Tuesday, April 22, 2008

In the Eye of the Beholder

I had the absolute pleasure this past weekend of being able to attend Mass twice on Sunday.

It's been forever since I've been able to attend more that once in a week, let alone on the same day.  Kids and commitments keep me from making this a reality more often.

I also had the pleasure of hearing my wife sing at Mass - which has also been a long time coming. After communion, the choir sang "How Beautiful (is the Body of Christ)."  A song I've heard a number of times.  A song I thought was - to take a word from its title - beautiful.

The song focuses on the "hands that served", the "feet that walked", and even the "heart that bled" before moving on to His "tender eyes".  Now, all these things are wonderful and poignant. There is no doubt about that. but I was touched in a different way.

My research leads me to surmise that the song's writer, Twila Paris, is a Protestant or non-denominational Christian.  Which is fine, but that leads me to my point.

As I was kneeling after communion and looking up at the Pieta and the crucifix, I had a different take on how beautiful the body of Christ is.  While Ms. Paris barely touches on His "heart that bled", we glorify it... and the rest of Him.  Not in a grotesque or morbid way, but recognizing the beauty of His sacrifice.  His "most precious Body and Blood", we call it. 

That is why we have crucifixes (or, at least should) in our churches, where as other denominations have sunsets or flowers or large projection screens or rock bands.

Our salvation sings the glory of every stripe on Our Lords back.  Every puncture from the crown of thorns.  Every groan from His lungs.  His pierced hands, feet and side.

How beautiful - indeed - is the Body of Christ.

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