Most parents and teachers look to the close of May as both an end and a beginning. The school year is complete and summer break is in full force in many parts of the country (lucky them!) To be sure, homework, carpool, lesson plans and lunch room duty are still going strong for a few more weeks in certain regions and dioceses. Nevertheless, raised energy levels in students, warm days in the classroom, and the audible buzz in schools are outward signs of summer anticipation. No doubt, Theology of the Body is in the classroom and at home on full display with fidgety, sweaty and excited students!
This liturgical year, the end of May also brings us back-to-back Feast Days that deeply reveal Theology of the Body. John Paul II taught us “The body, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible, the spiritual and divine. It was created to transfer into the visible reality of the world, the invisible mystery hidden in God from time immemorial, and thus to be a sign of it” (Feb 20, 1980). The Ascension of Our Lord (May 30) is followed the next day by The Feast of the Visitation. Theology of the Body is communicated through both of these Feasts!
THE FEAST OF THE ASCENSION
Our Catholic faith teaches us to believe as we recite The Nicene Creed, “He ascended into heaven”. Because Christ took on human flesh when “He came down from heaven…” at the Incarnation, He was reunited with God the Father in heaven, BODY and SOUL when His glorified body ascended. Christ is true God and true man, and His Ascension prepares a place for all of us to be reunited with Him in the beatific vision one day, BODY and SOUL. We can learn from Christ’s earthly journey and ascension, BODY and SOUL, the importance of our BODY and SOUL. Theology of the Body is indeed on full display by Christ’s Ascension!
THE FEAST OF THE VISITATION
Through our Catholic faith, we likewise understand that an expectant Mary went in haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth, celebrated as The Feast of the Visitation. Upon meeting at Elizabeth’s home in the hill country, John the Baptist, an unborn baby, a tiny BODY and SOUL, bounced for joy in the womb of his mother. It was through the human body of His cousin John, that Christ was celebrated for the first time. “For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.” (Luke 1:44) Theology of the Body is undeniably on full display from an unborn baby!
GIFT FOR REFLECTION
Ending the school year and beginning summer with these back-to-back Feast Days that so obviously display the importance of the body as a sign and sacrament is a gift for reflection. May summer be full of wonderful experiences for all, BODY and SOUL! May there be plenty of time to pray, rest, read and experience joy. May we all be ready to fully display a keener appreciation for Theology of the Body next school year.
Written by Laura Strietmann, Curriculum Consultant
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