I have been reflecting on how the imagery of the Church as the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12 and elsewhere) resonates at all levels of the human body. This idea first struck me while waiting in line to receive Holy Communion when I noticed the similarity of the flow of people to the flow of blood within the body. (I plan to develop connections to other aspects of the body in future posts.)
When we come to Mass, we are worn down by the cares and worries of life. We are in need of refreshment and renewal. Likewise, when our blood cells are depleted of oxygen, they travel in the veins of the body to the heart to be re-oxygenated. The faithful standing in line at church making their way towards the altar are like the blood cells in the veins. When we receive the Eucharist at the heart of the church (the altar), we are given a new infusion of life. Then we are sent back into the world to do our work and share Christ’s life with the world–just as the blood cells are sent back to bring oxygen throughout the body in the arterial system.