Today the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi — the Body and Blood of Christ. We have a Nigerian Vincentian filling in while the padre is away on vacation… as I watched in, listened to him and responded in song to his song, I was struck by just how wonderfully diverse this Body of Christ truly is.
Fr. Igwe had this sometimes reticent little parish responding in song. He was contagious. That’s the word, I think: Contagious. He taught a different Gloria. We sang “Amazing Grace” as a creed. He chanted parts of the Preface and the Eucharistic prayer. He was joyful.
Our usual pastor is colorful in his own ways: He loves sports, he is a gifted preacher who can handle a mass that flips from English to Spanish with ease, and he almost always “gets to me.” He too loves to sing although not the same rhythms as our visiting Nigerian. He brings so much to the celebration, especially when he’s not feeling bad.
Pentecost weekend I was at a mass in a nearby parish and saw another “Face of God” as it were in the celebration there.
And so, I am awed at the expanse and variety I find in the Body of Christ. I find that I must pray for God to touch more deeply the parishioner who complained that we had “moved from Pentecost to Pentecostal… can’t we just be Catholic?” because people clapped along with the closing song on the feast of Pentecost. There is room in this body for those who find God in the quiet, in gregorian chant and rosaries along side those who are bubbling over with the joy of the Spirit and must let the Light shine in more physical and vocal ways.
We are many parts — we are ALL ONE BODY.