The Glory of God is Man Fully Alive
June 20, 2023
St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (in what is now France) in the late 2nd century, in his monumental work written about 185AD, Against Heresies, says that
Life in man is the glory of God (sometimes rendered “the glory of God is man fully alive”; the life of man is the vision of God. If the revelation of God through creation gives life to all who live upon the earth, much more does the manifestation of the Father through the Word give life to those who see God.
Much to unpack here. Suffice it to say that Saint Irenaeus highlights the privilege that we have as disciples of Christ. God really albeit obliquely reveals Himself through the beauty and wisdom of the physical universe. We dare to believe, however, that, in the Incarnation, God has come infinitely closer to us, in intimate revelation and relationship, giving everlasting life. It is in this relationship through Christ, fully manifest in the vision of God, that we are fully alive. May we each grow in this relationship, and thus in aliveness.
Yours in Christ,
The Bread That I Will Give
June 6, 2023
This coming Sunday is Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) Sunday—the Body of Christ experienced particularly in the Eucharist (Communion). Now, you may have noticed that the Eucharist is a gift that we cannot give to ourselves at home. Indeed, it can be argued that it is the deepest reason that we come to church. We gather in church, as Church, because God “assumed” a human body, now shared in the Church, in a special way, in the Eucharist. Of course, Jesus shares with us his whole Person—always.
Corpus Christi is beautifully captured in Jesus’ discourse on the Bread of Life in John’s gospel chapter 6 (verse 51): I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh. His declaration is a bit overwhelming if taken more than symbolically, so overwhelming that it prompted many of the disciples in his hearing to part ways with him. Nowadays, different Christian denominations understand this differently. In this “denomination”, in this part of the Universal Church, we take it more than symbolically. We believe that a mysterious gift is bestowed in an encounter that is guaranteed. Divine love is given, making of us Sisters and Brothers. How amazing: we receive the Body and thus become the Body, the Mystical Body of Christ. We do well to give thanks.
In thanksgiving with you for this gift,
THE REV. DOMINIQUE PERIDANS