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But of course the tie that binds Catholics is closer, the tie of grace. should be highlighted in Day’s doctrine of the Mystical Body is twofold.First, the term “body of Christ” refers back to the historical Jesus, a first-century Jew who gave commands, teachings, and moral examples to his disciples.
If one loses this historical person, then for Day the term becomes an empty container sans ethical and moral content; whatever objections can be raised to the Catholic faith, one cannot get past the historical Jesus whose humanity is the union between Jews and Gentiles (or, as Day transposes this, between labor and management or capitalists and communists).
Day’s moral reasoning, working within the tradition of Catholic social teaching, looks to the irreducibility of Jesus’ life to critique Catholics whose practices and teachings operate counter to this concrete person whose life is the true narration of all human life.
Day’s legacy is one which has been manifold in its reception.
For some, Day remains an emblematic pacifist, standing against American militarism for the better part of five decades.
But beyond this, because the institutional life of the Church rests upon the singular human existence of Jesus, the telos of all human existence is narrated by and implicated in Jesus’ own life.
this early quote, three points concerning Day’s view of the Mystical Body are seen, which are foundational for Day’s understanding of the doctrine.
Third, those whom Christ has “ennobled” are seen as either actual or potential members in the Mystical Body, a body which is visible and exists prior to its fracturing through people being named by industry as “worker” or by nations as “citizen”.
In sum, what is present in the worship of the Catholic Church is the fulfillment of the ennoblement present in all persons, a claim possible only on the basis of the lived life of Jesus of Nazareth.
on the basis of this historical person’s life, a universal Mystical Body is posited and continued in the historic Catholic Church.
The human career of Jesus, as the meaning of all human life, leads all humanity—past, present, and future—to receive the fullness of its existence in the life of the Church.