We’re living and working this week between two great solemnities of the Church: Trinity and Corpus Christi. This ancient language requires careful translation to connect with our lives. We look back to a celebration of the “Most Holy Trinity.” Fr. Richard Rohr describes the Christian understanding of “Trinity” as the flow of being, consciousness, and joy.
We look ahead to a celebration of the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist. This language is tougher to decode. It becomes clearer if say that the Christ is really present when we experience the sheer joy of being alive and filled with uplifting energy. Thus, on Corpus Christi Sunday, we can say that we celebrate with joyful gratitude the gift of creation and the spirit of self-emptying love for the world.
But how might we think about the meaning of this ancient poetry—the real presence of the body and blood of Chris—mid-week. We have to dig deeper. When we speak of the Body and the Blood, we’re alluding to the two inseparable components of the universe: matter and energy. God is not an idea, God is what we call the infinite offering of matter and energy that is the elemental stuff of our being and all Being. When we speak of the Christ, we’re alluding to the wholeness of the Trinity in Jesus’s life and our lives: in Fr. Rohr’s way of putting it—the flow of being, consciousness, and joy in every living thing.
So rather than asking “Do I believe/you believe in God?” a better question would be “How do you experience being, consciousness, and joy?” What is it like: to sit in silence, to meditate, to do a creative project, to knit or sew or do home improvement, to invent something? What is it like: to have an aha moment with an old friend, to be stretched by an exciting stranger, to be the beloved of a parent or partner, to be jolted awake by a colleague at work, to feel compassion for someone you mentor, to fall in love with the planet? What is it like: to weep because the music is beyond gorgeous, to laugh at a baby’s first steps, to cry when a lost pet is found, to giggle when a problem is solved, to feel profound happiness just holding hands, to feel peace at last when you stick your hand into the garden soil, to come home exhausted but grateful after serving meals to the homeless?
Father-Son-Holy Spirit and Body and Blood of Christ are the precious, archaic expressions we use to remind us of how life works: how Life Itself wakes us up, breaks our illusions, crashes the barriers that separate us, blows our minds, touches our hearts, and lifts us out of ourselves—so that we might live in and care for our world.