Catholicity 3

Jesus does not come to the individual believer alone, but to his whole community. And he is not merely present to us, but brings us into this community and incorporates us in this body. It is Jesus Christ who comes to me, anointed (christed) with his whole people. As members of that people, we are part of that christ-ing.

We exist, you and I, purely because Christ holds us in his regard. He never loses concentration, and his regard is our whole life-supply. Though we may be hidden from all other people, dead to them, yet we are sustained in life by Christ. He will bring us to them, and them to us, so that as we are increasingly united to one another we become alive with the complete life of our Lord. We will live, and flourish, and enable one another to flourish without limit and gloriously, as his regard brings us into connection with one another. In his regard we will participate in one another, and live to and from one another.

Now Christ calls us to receive from him all whom he calls together in his eucharist. Like Jacob sending his flocks ahead to Esau, Christ sends us all these people ahead of him to us. To receive him we have to receive them, all of them, refusing none. They are all of them part of the loaf he intends for us. As we take them from him, as his members, they become part of us and we become part of them. We will receive our name and identity from them, and cannot attempt to be ourselves without them. We may not define ourselves by any more exclusive definition or smaller group. The identity that we will receive from this vast company will make us universal beings, for Christ’s is the true and universal eucharist.

In the eucharist we pray and ask God for the whole of future body of Christ. We look forward to all those who are to come, and who will make that body complete, and we wait, and mourn, for those who are not yet present. Their absence means that we are not yet present as we want to be. The whole Christ, and our own very being, is waiting for them.

For us now the eucharist is exclusive, partial and anticipatory, for this kingdom has not yet come. Our way into this communion is through the exclusive path of the cross of Christ, in which the many exclusive groups and false universals (“catholicitiesâ€?) are stripped off us.