Body of Christ and Church: what it is and where it is - CARF Foundation
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11 May, 22

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Body of Christ and Church: what is it and where is it kept?

The Second Vatican Council states that Jesus, communicating his Spirit, mystically constitutes his brethren, called from all peoples, as his body (Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 7). The Body of Christ, essential and unique element in the Church. We tell you about it.

Pope Francis explains it to us from the text of the Acts of the Apostles. The conversion of Saul, who would later be called Paul:

Saul was a persecutor of Christians, but while he was walking along the road leading to the city of Damascus, suddenly a light enveloped him, he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him: "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?". He asks: "Who are you, Lord?"and the voice responds: "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting." (cf. Acts 9:4-5):

"This experience of St. Paul tells us of the depth of the union between Christians and Christ himself. When Jesus ascended into heaven, He did not leave us orphans, but with the gift of the Holy Spirit, union with Him has become even more intense." Catechesis of the Pope 19 June 2013.

What is the Body of Christ?

We refer to the Corpus MysticumIn Latin, Mystical Body of Christ or Body of Christ when we speak of the Church as a single body, Christ himself being its Head. As the body of Christ we are one in Him. That is, we walk according to his precepts and united as Christians. In the sacrament of the Eucharist is contained, offered and received the very Body of Christ our Lord, through which the Church continually lives and grows.  

By transubstantiation, that is, by the conversion of the bread and wine into his Body and Blood, Christ becomes present in this sacrament. This is the Eucharistic sacrifice, memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord, in which the Sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated down through the centuries, is the center of Christian life.

With the Eucharist we give meaning to and are the people of God and bring to completion the building up of the Body of Christ and the Church. The simple offerings of bread and wine, placed in the hands of the Lord, become the Body and Blood of Christ. The priest invokes the Holy Spirit that he may descend upon these gifts and also make Christ present among us. At every Mass, together with this bread and wine, we also present to God, in a symbolic way, something of ourselves.

Body of Christ and Church: what it is, prayer and where it is kept - CARF

Being part of the Church "means being united to Christ and receiving from Him the divine life that makes us live as Christians, it means remaining united to the Pope and the Bishops who are instruments of unity and communion, and it also means learning to overcome personalisms and divisions, to understand each other better, to harmonize the variety and richness of each one; in a word: to love God and the people who are close to us more". General Audience Pope Francis.

Body of Christ and Church

"And this body has a head, Jesus, who guides it, nourishes it and sustains it. This is a point I want to stress: if the head is separated from the rest of the body, the person cannot survive. So it is in the Church: we must remain ever more deeply united to Jesus. But not only that: as in a body, it is important that the vital sap flows so that it can live, so we must allow Jesus to work in us, that his Word guides us, that his presence in the Eucharist nourishes us, encourages us, that his love gives strength to our love for our neighbor. And this always, always, always!

Here I come to a second aspect of the Church as the Body of Christ. St. Paul says that just as the members of the human body, though different and numerous, form one body, so the Church is the Body of Christ.So we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body.

Conflict, if not overcome well, separates us, separates us from God. Conflict can help us to grow, but it can also divide us. We do not go down the path of divisions, of fighting among ourselves, no! All united, all united with our differences, but united, united always, because that is the way of Jesus!

Unity is superior to conflict, unity is a grace that we must ask the Lord to save us from temptationsWe are not only a people of the world, but also of the divisions, of the fights among us and of the selfishness, of the gossip".  Catechesis of the Pope 19 June 2013.

Prayer to the Body of Christ

Help us, Lord, to be members of the Body of the Church always deeply united to Christ; help us not to make the Body of the Church suffer by our conflicts, our divisions, our selfishness; help us to be living members bound together by a single force, that of love, which the Holy Spirit pours into our hearts.

Pope Francis.

Body of Christ and Church: what it is, prayer and where it is kept - CARF

"The members of the body of Christ follow Christ, who is the head of all." (Ephesians 1:22-23).

Where is the body of Christ kept?

Every time the priest at the Holy Mass recites the words of Consecration, the miracle of the Eucharist takes place; what was once bread and wine is now, under that appearance, the Body and Blood of Christ.

The tabernacle is the place where the Most Holy Eucharist, the consecrated Body of Christ, is reserved.. There is usually only one in each church or oratory. It is placed near the altar, in a prominent, sheltered and appropriate place for prayer. A corner that is easily identified by any Christian who enters the Church.

Ante the tabernacle in which the Body of Christ is guardedThe presence of a special lamp should be constantly displayed, indicating and honoring his presence.

We keep the sacred body of Christ within the Church in an immovable place, made of solid, non-transparent material, and closed, so as to avoid as much as possible the danger of profanation.

Bibliography

Catechesis of the Pope on June 19, 2013.
OpusDei.org.
Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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