Saturday, July 17, 2004

Christian Heritage - July 17 - Christ, Our Universal Pledge

"The Son of God clothed himself in human flesh and in that flesh suffered and rose from the dead, in order to show in his own body what our resurrection will be like. This is why he is called the mediator between God and humankind, for while living in heaven, he preserves as his own the human nature entrusted to him. Moreover, he possesses this human nature as a universal pledge: just as in Christ flesh and blood already possess the kingdom of God, so we too, when we rise from the dead in that same flesh, shall obtain the kingdom of God through Christ.

"God formed the human body with his own sacred hands, treating it as his very own work, and breathed into it a soul in the likeness of his own life; he then set it over his whole creation to dwell in it as its rule and make it fruitful. In addition, he fortified it through his sacraments and teaching, and gave it eternal life in the resurrection. Thus, the body is washed so that the soul may be purified; the body is anointed so that the soul may be consecrated; the body is signed so that the soul may be saved; the body is overshadowed by the laying on of hands so that the soul may be enlightened by the Holy Spirit; the body eats and drinks the body and blood of Christ so that the soul may feed itself on God. In the time of reward, therefore, these two that have been united in their actions are not to be separated."

Gregory of Elvira, Holy Scripture: PL 51, 458-459

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