Today we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi or “The Body and Blood of Christ.” The feast day is a way of honoring two things, the physical reality of God becoming human in the Corpus Christi and the Eucharist, Christ’s body and blood in the transubstantiated bread and wine at Mass.
The very idea of God becoming a human being is worthy of awe and reverence every day of the year. Furthermore the thought of God’s desire to be so close to us that through Jesus, he instituted the Eucharist so that we could be intimately close to God from the inside out.
The Eucharist itself is certainly worthy of reverence and honor, but the action of taking Christ’s actual presence into ourselves is something that goes beyond ordinary thought, piety, worship and adoration. It certainly is a mind-bender to realize that we have the ability to receive God’s actual presence in the Eucharist and worship him from the inside out.
Focusing on the idea that each of us has the opportunity to receive Christ’s presence within ourselves, each of us becoming a “theotokos” a “God-bearer” should challenge how we act and live, as well as how we treat the other Christ-bearers we encounter.
I have been watching the old Star Trek television shows and considering how many of those episodes involve some sort of being or force somehow taking possession and gaining control of Captain Kirk or some other member of the crew, by taking over their mind and body. In a way, the idea of taking over our minds and bodies from the inside out is how the Eucharist can affect us. By our receiving the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist, we can allow Jesus to take control of our actions and thoughts and literally become Christ ourselves.
In celebrating Christ’s body and blood in the Eucharist, we also celebrate God’s desire to become one with us, by allowing his presence to be taken into our very bodies and so to transform our entire being in Christ, from the inside out.
Rev. James Kirby