The Body of Christ Is Dead

The Body of Christ is dead.

Satan didn’t kill Christ; no, this was the work of men. Only men would have the audacity to kill Christ twice.

The men who abused defenseless children are the ones who crucified Christ. Men who feared scandal more than they feared justice are the ones who condemned Christ. And the silence of those of us who refused to challenge the presumption of the clergy are the people who approved Christ’s execution.

It wasn’t the state that killed Christ. It wasn’t secularism that killed Christ.

This was suicide: The Institution killed the Mystical Body.

I have lost my faith.

But faith is not what I need right now. I need patience. I need to hold this pain, this anger, this confusion—all this desolation—with compassion, to say “Hello Pain, you are welcome. I will take care of you. Welcome Anger, it is good that you are here. Please, sit with me. It’s nice to see you, Confusion. Will you join us?”

I don’t need faith right now because I have hope—I am waiting for the Resurrection. I don’t know when the Body of Christ will rise from the tomb. I don’t know if I will recognize him. But I do know that someday, it will be Easter morning.

The question for me now is How will I wait?

“But all this has come to pass that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.
— Matthew 26:56

I could act like the disciples who fled. The pain is just too much for me to bear. I may hide in silence—I’m tired of reading about the abuse. I’m tired of hearing yet another apology. I may hide in denials and excuses—these are old cases, the Dallas Charter is working, the Church is not unique in failing to protect children.

After they had crucified him, they divided his garments by casting lots.
— Matthew 27:35

I could act like the guards who cast lots for Jesus’ garment. If Christ is dead, I will make his garment my idol. It will be my banner to rally the faithful and lead a purge of those who are responsible for Christ’s death. I will disguise my desire for revenge with words like “justice” and “purification.”

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
— John 19:26–27

Maybe I will act like Jesus’ Blessed Mother. All I can do is cry. Perhaps that is the only just thing to do. After all, only tears can convey the rawness of pain in a way that is universally understood.

Or I could be the beloved disciple who says nothing and simply holds Mary in her pain.

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it [in] clean linen and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed.
— Matthew 27:57–60

Maybe I can do what Joseph of Arimethea did. But where can I find such a tomb? Perhaps I can clean the Body of Christ of the doctrines and dogmas that were once useful and wrap it in the simple, clean linen of compassion.

But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb.
— Matthew 27:61

Like Mary Magdalene, I could just simply stand numb, dumbfounded. I don’t know how this could happen—yes, my mind can connect the dots, but my heart . . . this tragedy just does not make sense. And so I will sit in the dark numbness of abandonment.

And so I stand at the foot of the Cross—not in my imagined prayer, but in real life. I ask you to join me so we can wait together.