"This is Your Body, given for Me."
No, he said “This is My Body, Given for You.”
Earlier in his ministry, he told his disciples that He is the “Way, the Truth, and the Life” and that “no one can come to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:16) He also told his disciples to pick up their crosses, and follow him. (Matt 16:24)
St. Paul, in his ministry to the early church, tells the members of the fledgling Church, in imitation of their Lord, to offer their bodies as a “living sacrifice.” (Romans 12:1)
Consider all these words. Ponder them in your heart, like Mary did.
I think, using Scripture as a guide, it is very clear what Jesus would do in most situations. Jesus Christ never would choose the path of selfishness. He always chose the path of self-sacrifice, of self-giving love.
Today we live in a divided Church. In a “simplistic” way, considering how each “side” views the other, we could describe things as follows. On one side we have “social justice” Catholics, who are concerned with serving the poor. On the other, we have the Catholics preoccupied with morality – following the “rules.” To use political terms, one side has been called the “liberal” church, focusing on “love” while ignoring those pesky details. On the other, you have the pious ones, who Jesus might have scolded as “Pharisees,” the ones interested more with following the letter of the law than with compassion. This side has been called “conservative.”
If you study the Scriptures, you will find many statements and actions from Jesus that favor both sides.
“I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (Matt 9:13) and the contrasting “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill….. not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law…” (Matt 5: 17-19)
As a matter of fact, there is room for both views in the Church. Somehow Our Lord merged these tenants when he said the following statement to the woman caught in adultery.
“Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)
If you are a “rules” Catholic, or a “social justice” Catholic, or any other “type” of Catholic who refers to members of your Church as “us” and “them,” remember Jesus’ prayer before he died, that we all be one, as He and Father are one. (John 17: 20-21)
We are Christ’s Body. We are His Bride. We are made in His Image. We are the branches attached to His Vine. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. And his way is the narrow path of sacrifice for other souls, from the poor, to sinners, the unborn, and even those we claim to “love” whose salvation we should consider first above all else.
John Paul II, the pioneer in the bridge-building teaching of the Theology of the Body, pray for us.