December 23 - One Bread, One Body
December 23, Fourth Sunday of Advent
Cycle C Readings:
1) Micah 5:1-4
Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
2) Hebrews 10:5-10
Gospel) Luke 1:39-45
"We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." — Hebrews 10:10
At the Christmas liturgies, in hundreds of nations, billions of people will look at statues or pictures of the body of Baby Jesus. Moreover, hundreds of millions of people always carry with them crucifixes depicting the crucified body of Jesus. There is something awesome and mysterious about the body of Jesus.
When the body of Jesus was just beginning to be formed shortly after Mary conceived Him, Mary took Jesus' body "into the hill country to a town of Judah, where she entered Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leapt in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit" (Lk 1:39-41). The first days of the presence of Jesus' body on earth resulted in an explosion by the Holy Spirit.
Several months later, wise men saw the body of Baby Jesus and were compelled to give Him gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Mt 2:11).
Several years later, thousands of people touched "just the tassel" of the cloak clothing Jesus' body, and "all who touched Him got well" (see Mk 6:56).
Today, we can touch the body of Christ in even more powerful and intimate ways by loving the Body of Christ, the Church (see Eph 5:25ff), and especially by receiving the Body of Christ in Holy Communion. That is why the season beginning Tuesday is called "Christmas," for at Mass we touch Christ's Body.
"Mary Christ-Mass"! Like Mary, receive the Body of Christ in your body.
Prayer: Father, when I go to Communion and hear the words "Body of Christ," may I never be the same.
Promise: "A body You have prepared for Me." —Heb 10:5
Praise: "O Emmanuel, King and Lawgiver, Desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God."
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 December 1, 2018 through January 30, 2019.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 16, 2018.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.