Commentary on the Gospel of
THE MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST:
Christ Communicates Through Us, With Us, and In Us
“Whoever listens to you listens to me.
Whoever rejects you rejects me.
And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” (Lk 10:16)
The Church (Christian Community) came into being when Christ died on the Cross and was formally inaugurated on the feast of Pentecost, when He sent the Holy Spirit as He had promised. St. Paul speaks of all Christians as members of Christ, so that with Him, they form one “Mystical Body.”
The Mystical Body of Christ exists both in the Christian Community (the Church) and in the persons belonging to it – so that Christ is alive and present in the Church at large and in the individual men, women, and children of Faith who are baptized into its community. That life and presence, therefore is both communal and personal. In both respects, we are united with Christ; at the same time, that union unites us all to one another. Our union with Christ and one another is what is known as the “Mystical Body of Christ.”
The mission of the Church and its members (those who follow Christ from the time of the Apostles up to the present and into the future) is the same as Christ’s own mission: to reveal the unconditional and salvific love of God the Father to all people and to each one of us personally. More specifically, our mission is to reveal God’s personal love by communicating God’s “Word”: Jesus Christ, God’s word incarnate, whose story is told in the New Testament, who lived and suffered death and is arisen from the dead, and who calls Christians to join Him in bringing the Pascal Mystery to the world.
There are many ways of doing this: by living, teaching, and witnessing to the Mystery of God’s love in what we say, in what we do, and in the disposition of our hearts. We are called to share, teach, and bear witness to the Father’s Word.
•within the Christian Community itself,
•to the world, and
•to our families and close circles of friends, to our colleagues at work, to those whose company we enjoy during times of leisure.
“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:20-24)