This Sunday you will hear these words proclaimed during the Second Reading:
But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it,
so that there may be no division in the body,
but that the parts may have the same concern for one another.
If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it;
if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy. (1 Corinthians 12:24-26)
These words are a good measuring stick for the authenticity of our Eucharistic devotion.
If the Eucharist is the Body of Christ, and if we, the Church, are the Body of Christ, then my devotion to one should intensify my devotion to another. Thus, if I truly honor Christ under His lowly guise of bread, then I should have real, tangible concern for the lowliest around me. This is encouraged by the paradox of the monstrance, the vessel in which the Eucharist is exposed. A monstrance of gold and jewels surrounds what appears to be a piece of tasteless bread that was even deprived of leaven. Yet, it is not the gold and jewels that we worship, but the Lord who makes Himself approachable, by lowering himself (get it? no leaven) to reside under the appearance of bread. But we miss the paradox of the monstrance when we only associate with those the World would call ‘haves’ while we neglect the ‘have nots’ or, even worse, cause them to suffer. To do so causes the very Body of Christ we adore to suffer.
I leave you with this quote from St. John Chrysostom as rendered in the Catechism of the Catholic Church to draw this to a close:
You have tasted the Blood of the Lord, yet you do not recognize your brother,…. You dishonor this table when you do not judge worthy of sharing your food someone judged worthy to take part in this meal…. God freed you from all your sins and invited you here, but you have not become more merciful (CCC 1397).
Originally Posted on the Encounter Blog: http://www.encountercincinnati.com/encounter-blog/