I wish I had recorded the homily Saturday night — I keep trying to review it and remember the wonder of the words. The feast of Corpus Christi – the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. A reflection on just what that means.
As I attempt to comprehend another “body” that I belong to comes to mind…
I am an Auburn grad. I left and came back to work at the University 24 years ago. One could see Auburn as the buildings, the grounds, the town. That’s not what the word means to me. It’s more than the physical plant. We are a body: those of us who are a part of “Auburn” share a piece of our lives with each other and with the whole. On TV, you see football (or baseball or maybe swimming). But that’s not quite it.
My mother used to observe that just saying the word “Auburn” would evoke a faraway look – that there was something special about the place.
We worked and/or studied together. We shared ourselves. We travel all over the world and when we see the telltale signs ( a ball cap or a logo on a t-shirt or a car tag) most of us look at each other and say “War Eagle!” We represent the school in all manner of things and we identify with it. We follow our sports teams. We represent the school in our work, our research and in our trying to convince new, young recruits to join us. We even have a creed. Look around the campus on a Saturday afternoon in the fall and you see folks gathered for tailgating – just to be in the same space with each other (there are far more tailgaters than game attendees – and that’s a lot of folks.)
And how does this relate to Corpus Christi? The Body of Christ is so much more than just the human who walked the earth – more than his bones and muscles and blood. That man is the linchpin, but he commanded us to “take and eat” – to join in this Life. One would never expect a University community to be willing to do anything it took, including death, to show its love for us. But he did. When we celebrate this Body and Blood, we remember that we are a part of his body, that we are his body for all the world to see. We are many parts. We have different gifts. We are a part of his body. Each of us important. We come to the table: caucasian, african, asian, latino (and any combination),wealthy, poor, healthy and infirm, academically gifted and not so great at school and we stand as equals. We know that he is with us and we join him. One can only hope that when we see each other in the world, and see the telltale signs, that we too are called to greet each other with “Peace!” and we are called to show this to the world so as to encourage new recruits to join us.