"As members of Christ's body, we are charged to put on Christ, to clothe ourselves with Christ-like virtues and behave in an appropriate way. Celebrating eucharist with a small 'e' will help us to habituate this and make it relevant. When we gather to tell our stories, we include not only positive accounts but also incidents of disembodiment crying out for redemption: physical needs, spiritual needs, systemic insensitivity, hearts on the verge of breaking, lives in need of healing. Our world today is far too cavalier in regard to how we treat our bodies. The bodies of women are flaunted to entice the bombarded consumer and used by far too many men solely for physical pleasure. The violence inflicted on the bodies of women and the bodies of our children, the number of women and girls who truly dislike their bodies and want to make them over, the countless bodies blown to bits in so many senseless wars, the bodies we have put to death in state-approved executions indicate a disconnect with seeing our humanity as the extended body of Christ. It is a paradox. We who proclaim our love for Jesus crucify Christ's body again and again through our inhumanity.
"We are the body of Christ when we open ourselves to the spirit of Jesus and continue what he began. But let us be very careful that we do not limit Jesus. The one who welcomed everyone left us a challenging perspective as our legacy. He identified with those who are hungry and thirsty and lack proper clothes, with the sick, the felon, the stranger, saying: when we attend to their bodily needs, when we give food, drink, clothing, care, compassion, empathy, shelter, we are doing these things for him. Christ's body is one with embodied humanity. Here then is real presence. Here is his body. Here is his blood. Indeed, if we would be brutally honest, here among suffering humanity is authentic eucharist. And do remember this. Jesus was not talking about ministering only to Christians. He did not say tend to those who share our religious affiliation. He referred to all humanity when he said that we will be judged on how we respond to those in need. We tend to ignore those we consider 'others' and focus instead on our own. Christ is telling us otherwise. The 'other' is also, in our own times, an embodiment of Christ.
"Look into the face of the other hungry, ill, lonely, depressed and see the face of the spirit of Jesus incarnate once again. Then look beyond at the wider world, to the trees, the rivers, the clouds and the stars, to the snapdragons and the fireflies, to the prairies and the hillside slopes rainforest green in the sun, and give thanks for the gift of embodiment. This is my body, Spirit says. The universe is sacred Presence, embodiment of the Divine."