Thursday, May 14, 2015

Eucharistic Unity in Christ

What does Eucharistic unity in Christ mean? The Orthodox Eucharist has always fascinated the non-Orthodox. Due to this act of worship the Russians eventually became Orthodox, after visiting St Sophia Church in Constantinople. Theologically, how do we understand this unity between the faithful and Jesus Christ?


‘This Eucharistic unity in Christ does not produce any magical transformation of sinful human beings. It leaves intact human freedom and responsibility. However, it does allow man to partake of the resurrected and victorious Christ, anticipating the time when Christ will be “all in all” and when the absoluteness of His power will become manifest in the ultimate eschatological fulfilment. Until that time the gift of communion with Christ – that which the Fathers also call “deification” – remains hidden under sacramental veils and requires from every one of us the ascetical struggle, the struggle against the passions, the efforts of the will, and “synergy” between divine grace and the imperfect possibilities of fallen human nature. Its concrete realization in the structures and conditions of the fallen cosmos can only be partial, even if it allows each one of us to participate in the immortality of the risen Lord, even in this life where death still reigns. The saints are witness of this fact.’[1] 



[1] Meyendorff, John, Living Tradition, (Crestwood, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1978), pp. 118-119. 

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