Becoming the Mystical Body of Christ
As we gather around the Eucharistic table and make the death and resurrection of Jesus our own by sharing in the “bread of life” and the “cup of salvation,” we become together the living body of Christ.
The Eucharist is the sacrament by which we become one body. Becoming one body is not becoming a team or a group or even a fellowship. Becoming one body is becoming the body of Christ. It is becoming the living Lord, visibly present in the world. It is – as often has been said – becoming the mystical Body of Christ. But mystical and real are the same in the realm of the Spirit.
–Henri Nouwen Society’s Daily Meditations, October 13, 2013
More and more I sense the Spirit impressing upon me the importance of understanding what it means to be the living body of Christ. For years I’ve thought of Paul’s use of body language in 1 Corinthians 12 as a metaphor–an apt metaphor, to be sure. But he doesn’t say that we are like the body of Christ. No, he says we are the body of Christ.
In light of Paul’s teaching, Nouwen’s meditation lends understanding to how we become one body…the living body of Christ.