Thursday, May 21, 2009

One Flesh

The ancient heresy of Gnosticism is a thorn in the side of the Church. It seems to keep rearing its ugly head in the Church across the centuries. There are many modern day incarnations of it, but one that particularly gets under my skin is the setting against one another the body and soul of a person. This is heard when one speaks of death as being set free from the body. Or, by the positing of ones soul against ones body (i.e., a woman trapped in a man’s body). Or, by the pro-homosexual marriage movement, which states that the body doesn’t matter, its the person inside. And then, the nauseating offshoot of that, the idea of “soulmates.”

When God created male and female, He created them body and soul - not one or the other. We are neither simply physical or spiritual beings, we are both, and quite simply, you are not human if you are not both.

Now, why am I writing about this? Because as I was thinking about the Word of God for the sermon on Sunday, Jesus prays “that they may all be one.” Which spurred in my mind what Jesus also said of marriage: “they are no longer two, but one flesh.” The word “flesh” is distinctly used, so that marriage is not just the uniting of “soulmates” (yuck!), but of whole persons.

What implications does this then have for Jesus’ prayer in the reading for Sunday? The Church is the Bride of Christ, and Christ has become one flesh with us in His incarnation. But it is in the Sacrament of the Altar - the foretaste of the feast to come, the foretaste of the marriage feast of the Lamb in His kingdom - it is in the Sacrament of the Altar where “we who are many grains become one loaf.” In the Sacrament of Christ’s body and blood, we are truly made one: united with Christ and in Him, with one another.

My thoughts right now. We’ll have to see if I can “flesh this out” into a sermon. (Ouch! Sorry for that pun!)

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