The Body and Blood of Christ (Holy Communion) may be explained by the context of Greek medicine being contemporary to Christ, and why the 'Cross' may be imprinted on every human via their connection of their sensorial capabilities? This is a speculative attempt to reach beyond the converted and to those who rely on today's science to explain all phenomenon. Just offering a point of view...
Greek medicine pioneered the concept of blood being central to health and healing via human blood that exists inside the human body , rather than the heart being the pump that circulates blood around the body. This was the prevailing scientific view 2000 years ago, that emanated from Greek medicine through Arabia and finally into the Roman Empire, in Christ's epoch under the cultural imperialism based upon the conquest of Judea. So the concept of the Body intrinsically linked to blood was central to the contemporary view of health under Roman occupation. This is something that we inherit, even if we have a better understanding of how the human heart works today than the Roman occupiers of Jesus' era. But Christian Catholics believe in the body and blood of Christ being actually present in the form of bread and wine consecrated at Mass. How ? Why? I'm sure a Catechist will explain far better than me, and perhaps I will be limited in my understanding of it, but humour me for a bit: perhaps we need to reflect on Christ's bloodline metaphorically being present at Mass (Sorry Dan Brown) in which the congregation of the past and the present participate and belong. Together. Perhaps that lineage of bloodline belonging is actually made real at the consecration, perhaps we inherit the healing nature originally defined by Greek medicine that allows us to connect with both Christ's context and its scientific knowledge and Christ's message of eternal life for all ages, via the healing properties of blood and its convergence with scientific knowledge of today concurring with the healing element sown into our DNA via 'evolution (that God presides over and perhaps set in motion etc?I'm not really sure of my ground here?)
So, how is it that life has bequeathed us for example blood-clotting and the body that knits together by cellular regeneration, to heal the body in recovery, cleansing and curing us of ailments ? Perhaps the Mass is also initially about the cleansing process of washing away our 'sins' and hope for forgiveness by cleansing ourselves by confessing and admitting our wayward selves. Christianity is not the only religion to emphasise the cleansing process ( In Islam cleansing of feet and hands etc literally) before prayer, and therefore reinforces the global concept vindicating the 'cross-over' by anthropological coincidence that attests to the faith connection that Jesus's Covenant sought beyond the 'chosen people' alone.
Perhaps the concept of medicinal intervention is consumed and sublimated in all sorts of socio religious and even economic ways too. Perhaps we are dependent on this religious/anthropological concept of needing to be healed and purified too? But this also informs us that this presupposes the existence of 'sin' and of being unclean . Furthermore if we are dependent on the concept of self-healing that is sublimated into CBT, self-therapy and psychoanalysis (to name but a few of these practices)in the secular world, almost as a form of secular prayer, isn't it even more prescient and widespread to disabuse a form of 'sublimation dependency' in contemporary life, and actually call it 'Prayer 'instead? Does this account for the doubting Thomas's of this world, who need proof , and not just by the religious narrative but by the secular one as well? How has religion needed both of these to justify itself? Perhaps because Jesus wanted to preach to everyone on their own level, regardless of era. Perhaps only when science has proved the non-existence of God, will God emerge, then and only then ?
Or perhaps 'the message of eternal life ' is based upon human dependency on food and water just as much as it is dependent on nutritional nourishment of God's 'body and blood'? Indeed, it wasn't just to save us from ourselves that Christ wanted to advocate, but to save us with ourselves through him? He is the health giver, the purity of love and nobility a saviour of ourselves, our relatives our friends and our neighbours by illuminating how health evolution has progressed to the point that the healing properties that Christians attest to at Mass are familiar to how the NHS uses blood transfusions to recharge and save life, and believe that Christ is no block on progress, but he advances the duality of man made but God created in order to understand Him and he , I think , would want to embrace the community that are sceptical and even cynical about God on his and their secular terms too ! Isn't this why the film 'Jesus of Montreal' relived a version of Christ's life by dramatising it in the context of today in which after Jesus dies his death is resurrected by his vital organs being transplanted to save other lives? The body and blood of Christ has both literal, symbolic and secular reference today, and I believe that science today explains more non-secular issues than we'd think.
Is the 'Cross' part of human DNA too? Horizontal and Vertical lines of measurement are the instrument of the 'Renaissance Artist' when embarking on a Painting and its preparatory sketches. The word 'Renaissance' in itself is defined as 're-birth' and implies the re-connection of enlightened purification that involves religious, cultural and moral cleansing that is identifying with the very 'Cross' imprinted on humanity via our expressive facial qualities and senses. This 'Cross' of nature and God is central to our contemporary 'Renaissance of the Post Cold War 21st century to reclaim its powerful modern form of representation. How ?
So the Artist connects the ear to ear and from forehead to chin in the analytical pre-drawing of the human face. Therefore these lines are derived from the evolution of the human figure (in God's image) explained and fine tuned in a technical drawing by Di Vinci who was educated by his in depth knowledge of the human anatomy acquired by performing surgery on ' human cadavers'. These gifted explorations are well known and often discussed, but specifically facial designs of the 'Cross' connect and engage the senses by joining up the ears, eyes, nose and mouth not just by the human touch of the 'Artist's' eye coordinated by eye to hand to pen or charcoal to surface, but by a convergence of the senses in which human development of how we hear, see, taste, speak and touch (by facial response and reaction) are suddenly unmasked from purely secular design to God's design, and perhaps by God's creation or by a controversial argument of 'God's evolution' - ' beyond the Garden of Eden' ?
Perhaps the individual and the collective are represented by the Vertical and the Horizontal respectively that conjoins society and life to all origin and background, where we make a sign of the Cross to make a bond with ourselves and the Holy Trinity that is marked by the facial imprint that we follow in its design. This symbiosis of both God and human evolution relates us and connects us together to forget ourselves as simply individuals without context but fully sophisticated with potential and not by man made station. The only debate that's worth having here is a Darwinian one, as to whether evolution or God made us different with some blessed with gifts and some aren't ?
But with this imprint of the Holy Trinity that we attest to by making a 'Sign of the Cross' we must recognise that this cross is one of multi-dimensionality that is proof of the complexity of how we construct our lives without or within religious faith. But surely, if we believe in the nourishment of the Body of Christ that others are missing-out on, and thus lacking the opportunity for the healing processes of his message to all and not to the lucky few,( who may have been blessed even at the expense of others), we who can must engage if we are to bring Christ's cleansing healing that is imprinted on our senses expressed on the human face back to all humanity. Let us open our minds when our hearts fail us, and not reject those who may believe in the emptiness of an existence over-compensated for by a materialist world that brands us and leaves us to a fate of human weakness or prejudice, instead of being guided by God's and evolution's design. In fact, we can now legitimately define that the 'Cross' truly represents the healing properties of God mapped-out before us in which we all have the 'Cross' in common, this 'Universal 'which is enshrined by the Body and Blood of Christ at Communion. Or not ? You decide .