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The Word became FLESH

Painting by Michelangelo of God reaching to touch the hand of naked man

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:14-17 ESV)

The scriptures are saturated with sensory descriptions. The Song of Solomon is filled with the taste of figs and the scent of myrrh sachets. The sights and smells of the temple are lavishly detailed: the sheen of precious metals; the odors of specially mixed incense, smoke, and blood; the silkiness of curtains; the taste of bread. There are darker descriptions as well, of course, when the organs of sacrificed animals are consumed on the altar, and the Nile reeks of dead fish after being turned into blood. But creation itself begins with the singing of the stars, and blossoms into a verdant garden.

The Bible offers scene after scene of food and feasting, of dance and song, of childbirth and physicality. And the culmination of it all is the incarnation of Jesus, when the Word became flesh.

God loves bodies. They love your body and their own. They created a world full of bodily creatures who come together to participate in creation. They love the intermingling of bodies in love, and the pleasure which results.

God loves bodies in all their ache and need, so much so that they begat themself to experience it directly.

Don’t be afraid of your bodily desires and the pleasure of your senses. They were designed by God, understood by God, and experienced by God.

The Word became FLESH.

Through its longing for Christ, whom it desires to breathe in as the Word inviting us to the enjoyment of full union, it receives a spiritual sense of smell, so that it may walk in the fragrance of Christ's ointments: and thus Christ is its life. And finally, through the love which binds it to Christ the incarnate Word, it receives straight from him, even during this earthly pilgrimage, a sense of taste which enables it to taste how sweet the Lord is. And by embracing him in that pure love which transforms its very being, it receives a spiritual sense of touch. Polanco, a disciple of Ignatius

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