Email Articles

4 Ways to Be Christ’s Body Here on Earth

This past weekend we celebrated the feast of Corpus Christi which is translated “Body of Christ.” This feast day is a time for us to take special attention to the Eucharist; to Christ physically present of whom we receive the Body and Blood, our food for eternal life. This Body of Christ is essential to our salvation and our spiritual food. We also use “body of Christ” to refer to us, the members of His Church. In her poem “Christ Has No Body,” St Therese of Avila reminds us that “Christ has no body on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassionately on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which he blesses all the world. Christ has no body now on earth but yours!”

How are we living our lives to physically show Christ and our faith in Him to the world? I think this is one of the most difficult expectations of a Christian. Leading a life worthy of the faith we profess is very challenging. Here are a few ways in which we can use ourselves to be Christ for others. 

1. Our Eyes. When you see injustices happening, speak up. The other day, I chose to remind a fellow patron at the grocery store that even though he was upset about something that was happening, he didn’t have to be mean to the employees. We can get so angry and frustrated at the most simple inconveniences, but this small gesture of standing up for the young man working could have saved him from doing something in retaliation, or worse. It’s not a comfortable thing to stand up to a stranger, but this gesture may have shown Jesus to this young man.

2. Our Ears. Taking the time to listen to hear what someone needs is very important. We often listen to respond instead of being a good listener. The next time someone needs to talk, let them. Then take a minute to ask them what they need from you. Do they need advice? Just to vent? Prayers? Giving people this kind of attention is essential to good relationships, and vital for being the most Christ-like version of ourselves.

3. Our Hands. Sometimes a simple hug, touch of the shoulder, or handshake can be exactly what someone needs to make it through their day. We have become a society very much afraid of providing unwanted physical attention. Physical boundaries are very important. Reading a friend or family member to know that they need a hug and offering one is an appropriate response. If someone doesn’t want a hug after you offer, respect that boundary and ask them if there is anything you could do to help them through this situation. We can also use our hands by helping those in need. We have many ministries throughout our Church that you could volunteer your time. St Vincent de Paul helps to feed and clothe the poor along with many other services. MCREST offers a refuge for the homeless to have a meal, shower, and rest. There are pantries for mothers in need and many other opportunities. Check with your parish office for more information on these and many other opportunities.

4. Our Feet. We are called to be a missionary Church. This means that we are supposed to go out and spread the Good News about our beliefs to those in our communities. This can be the most challenging of all. We are taught that speaking about religion in any way is taboo and not to be done, but if we truly believe in Christ’s Life, Death, and Resurrection, how can we remain silent? Don’t you want everyone you know to experience the joy you have in the faith you profess? There are youth mission trips that go and build habitats for those in need. Sometimes these mission trips are in third world countries, but we also have this level of poverty in our backyard. We don’t always see it, but we are called to help with the abundance of gifts we have. There are soup kitchens where you can physically help feed those in need. There are fundraising opportunities if you are a runner/walker and like to compete in marathon type events, consider a charity to support doing something that you already love.

These are just a few ways in which you can be Christ’s body in our earthly life. Use the senses, talents, treasure, and time that He gives you to help grow His Church. The joy you will receive from the graces He will bestow are beyond anything we could comprehend. What is Christ asking of you today? Can you hear Him calling you? Can you do what He asks? I believe¬†you can. I believe in you. “Go and make disciples of all nations.”