I will be the first to admit that I live in a bubble. Through a combination of occupation, family, and geography I spend most of my days surrounded by people who are trying to do the right thing, for whom self-improvement and spiritual formation are a way of life, and who don’t consider religious observance to be an oddity. I’m never made to feel out of the ordinary for going to Church, or praying, or having a bumper sticker that quotes Pope Paul VI. In my bubble, I’m fairly normal.
But I think we all can agree – even those of us in the bubble – that some elements of Catholic religious observance are objectively bizarre. We believe bread and wine turns into the body and blood of Christ. Then we eat it. In the bubble this is a given, but from a distance it seems a little off.
I was reminded of this on today’s Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. I have long reconciled myself to the apparent lunacy inherent in in a belief in the Eucharist. It’s weird. On the surface it seems typically abstract, another mental contortion the religious use to construct their fantasy world. It’s all in our heads. Pie-in-the-sky. Imaginary.
What is more real than bread and wine? I’m not looking for a superhero Jesus off in the either because I can find him right in front of me. If God can be found in things as simple as bread and wine, water and oil, then there’s no place not worth looking. Everything I grab hold of, that I taste or touch or smell is stuffed with grace. I’ve never been interested in pie-in-the-sky. I’ll take my pie on earth, with a side of ice cream, and know I’m tasting heaven .
I totally know what you mean when you talk about the oddity of blood and wine; body and bread.
People look at other religions and think their beliefs are absurd yet we never fully have perspective on our own.