We receive the Body and the Blood of Jesus Christ in a sacramental way in the Eucharist, so that we can form Christ’s social body in the unity of all members.
Saint Paul asks: “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” (The First Letter to the Corinthians 10, 16).
The Apostle himself answers: “Because the loaf of bread is one, we though many, are one body for we all partake of the one loaf”(The First Letter to the Corinthians 10, 17).
Eucharist forms the Church and the Church celebrates Eucharist. When we celebrate the communion with the Body and the Blood of Jesus Christ we become “consanguineous” (N.T. Latin consanguineus, fr. Com- + sanguine-, sanguis blood: of the same blood or origin) and “co-corporal” with the Christ and a living part of His own Body. Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (dead in 386 A.D.) said that Eucharist makes us “Christophorus”, which means “carriers of the Christ”; in the words of Saint Peter: “He has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature” (The Second Letter of Peter 1, 4).
The Head feeds the whole Body especially during Eucharist so that the members can receive the grace and the strength to live as real Christians, so that Christ can be “formed in” them (The Letter to the Galatians 4, 19) and so that they have strength to “follow in his footsteps” (The First Letter of Peter 2, 21).
We ask the Father during the Eucharistic Prayer: “…grant us that, being nourished by the Body and the Blood of Your Son, we can be filled with the Holy Spirit and become one Body and one spirit with the Christ”.
Therefore we cannot separate Christ from His Church. That would be equivalent to behead a person in the hope he or she could stay alive: this is absurd. We cannot behead Christ’s Body, in other words, we cannot separate Him from the Church. That was Martin Luther’s big unfortunate mistake in 1517, when he said Yes to Christ and No to the Church; he did not realize that he was mutilating Christ’s Body, trying to behead this Body. Departing from that, many subdivisions took place in an irreversible unstoppable way all over the world. That is the greatest scandal Christianity gave to the world.
Prof Felipe Aquino
Professor Felipe Aquino is a widower, father of five children. On TV Canção Nova he presents the program “Escola da Fé” [School of faith] and “Pergunte e Responderemos” [Ask and respond], on Radio he presents the program “in the heart of the Church”. On weekends he preaches deepening meetings throughout Brazil and abroad. He wrote 73 books of Catholic background by publishers, Loyola and Cleopas and Canção Nova. His teacher’s page:www.cleofas.com.br Twitter: @pfelipeaquino