Wednesday Word: Embodiment
“Eat this bread. Drink this wine. This is my body. This is my blood.”
Every Sunday we hear these and similar words at Communion as I read the Institution Narrative and the epiclesis. Every Sunday bread and wine are substantially changed as they are infused with the real presence of Jesus Christ. Every Sunday these creatures of bread and wine become holy gifts for holy people, the bread of life and the cup of salvation. And every Sunday we are fed and nourished by our Lord through the sacrifice he made.
In partaking of that holy meal we are also infused with the real presence of Jesus Christ. In partaking of that holy meal we are also substantially changed.
This is one aspect of embodiment; that we feed on him who died for us and, through that feeding, become embodied with the presence of Christ.
But there is another aspect to the embodiment of Christ, and that is our sharing in the totality of his life. We share in not only his life, but his baptism, his ministry, his death, and his resurrection. And this may be the most difficult part of embodiment – to embody Christ in our daily lives. To live our lives respecting the dignity of every human being. To seek and serve Christ in all people. To recognize differences yet respect and honor the image of God in all people. To walk daily in the footsteps of Christ. To live a life of discipleship in a way that embodies Christ always. This is the hard work of embodiment. This is the hard work of discipleship.
It's hard work, but it is worth it in so many ways.
How are you the embodiment of Christ in the world around you?
Alleluia! Christ is risen!