The Terms of Endearment
#TheTermsOfEndearment is the podcast for June 3, 2018. There is no physical/spiritual disconnection. God knows. That is why he gives us the Eucharist. Listen here and find out more: Download it into your phone. #Mark #Mark14 #John6 #CorpusChristi #BodyandBlood #Incarnation #Romance #Sex #Children
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For listener supported My Spiritual Advisor, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday, 6/3/2018 Corpus Christi Sunday, also known as “The Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.”
Please pause this audio and read Mark 14:12-16, 22-25.
The aim of the God of the Universe is to be one with you. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, he wants to be one with you. He wants no division to be within you. His method of becoming one with you is simply this: He enters your mouth and is digested to every part and particle of your entire body. Jesus says in John 6:56, “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him.”
It wasn’t until the advent of the Enlightenment, when philosophers separated their body from their soul that we had any discussion about whether or not the Eucharist was really Jesus’ body, blood, soul, and divinity. This separation is proved false if we look at the fact that when the Father wanted to save the world, he sent the Son to become flesh and dwell among us. The statement made by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the Incarnation is clear: the physical body will be the vehicle through which we receive salvation. Therefore, it is important to have a way to commune with us that is not only spiritual, as we are spiritual, but physical as we are physical. That way is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, “Corpus Christi”.
When we fall in love with someone, we are supposed to be drawn to them emotionally, spiritually. There is a force that compels us to a personality we admire. That force makes us make dates that may start out once a week, then move to every other day, then to every day, then to every minute of every day. The spiritual force makes us want to have the person we desire to be physically present with us. We want to communicate with them, know everything about them, no matter how small. When we desire intimacy with a human being, we want to be connected with them emotionally and spiritually. Eventually, if we are disciplined, those emotions and spiritual desires will involve something more.
We express our attraction and connection with someone through hand holding, a gentle touch here and there, and then a kiss. Eventually, we act out that spiritual and emotional connection with another human person through the ultimate connection: sex. The conjugal connection is supposed to be the ultimate expression of the emotional and spiritual connection we have with a person.
Unfortunately, in our culture, we have embraced the Enlightenment full on: we have separated any correlation between the actions of the body and the soul and spirit. This disconnection, I believe, is the reason I have to explain that sex makes babies and that having sex on a first date just confuses whether or not you can live with a person forever and ever.
God intended this spiritual connection through the physical body. Genesis says that he created them male and female. The parts were made to connect so that the ultimate sign of unity would result: a child. The child is supposed to be the physical, spiritual, and emotional emblem of the connection between a man and a woman. When two become one in sexual conjugal connection, a child is supposed to be the natural outcome. The child should be an outcome of celebration and joy.
It is only a human mind that wants to be free of the responsibility of a child that separates the emotional, psychological, and spiritual connection of sex from the body. It is only a human mind that uses sex as a tool of domination and not as the natural expression of the spiritual and emotional connection of a man and a woman. It is only the human mind that mistakes the pleasure given by the body as the physical manifestation of the two-become-one-ness as the lone goal of sex. In actuality, the physical action of sex is to coincide with the emotional and spiritual connection in a cacophony of love spilling out into the act of creation.
I am going on and on about the connection of a man and a woman in sexual union because it is the closest idea of the intimacy of what happens when we receive the Eucharist. When we understand our bodies as physical vehicles for living out our spiritual existence, the existence of our souls, the Eucharist and the Real Presence make sense; the Incarnation makes sense. The Eucharist says that Jesus Christ came to renew our bodies. He did not come to separate our spirituality from our bodies. The Body and Blood of Christ enters into us, transforms us, and renews us so that our bodies live out our heavenly citizenship, our heavenly union with the one living God.
The coming of the spiritual being God as a human being Jesus means that our connection to God is through a physical being. Jesus is a physical being who is assumed into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. Revelation 21 says that when Jesus comes again, our bodies will be resurrected and rejoined to our spirits in a New Heaven and New Earth? Why? It is because our existence has never been to have a spiritual existence and a separate physical existence. When I say ‘existence’, I mean a single existence that has fundamentally joined inextricably spiritual and physical parts. My models are the breath of God breathed into Adam and the Word made flesh named Jesus.
On Corpus Christi Sunday, this is critically important to us. We are saying that we know this Bread and this Cup are the Lord Jesus because he is able to do it. He came as one spiritual and physical being, one divine and human being. He died as both. He rose from the dead as both. He ascended into heaven as both. Therefore, when we revisit the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, we know that we are to receive Him in both our body and our soul. There is no separation in us because there is no separation in him and there is no separation in the Eucharist.
The God of the Universe loves you so much, is enamored with you so much, desires to be one with you so much that he made this union possible through the reception of bread and a sip of wine. You are endearing to the Lord. The terms of that endearment are, “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him.” It is the ultimate act of intimacy known to humanity because there is no one who is able to be more intimate than God himself. There is no one who is more passionate than the One who created passion. There is no one who is able to be affectionate than the one who created affection. There is no one who is able to do what he says he would do more than the One who said, “Take, eat, this is my body…take, drink, this is my blood.”
I personally have no idea what I would do without the ability to connect with my first love, Jesus Christ, every day. It is not because of an obligation, it is because I understand that when you love someone you want to be connected to them always, in the most intimate of appropriate ways.
[The next time/When] you receive the Lord [today] remember that the Lord of the Universe is Real and Present as the Bread and as the Wine. It is Him. You are receiving into you the One who made the heavens and the earth. You are receiving into your entire body, every part, the one who heals, the one who forgives, the one who sends you on the mission, the one who renews. He is connecting with you intimately in that moment, more intimately than any other act you can do on this earth. At that moment, you are one with Him and He with you.
Can you receive it? Yes, you can. He made you for this and This for you. Amen.
This audio is under the copyright of My Spiritual Advisor, Incorporated and may not be used, reduplicated, or distributed for commercial use without the express written consent of My Spiritual Advisor, Incorporated. My Spiritual Advisor, Incorporated, 2018.
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Mark Kurowski, M.Div.
Spiritual Director, Author, Blogger, Podcaster, Theologian