Probably one of them mysteries

Was, because of acute lazy, going through the archives of John Scalzi’s blog (someday I’m going to read the years before I started following it — and same for Pharyngula), and found this mention of the calculation of the mass and size of Jesus by the amount of crackers… er, communion wafers, and wine, consumed by Christians, assuming that the end is nigh, and the end comes when all of Jesus is eaten.

Ah, mathematics meets theology: the two great arts divorced from reality come together at last!

The calculations seem to result in Jesus having around 92 billion times as much blood as your average human being; but because of my perverse turn of mind, I don’t imagine a giant-size comet Christ of the Second Impact/Coming.

No, my first thought was this: “recycled Christ”. (Though one would need a theological opinion on when the eats stop being Jesus. Because if they don’t, certain unavoidable anatomical processes are going to lead to something that can’t be anything but sacrilege. Unless there are special toilets. Or is this the point where misogynistic men in skirts start to scream that this is a mystery and I should shut up?)

My second was a scene in Heaven, when the Savior’s left hand suddenly disapparates — and he mutters “ah, the masses of South America and their morning masses”, before slumping back in a bloodless swoon. And the jigsaw disappearance disorder doesn’t cease until mornings have moved on to the mostly non-Christian lands of Pacific Asia for the day. (And I’m bothered by the generality of the theological position: “flesh”? Which sort of flesh? Muscle? Flab? Skin? Brain matter? How come in science you find new wonders looking close, but in theology closer looks contain only madness, obfuscation and ick? And people solemnly saying ’tis a mystery and not to be inquired into, of course.)

(If you think this is silly — well, yes this is, but no more than the earnest Catholic pleas directed at an evil atheist professor that was holding the flesh of God hostage. Once you think your God is both all-powerful and a helpless little button (dual nature?) you’re pretty much inviting silliness of this caliber.)

Third thought: since all of the Eucharist doesn’t go through your system, but sticks in you and becomes a part of your flesh and blood, doesn’t this mean that each faithful is gradually becoming Jesus? Is this why all popes are so old — they’re time-refined and have the highest concentration of Jesus in them? (And this flesh and blood — er, is it all-human or all-human and all-divine — what’s the relation of the Eucharist and the monophysite controversy?)

(And why is it so easy to imagine a believer that’s gone beyond the commonly accepted bounds of crackedness, and spends all his time wolfing down wafers and wine and trying to walk on the waters?)

Then again this is all mere fun, since all reasonable people know transsubstantiation is not literal but symbolic, i.e. a sentimental lie.

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