That they may all be one

Every Christian knows – or should know – that on the night when our Lord Jesus was betrayed He prayed in the garden to His Father that all who believe through the words of the apostles would be one even as He and the Father are one (Jn 17).
It is through the words of the apostles that Christ’s Church is to be one. But which word? The Gospel, of course. But what is the Gospel? It is what St. Paul received and passed on: that our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and having given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you.” In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them saying, “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in my blood which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do as often as you drink it in rememberance of me.”
The Gospel is not simply that God loves us, but that He loves us in a specific way, by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.
The apostle, therefore, finds Christian unity not in faith or a set of by-laws or constitutions or even in agreement over practice and church usage, but in the Lord’s Supper. Thus does he write: “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor. 10:17). St. Paul writes that our unity is in the Eucharist.
Going back to Jesus’ prayer, then, the unity Jesus prays for is found through the words of the apostles, what they received and so passed on to us: that Jesus is the Christ who gives His body and blood for us for the forgiveness of our sins. If the Old Testament could be said to be little more than a commentary on the exodus and Passover, then the New Testament (the name derived from our Lord’s Holy Meal) may be said to be little more than a (divine) commentary on the fulfillment of the Passover, which is Christ.

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One Response

  1. Well, l left a comment on the welcome page but don’t see it registered. Maybe I’m doing something wrong or maybe it doesn’t show up til later. Anyway, you wrote: “The Gospel is not simply that God loves us, but that He loves us in a specific way, by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.” Reminds me of John 3:16; I have heard so many quote that with wide open arm gestures indicating the amount or sincerity of God’s love. But the verse actually says: “God so love the world (like so, in this way), that He gave ….” You ave a good mind. I look forward to learning how this blogging worksl. Larry.

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