Corpus Christi Reflection: In The Cross-Hairs Of Space And Time
Franciscan Reflections From The Hermitage – In The Cross-Hairs Of Space And Time – Corpus Christi – (Luke 9:12-17)
“Do this in remembrance of me.” With the apostles and the Saints, this is the one command of Love that resonates through the ages. Today ‘this’ still takes hold of my life, healing and transforming.
At the celebration of the Eucharist, the past and the future are manifested in this present moment, this Eternal Now. Through Christ, my past and my future become present in this Eternal Now to be healed and transformed by the action of Jesus in the Christ event.
In Christ our contemplation focuses on the central point of time and space; as we extend our arms and our being in this union, we touch not only the past and the future but reach into that liminal space that is beyond all time and beyond all space.
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 of the liturgy, our communal praise, thanksgiving, remembrance, and supplication.
In the experience of the mystics we come to know that this is sacred, repeated always and everywhere; it is only our focus that is diffused, misdirected, and scattered. The shape of liturgy directs us back into the holy experience.
As we contemplate the Christ event, the Last Supper and Crucifixion come together in the one ‘eternal’ moment. This is the Christ event at the centre of history; the birth, death, and resurrection of God of eternity with us, here and now within time and space. This is the threshold into eternity.
This is where we encounter the two that are really one and the same sacrifice. Not the same sacrifice repeated but the one sacrifice, the table of the last supper is the cross. This is given to me as the Way, the process of divinisation that heals and transforms my past to re-create my actions for the purpose of Good and re-directs my future in accordance with God’s eternal plan, spoken in the Word.
This mystery is proposed for our contemplation; to show that the risen Christ walks among us and guides us into the Kingdom of God. Today we manifest 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.
This Communion is stronger than all our little divisions, the com-union of God himself. The word ‘communion’, which we use to designate the Eucharist, sums up the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the gift of Christ. When we ‘receive communion, the act of eating the bread of the Eucharist, we enter into communion with the very life of Jesus the Christ; from God, through Jesus, to us: a unique communion is transmitted in the Holy Eucharist.
In Christ, in Eucharistic communion, I am transformed into what I consume, into Christ; my individuality, opened up, freed from self-centeredness, 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 each other. We are no longer divided, but one unity in Christ. Eucharistic communion unites me with my neighbour, even with those I consider enemies, and also with my brothers and sisters who are in every corner of the world. In this space, we come to recognise also our brothers and sisters who suffer, who are hungry and thirsty, who are strangers, naked, sick, and imprisoned so that I may commit myself to their needs.
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 God, without Love.
Because we identify ourselves as members of the one family, the same body, the body of Christ, we learn from the Sacrament of the Altar that communion, Love is the path to true justice.
When Jesus says: “This is my body which is given to you, this is my blood shed for you and for all”, He accepts his passion out of love, with its trial and its violence, even to death on the cross and by accepting it in this way he transforms it into an act of self-giving.
God is preparing for us a new earth where peace and justice prevail, and by faith in this communion, we glimpse the creation of this new world.