Shouldn't spiritual unity among Christians take precedence over bodily unity?


Full Question

Why does "bodily unity" among Christians matter? Isn't spiritual unity the only thing that really matters?

Answer

No. Bodily unity does matter. Moreover, the more intense our spiritual unity is, the more deeply it matters. Try telling the bride and groom on their wedding night that, if they are spiritually united, bodily union does not matter. Very well then, in an analogical way, what Catholic faith aims at is both spiritual and bodily unity. Paul tells us there is one spirit and one body (Eph 4:4). That is why the sacrament of Communion is a physical, bodily sacrament, as well as a spiritual one. Jesus does not instruct us just to think communal thoughts and pray communal prayers. Beyond a unity of heart, he also commands a physical act of unity that partakes of his physical being: His words, after all, are "Take, eat. This is my body," not "Take, eat. This is my spirit."