This is the Body of Christ

Children across the faith are looking forward to First Holy Communion,
having completed up to three years of sacramental preparation depending on the
practices of their local diocese.  Some of these children will be as young as seven years old and while Church considers seven to be the age of reason, it is important for parents and others close to the Communicants to remember what the Eucharist truly is, and help
reinforce that knowledge every opportunity they can.

For those parents thinking “but my child is truly prepared. My child KNOWS what the Eucharist is,” simply think back to your own experience with First Communion.  For many First Communions are simply seen as finally being able to eat the bread and drink the
wine, finally getting a seat at the grown-ups’ table.  For others, there is a rudimentary
understanding of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, while other children, generally older when they make their First Communions, can express a genuine understanding of what it means to take and eat the body and blood of Christ, and to do it in memory of Him.

Can you?

In the most basic of terms, the Body of Christ is the living presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  We are told by Jesus at the Last Supper to participate in the Eucharist because “he wanted us to have the memorial of the love with which he loved us ‘to the end’
even to the giving of his life” (CCC 1380, John 13.1).  But the Body of Christ goes beyond the Eucharist and it is this truth that we as Catholics sometimes ignore.

Jesus tells us in holy scripture that “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (John 6:57).  We hear later in scripture that “Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).  St. Luke reminds us that “the Kingdom of God
is within you” (Luke 17:21).  In other words, our bodies are home to the Lord.
Jesus lives in us.  Let’s say that again.  Jesus LIVES in us.

So what does that mean? For starters it means that we have the ability to do the work of God.  We can see people as God sees them. We can love people as God loves them.  We can forgive people as God forgives them. We can help people as God would help them if He were here, in the flesh, today.  But wait, isn’t He here, in the flesh? In our flesh? Again, as Jesus told us, “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.”

There is song we use in our First Communion programs called “Somos El Cuerpo de Christo”.  A bilingual song, it means “We are the Body of Christ”.  The fact that it is bilingual is important.  The Body of Christ is not an American institution, it is not even a Catholic institution.  The Body of Christ is universal and as the song goes on to tell us, “we come to bring the good news to the world.”

The Eucharist is more than bread and wine.  The Eucharist is more than the body and the
blood of Christ.  The Eucharist is the constant presence of Christ within is, a reaffirmed union with Christ and spiritual strength to carry out the mission of Christ, the love of Christ, and the work of Christ.

St. Teresa of Avila tells us that “Christ has no eyes now but ours, no hands now but ours, no feet now but ours.”  What do you see?  Who do you carry?  Where are you going?

This entry was posted in Eucharist, Family, Social Justice and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to This is the Body of Christ

  1. I believe in the communion of all Saints, Which is born of communion with the body and blood of the Lord.

  2. What one thing can I do/change to help end world poverty?

    • Daily Catechist says:

      I think the one thing people can do that makes a difference is to think globally, but act locally. When we think about the vastness of the problem, world poverty, or world hunger, or any other global issue, we can feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of it, and lose our focus. But world problems are in many cases combinations of many thousands of local problems. What is happening in your community today? Who is hungry in your neighborhood today? Who is homeless in your town, today? Who can you help today, to make a difference in their life? Peace – Stephanie

  3. save a child says:

    There is no straight answer. A lot of impoverished countries are that way for many reasons, an important of which is often a horribly corrupt government. But there are other factors like education, health and healthcare, economic sustainability, geography and climate, etc. . . Poverty is not just an absence of money. It’s a lack of knowledge or ability to sustain wealth, provide for oneself, or leave the area.

  4. Pingback: My Homepage