Some of you may recall a famous photograph taken during World War II. It featured a bombed-out cathedral church in Europe. The cathedral lay totally in ruins. The only object left standing was a statue of Jesus near the building's front steps. A bomb's explosion had blown off the statue's fragile hands -- hands that had been outstretched to welcome people. Someone had hand-painted a few words on a piece of wood and placed it at the foot of the statue for passersby to see. It read: "I have no hands but yours."
Today's feast, Corpus Christi (the Body of Christ), brings that photograph to mind because in a true sense, you and I are really the hands of Christ. We are also the eyes of Christ, the feet of Christ, the heart of Christ. We are the very Body of Christ in today's world. Jesus no longer walks this earth in the same form as he once walked the dusty roads of the Holy Land centuries ago. He was crucified and died. He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. But he left behind a living legacy of disciples, men and women who believed in him, to establish peace and justice on earth, to put in place the kingdom he so ardently desired. Through baptism, we become an important part of this legacy. Our task is to see as Jesus sees, to do as Jesus does, to put on (in the words of Paul) the mind of Christ in all things , to become Christ for others. Jesus is the vine. We are the branches. His life beats in our hearts, his Spirit lives in our words and actions. He has chosen us and he calls us to action. That's what the word Christian means.
An impossible task, some may say! But no, it's not impossible because Jesus doesn't leave us orphans. He doesn't leave us on our own! He comes to nourish and inspire us in every Eucharist celebration. We gather each Sunday at Table Fellowship not under penalty of sin as some would have it, but out of a sense of sheer necessity. If we are really his disciples, entrusted with the task of establishing his kingdom on earth, it is necessary that we gather here on Sundays. It is necessary that we listen to his words and understand why he does what he does. It is necessary that we eat the Bread and drink the Wine of Communion. It is necessary that we learn to appreciate the unique lives and stories each one of us brings to our Table Fellowship. If we do not gather, over time our discipleship loses its sense of direction and becomes empty and meaningless. What a loss this is!
We are to become the very Person we receive in Communion We don't have to be successful in the eyes of the world. We need only to be faithful to our baptismal call, faithful to Jesus, as Jesus was faithful to his Abba God! So, come to the Table. Be nourished by the Christ present in the Gospel, in Communion, in each other. Become the Body of Christ, for that is who we are!