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The Living Body of Christ in a Parish

Jun 3

Written by:
6/3/2018 12:00 AM  RssIcon

There is much to celebrate this weekend! To begin, Corpus Christi celebrates her patronal feast, which is always a vital and important day in the life of a parish. For me, the other great celebration is my niece’s wedding! (Why she had to schedule it on the parish patronal feast was discussed in detail!) At first blush, these two events might seem drastically disconnected; but yet there are always some connections that can be made in our Catholic journey of faith.

Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ, has had a rich and deep meaning throughout the two millennia of the Church. There seems to be some indication that the term originally applied to the corporate body of the Church, with the Eucharist typically referred to as the ‘Mystical Body of Christ’ in the earliest centuries of the Church. At some point, these definitions seemed to have switched, although they can certainly still be used interchangeably.

But what I would like to stress today is how the living Body of Christ in a parish really is a family. I continue to be impressed with how the parishes care for each other, how there is such a visible and palpable concern for your brothers and sisters at Mass each week. This arises when some drastic happens and all the forces are called in to assist in maybe a tragic situation. But it also happens just in those day to day expressions of ‘how is your mom, or sister, or nephew doing?’ which so often happen in the Gathering Spaces and in the parking lots.

What strikes me is that we learn this care and concern in how we are raised in our families. I am truly blessed by the chaotic and fun family that I was raised in. On Mom’s side of the family, I have seventeen cousins and five aunts and uncles. We supported each other and celebrated with each other in so many different ways throughout the years. (Early in my priesthood, it was a true blessing to say Mass for my grandparent’s sixtieth wedding anniversary!) On Dad’s side of the family, it was just my grandparents and one Aunt typically, as another Aunt and her two children live in Texas. Instead of the large celebrations, we had smaller and more intimate affairs of learning how to interact on a smaller scale.

And the lessons I learned along the way from both sides of my family help me today in how I shepherd these two wonderful families of God; the living images of the Body of Christ present in our own little corner of Cincinnati.

So while I am truly excited to be celebrating my niece’s wedding to a wonderful young man; I am also saddened that I will miss the parish celebrations at Corpus Christi this weekend. But please know how much I truly do cherish and enjoy being in these two parishes who truly are the living Body of Christ to me in so many ways.

God Bless,
Fr. Kyle Schnippel


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Re: Why do we place a white pall on the casket of the deceased at funeral Masses?
I have been wondering about that. Thank you for explaining it.

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