Corpus Christi: The Body of Christ
Stephen’s bright blue eyes smiled as we said, “Lamb of God, Give us Peace.” According to the rubrics we were now to show each other a sign of peace. Yet with Stephen’s attention deficit disorder, which had already taken him in and out the brief service at least twice, it seemed that a little catechesis might help him be a little more aware of what we were about to do. Stephen is not a little boy. He is a handsome man in his early 30s, with a number of tattoos poking out of the v-neck and short sleeves of his starched jail issued smock.
The readings had been those of Pentecost. The second reading was from First Corinthians 12. “No one can say Jesus is Lord except by the power of the Holy Spirit.” This had struck all four of the men, but had made a special impression on Stephen. “Does that mean that when I pray the Holy Spirit moves my heart?” Stephen had asked. When I answered “Yes” his eyes got wide and he said that since his attention came and went and his thoughts were often jumbled, he thought his prayers were more bothersome and must be irritating. The notion that he is a temple of the Holy Spirit was as novel to him as it was consoling.
Stephen was back now and I shared a few words on the Lamb of God, recounting the Last Supper and the passion, death, and resurrection of the Lord. We do this in His memory as He requested of us. We are invited to the Lord’s table. Stephen and his companions were not new to the faith, but this brief memorial of our Great Memorial brought a renewed awareness to the others and a slack jaw from Stephen. He did not doubt, but could not help but marvel at the wonder of it.
As we shared the wonder of the Blessed Sacrament, our communion was truly a sharing in the Body and Blood of Christ. Bread blessed and broken at the Eucharist, celebrated in the parish, given to all, shared with all, and sent to those in need and to those in prison. The Body of Christ – Corpus Christi – saving us all from our prison of loneliness, our hunger for love, and admitting us to the feast of heaven here and now.