucharist is the greatest treasure of the Church!