Feast of Corpus Christi 2009

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

“Labour not for the meat that perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed.”

We today celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ, the meat indeed which endureth unto everlasting life. The association with the Sacrament of Communion is clear for we who have the faith to see what is now unseen, but which will be made manifest in the fullness of time: Christ, the Incarnate God, the sole Propitiation for our own sins, who in virtue of His sacrifice of Himself once offered purchases for each and every one of us that special grace by which we may be in communion with Him in consecrated bread and wine – and indeed in all of the Sacraments of the Church. It is the living testament of His love for us, that He gives Himself not only for us, but most intimately to us, forever at the right hand of God but also continually in time whenever two or more are assembled in the liturgy of Holy Communion. He is forever triumphant, the ascendant God-Man who is in His Resurrection the very expression of His defeat of sin and death; but, at the same time, He is continually humbling Himself, the languishing corpse on the crucifix, the One who empties Himself of His own divine omnipotence, so that we literally may ingest Him into and for ourselves. Christ Jesus gives Himself to us, because He is obedient unto His own Father; indeed, He does the work of His Father, so that we may do the same.

In doing the work of His Father, in laboring on behalf of those men which the Father has entrusted unto Him, Christ Jesus expresses what it means for we Christians to partake in His Body. As the Father loves Him, so He loves the Father; similarly, as He forever and continually gives unto us, so we must give unto Him. Communion in the Body of Christ, that meat that never perishes, is in our halting movement towards Him as it is also in His previous and triumphant movement towards us. We cannot even commence to seek Him, let alone approach His Body in the Sacrament of Communion, without the grace afforded to us by the Holy Spirit. Indeed, God does the preponderance of the work both on His and our sides of the rail. Still, however tepidly, we must labor for Christ Jesus, we must move along that way that He has carved out for us, forsaking our attachments for His dominion, letting the dead bury themselves for His glory, so that there may be that coming together, of men for Christ and Christ for men. It is in this coming together that we find His Body and His Blood; indeed, it is in recognition of that insight that we Anglicans disavow the practice of a Priest celebrating Mass by Himself.

Our labor towards Christ Jesus therefore is a most critical component to the relationship expressed by the Body of Christ.  This is a blessing, an indication of our intrinsic nobility as created in the image of God, that we have been ordained to be an integral player within salvation, as much as Adam had been ordained to be an integral player within creation, as seen when God entrusts him to name all of the beasts under his dominion in Eden. God is merciful and just; therefore, His blessing also bestows that imperative of the highest order – namely, that we labor not for the meat that perishes, but rather labor to do what God in His total wisdom has commanded unto us, that we love Him with all of our hearts, souls, and minds, and that we love our neighbors. We cannot know the Body of Christ, and for that matter cannot receive efficaciously the Sacrament of Communion, if we are living in our sins, rather than in the love of God, and if we are hating our brothers in this world. Our imperative then is to stand for Christ Jesus, even when the world persecutes us: to do what is right, to speak what is true, to conserve what is noble, to defeat what is evil, in the individual conscience and in the community at large. In our action will our conviction be made manifest, either for God or against Him, either for the salvation of our neighbors or in disregard of how they may fall to the snares of the enemy. We must approach all action in humility, ever mindful of the need for prayer to learn what indeed is the will of God in our lives; but, at the same time, we must act. We must act, because we are men, made for all time in His image and redeemed by the death of Christ on the Cross. If anyone of us is mired in a sin, then he must undertake to free himself by the forgiveness afforded through the Sacrament; if anyone of us sees a neighbor mired in sin, then he must undertake at the very least to pray for his repentance. In so acting, we move toward Christ Jesus, haltingly but as men, which is how God ordains us to be. In this do we find the Body of Christ.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Published by Michael Sean Erickson

I write, act, and produce films in Los Angeles. Everything else is conjecture.

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