Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Flesh-And-Blood Tabernacles

     Halloween is coming, and when I realized it's only a few weeks away, I remembered a cute yet profound incident involving a Halloween costume.
     Four-year-old Tommy received a Power Rangers costume for Halloween.  His Mom helped him into the costume and, ecstatic, Tommy ran as fast as he could into the backyard so he could be a Power Ranger.   A few minutes later, Tommy came back into the house, with the costume off, dragging it behind him.  He threw the costume onto the floor and whining, said to his Mom, “This thing doesn't work!”  The poor kid thought he’d become a Power Ranger because he put the costume on!

     If only it were that easy to become a "superhero", just by putting on a costume!  But, you and I know: A superhero's strength and character have to exist inside of you.  You can’t simply "put it on."  The same applies to living as a Christian.
     If only it were that easy to become exactly like the Lord Jesus Christ -- simply by coming to Mass, and receiving Holy Communion.
     However, being a Christ-like person is not like putting a costume on.  A Christ-like person is not superficial.  Being a Christ-like person has to come from the core of our being.
     In the ancient Jewish mindset -- of Old Testament times and of Our Lord Jesus’ time -- a living being’s life, life-force, was considered to be contained in one’s blood.  Blood was extremely precious. To shed blood meant to waste life!  To have life meant that one must have blood; and life can only be granted by God.  Therefore, blood belonged to God alone!
     So when the Lord Jesus said that we must eat His Flesh and drink His Blood, He meant that we must accept His life into the very center of our beings.  This means that to be His follower and live out our faith in Him, we cannot step into and out of our faith like a costume we take on and off.  Rather, you and I must embrace our faith in the Lord Jesus just as if  it were the blood flowing through our veins.  You usually don’t see or feel your blood flowing through you -- but, if it doesn’t flow, you are dead!  It’s the same with our faith in the Lord Jesus!
     Receiving the Precious Body and Blood of Christ is to receive the very Life of Christ Himself! Do you recognize and appreciate WHO provides us with the very life of God: Jesus?  We are supposed to approach His Altar to receive His Body and Blood with our intention of becoming His Presence -- intending to prove that Christ   is dwelling within us to others -- our family, neighbors, enemies, beggars, the lonely, the sick.
    Little Tommy thought he would become a Power Ranger just by stepping into the costume.  If it were only that easy to become like the Lord Jesus -- just by getting on line and receiving Holy Communion.  But it isn't!  Being truly Christ-like is not like putting on a costume; it is not simply a matter of coming up to receive Holy Communion!  It is not superficial!
If we want to become like the Lord Jesus -- to have life forever with Him -- then, His life has to be lived-out in our lives!  Being Christ-like has to come from the very center of our being!
When the priest or deacon or Eucharistic Minister presents the Holy Body and Blood of Christ to us, and says to us, “The Body of Christ ... The Blood of Christ,” we respond, clearly and loudly,  with “Amen!”  That “Amen” is our solemn pledge to God Our Father to become what we truly are: flesh-and-blood Tabernacles, the living, breathing carriers of Jesus Christ, dwelling within us!   Remember who you are: His body.

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Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
Take a moment and visit the MOSJ website.