“Through the mystery of Christ, then, sharing in the Holy Spirit and union with God has become possible also for us”

Our Lord Jesus Christ did not pray only for the twelve disciples. He prayed for all in every age whom their exhortation would persuade to become holy by believing and to be purified by sharing in the Holy Spirit. “May they all be one, he prayed. As you Father are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us.”

The only Son shines out from the very substance of the Father and possesses the Father completely in his own nature. He became man, according to the scriptures, blending himself, so to speak, with our nature by an inexplicable union with an earthly body. In himself he somehow united totally disparate natures to make us sharers in the divine nature.

The communion and abiding presence of the Spirit has passed even to ourselves. This was experienced first through Christ and in Christ when he was seen to have become like us, that is, a human being anointed and sanctified. By nature however he was God, for he proceeded from the Father. It was with his own Spirit that he sanctified the temple of his body and also, in a way befitting it, the world of his creation. Through the mystery of Christ, then, sharing in the Holy Spirit and union with God has become possible also for us, for we are all sanctified in him.

By his own wisdom and the Father’s counsel he devised a way of bringing us all together and blending us into a unity with God and one another, even though the differences between us give us each in both body and soul a separate identity. For in holy communion he blesses with one body, which is his own, those who believe in him, and makes them one body with himself and one another.

Who could separate those who are united to Christ through that one sacred body, or destroy their true union with one another? If we all share one loaf we all become one body, for Christ cannot be divided.

So it is that the Church is the body of Christ and we are its members. For since we are all united to Christ through his sacred body, having received that one indivisible body into our own, our members are not our own but his.

St Cyril of Alexandria

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