Corpus Christi Reflection
REMEMBRANCE & THE SHAPE OF LITURGY (Mark 14:12-16,22-26) Millennia of slavery, serfdom, indentured labour; this is the debris of our history, millions of bodies deemed insignificant, cognitively deficient, without intrinsic value, without voice, without rights, without ancestry or persona, faceless as individuals and faceless as a group. This is the focal point where we seek the Body of Christ.
Without a focal point, our attention drifts. We need earthing, to recall, to remember, to reconnect. This holy act of remembrance establishes and celebrates mutual identity and value. This is the shape liturgy, our communal praise, thanksgiving, remembrance and supplication.
This is no dis-embodied, fearful, remote centre of energy and power. In Jesus the Christ, God’s face is revealed enabling us to focus on this central point of time and space; the Christ event. Here we gifted the face of the new born, the face of a Jewish Rabbi, a teacher, healer, and miracle worker, the face of those who are marginalised, the face of the exile and the refugee,the face of rejection and suffering, the face of death, and finally the face of resurrection to new life; this is our face also.
As we extend our arms and our being in this reunion, we touch not only the past and the future but reach into that liminal space that is beyond all-time and beyond all space. In the experience of the mystics we come to know that this is sacred, repeated always and everywhere, birth, life, death and resurrection; it is only our focus that is diffused, misdirected, and scattered.
This mystery is proposed for our contemplation; to show that the risen Christ walks among us and guides us toward the Kingdom of God. This is the manifestation of what Jesus has given us in the intimacy of the Last Supper, because the love of Christ is not confined to the few, but is intended for ALL. As all are infected by our woundedness, all are welcome to the fruit of the Tree of Life. This Communion is stronger than all our little divisions, the communion of God himself.
In Christ, in Eucharistic communion, I am transformed into Christ; my individuality, opened up, freed from self-contentedness, and placed in the heart of Christ in the Person of Jesus, who in turn is immersed in the Trinitarian communion.
The Eucharist unites me to Christ and opens me to others; making us members one of another across history; we are no longer divided, but one unity in Christ our common ancestry. Eucharistic communion unites me to my neighbour, even to those I consider as enemies, and also to my brothers and sisters who are in every corner of the world.
When we recognise Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, we come to recognise also our brother and sister who suffers, who is hungry and thirsty, who is a stranger, naked, sick, ostracised, excluded, and imprisoned so that I may commit myself, to their need. From the gift of Christ’s love comes our special responsibility as Christians in building a more just and fraternal society. This unity will not be built without the foundation of God, without true Love.
Because we identify ourselves as members of one family, the same body; the body of Christ, we learn from the Sacrament of the Altar that communion, love is the path of true justice and reconciliation. This is why God continues to renew humanity, history, and the cosmos through this chain of transformations, of which the Eucharist is the sacrament. For St Francis, the Eucharist is the primary way in which he sees Christ’s continuing Incarnation in the world. … It is the sign of the presence of Christ with the Church in his continuing salvific role.
Through the consecrated bread and wine, in which Body and Blood, soul and divinity are truly present, Christ transforms us, assimilating us into God. He involves us in his redeeming work, enabling us, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, to live according to his same logic of gift, like grains of wheat united with him and in him, with and in each other.
Was ever another command so obeyed? For century after century, spreading slowly to every continent and country and among every race on earth, this action has been done, in every conceivable human circumstance, for every conceivable human need from infancy and before it to extreme old age and after it, from the pinnacle of earthly greatness to the refuge of fugitives in the caves and dens of the earth. Men have found no better thing than this to do for kings at their crowning and for criminals going to the scaffold; for armies in triumph or for a bride and bridegroom in a little country church; for the proclamation of a dogma or for a good crop of wheat; for the wisdom of the Parliament of a mighty nation or for a sick old woman afraid to die; for a schoolboy sitting an examination or for Columbus setting out to discover America; for the famine of whole provinces or for the soul of a dead lover; in thankfulness because my father did not die of pneumonia; for a village headman much tempted to return to fetch because the yams had failed; for the repentance of Margaret; for the settlement of a strike; for a son for a barren woman; for Captain so-and-so wounded and prisoner of war; while the lions roared in the nearby amphitheatre; on the beach at Dunkirk; while the hiss of scythes in the thick June grass came faintly through the windows of the church; tremulously, by an old monk on the fiftieth anniversary of his vows; furtively, by an exiled bishop who had hewn timber all day in a prison camp near Murmansk; gorgeously, for the canonisation of S. Joan of Arc—one could fill many pages with the reasons why men have done this, and not tell a hundredth part of them. And best of all, week by week and month by month, on a hundred thousand successive Sundays, faithfully, unfailingly, across all the parishes of Christendom, the pastors have done this just to make the plebs sancta Dei—the holy common people of God. Dom Dix – The Shape of the Liturgy