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Corpus Christi

BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST

When we speak of the body of Jesus we have to start with the historical fact of the incarnation of the Word in the womb of the Virgin Mary (Mt1,18; Lk 1,26-37). The Word of God was made flesh, that is, He assumes a human body with all its essence, without leaving His divine nature (Jn1:14; 4:6-7). Here we find on the one hand the "Word" who becomes flesh in order to dwell among us as a man who suffers from tiredness and thirst to give us life. This means that He owns  a  physical human body just like us. His human nature being made manifest (Rom. 9:1.5; Heb. 11-17; 1Jn. 4:2; 2Jn. 7) with the limitations that will lead Him to experience suffering and death (Mt. 27:27-60; Jn. 28-40; Heb. 10:5-10). 

On the other hand, to speak of the "Body of Christ" it is also necessary to understand that the human body of Jesus, after His death, does not remain in the tomb, but rises gloriously (Luke 24:39; John 20:19-27; 1 Corinthians 15:44; Philippians 3:21), which implies that from that moment there are no longer limitations of space or time for Him.

Having pointed out the above, we can refer to a second historical fact in the life of Jesus, present at the moment of the "Last Supper" lived with His apostles in the great feast of the Jewish Passover. This is a solemn festivity that celebrates the freedom of the Hebrew People from the slavery of Egypt, narrated in the book of Exodus. 

The celebration consists of a series of rites in which they commemorate not only the liberation of the Jews from captivity, but also the transformation of their conscience as a free nation endowed with a law.  Jesus, who knew the law and the history of His people, shares in the joy of being a nation capable of having its own laws and enjoying freedom.

Against this backdrop, with the profound meaning of the feast of Easter, Jesus gathers His closest disciples and invites them to celebrate, the salvation of humanity. In the experience of Easter He leads the disciples to intimate union with their "BEING".  At the Last Supper, Jesus turns the bread and wine into His own Body and Blood, so that the disciples may be nourished by Him and live in intimate and real communion with Him. 

"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in Him" (Jn 6:56; Mt 26:26-28; Mk 14:22-25; Lk 22:14-22). In being united to the humanity of Christ, we are at the same time united to His divinity. Our mortal and corruptible nature is transformed by our union with the source of life. ‘ I am telling you the truth if you do not eat the flesh of  the Son of Man and drink His blood  you will not have life in yourselves.(Jn. 6; 54-) 

Knowing that we are united to the very source of life and that we have been called by Jesus himself to love one another in order to manifest God's love for humanity, it is understandable that St. Paul said that the community of believers in Christ form one body.
This being so, all believers united to Christ by baptism, we form the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church (1Cor.12;12-13; Rom.8,29; 1Cor.10,16-17; 1Cor.12,27; Eph.1,4-11). 

The principal work of the Holy Spirit is that the Church, with all its diversity and plurality, be constituted as the body of Christ, one single sacrament of communion with God and among all people.

Sr. M. Teresa Matamala; Councillor Province of Cunco in collaboration with Sr Matilde Inostroza; Congregational Councillor