during my campus ministry days at southwest texas university in san marcos (now texas state univ), our retreats were special times. in one session, we used balls of yarn in a variety of colors. during the session, the students and staff would throw the different them to one another. it started out calm as the folks figured out what was going on then the pace built going faster and faster– green, yellow, red and other colors of yarn flying through the air. the students calling each others’ names to send the next throw. singing and guitar playing setting the mood to a fever pitch. it was grace as spiritual chaos.
in the end, everyone was connected in a rainbow mess of colors. an explanation on the mystical body of Christ followed while we stood connected together. the song sung during the dynamic, “wrapped up, tied up, tangled all up in Jesus,” suddenly made sense. as the session ended, the yarn was brought together into one big multi-colored clump– a very powerful symbol.
to me, that glob of colorful yarn is still one of my favorite images for the mystical body of Christ
today is the celebration of the body and blood of Christ or corpus christi. the eucharistic nature of our catholic faith is the center of who we are and who we want to be. the real presence of Christ in the eucharist is ultimately a mystery: love is the relationship given as gift through God’s gracious providence.
also, it is about the unfolding of love that is both within us and transcendent at the same time. it is the growing nature of the kingdom of God in history of which we are all connected. Christ’s real presence is about living in love together.
our faith is not just about me and Jesus. it is about us together and how we can live with and love one another as Christ loves us. at times, this lofty ideal and our participation in it can seem like a tangled mess. living in a complex world of people and lifestyles so different than mine can be quite difficult.
isn’t it just easier to work with one or maybe two colors and spin a neat and coherent ball of yarn?
we all are struggle to understand better those who are of different races and cultures. to live in a pluralistic society invites us to embrace a certain messiness. fear can hinder us too: i might have to change how i see others! i might begin to see them as a brother or sister and then be responsible for their well being.
we cannot do these tasks on our own. but the real presence of Christ helps us special graces to be open and see more clearly. for us catholics, the body of Christ helps us to deepen what communion really is. the Spirit guides us into understanding that we are called to be united in God.
may Christ’s real presence always bring you a stronger faith, an joyful hope and a deeper love in your being part of the mystical body.
I remember that like it was yesterday. I was singing the song all day…wrapped up, tied up, tangled all up in love! What a beautiful visual!