Re: Body of Christ
When St. Paul refers to the Church as the Body of Christ, he is using what is known as a metaphor. The dictionary defines a metaphor as: "a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God.” God does protect us, but He is not litterally a fortress.
The Church is not litterally the Body of Christ in the way that the Eucharist is. The Church is divine in origien because Jesus founded it and is protected from doctrinal error by the divine power of the Holy Spirit. But it is not littereally Jesus. It is the Body of Christ in the sense that New Jersy is the country's garden state or California is the golden state. The Church is the Body of Christ in that it is so precious to Him, that it seems like a part of Him and He and all its parts (people) are inter-related.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.
Last edited by Fr. Vincent Serpa; Jul 11, '09 at 9:34 am.