The Mystery of the Mystical Body of Christ


The Institution of the Eucharist is the Mystery of the Mystical Body of Christ, the means by which we may be one as He and the Father are one.

We all know the scene.  Jesus and His disciples gather for a meal the night before the Crucifixion.  Jesus washes His disciples’ feet, and then, as they sit at table, He breaks the bread and gives them His Body; He blesses the wine and gives them His Blood.  At one and the same time He institutes the Eucharist and the Priesthood.

Jesus is taken, flogged, crowned with thorns; is made to carry the cross; is crucified and dies; and rises again.  After fifty days the Holy Spirit descends, and the Church is born.

BentoXVI-51-11052007 (frag).jpg

“BentoXVI-51-11052007 (frag)” by Fabio Pozzebom/ABr – Agência Brasil; [1]. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 br via Wikimedia Commons.

But what is the Church?  It is the mystical body of Christ, as St. Paul tells us, the body of which the Holy Spirit is the soul, and we are drawn into it by that same Eucharist.  When you eat normal food, it becomes part of you; but when you eat the Body of Christ you become part of His body.

Through the Eucharist we become His hands and feet, His eyes and ears and other organs, each of us serving the Body as He calls us; and it is through His Body that He serves His people here on earth.

It is no surprise that Jesus ends the Last Supper by praying that His followers on earth might be one as He and the Father are one (Jn 17:11); He had just given us the means to be so.

What does the Eucharist mean to you?

Copyright 2015 Will Duquette

Image credit: “BentoXVI-51-11052007 (frag)” by Fabio Pozzebom/ABr – Agência Brasil; [1]. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 br via Wikimedia Commons.


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  1. Hi Will,

    The Mystical Body of Christ is everything you point out. St. Paul develops this Mystical Body in 1 Corinthians 11. For the sake of Christian Unity with our separated brethren, who don’t believe in Transubstantiation, they do symbolically partake of Christ’s divine nature in faith when they symbolically receive Holy Communion. As we profess “Jesus is Lord” they also profess “Jesus is Lord.” I would like to direct you to two posts about Christian Table Fellowship and Eat My Flesh at my blog.

    In Christ,


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