Each day, we human beings are one day closer to death. "Death is at work in us" (2 Cor 4:12). Some would wryly agree with the observation that our churches are full of dead people. Jesus Himself told the church of Sardis: "You are dead!" (Rv 3:1)
In one sense, our churches should be filled with dead people. We Christians are called to die to ourselves (Lk 9:23; Jn 12:24), to daily put to death our sinful nature, to renounce ourselves, our desires, and our possessions to become Jesus' disciples (Lk 14:33). We empty ourselves (Phil 2:7) and count all as loss (Phil 3:8). We are, at this point, a dead body. In this state of emptiness, we receive Jesus, Who is Life (Jn 14:6), and His life is revealed in us (2 Cor 4:10) in such a way that it is obvious to all that anything we do is God's doing and not our own (2 Cor 4:7).
This is the essence of the Paschal mystery. Jesus, shortly before He died, broke bread and said, "This is My body to be given for you" (Lk 22:19). We in turn receive Him in the Eucharist and tell Him, "Jesus, this is my body, to be given for You." We offer our bodies to Him as living sacrifices (Rm 12:1). We have so completely died to ourselves that nothing in us can block the flow of His life through us.
Die to yourself daily; take up your cross; receive the eucharistic Jesus; and "make known the glory of God shining on the face of Christ" (2 Cor 4:6).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from June 1, 2017 through July 31, 2017.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 22, 2017.