Christ glorified . . .
“Seated at the right hand of the Father” and pouring out the
Holy Spirit on his Bodywhich is theChurch, Christ nowacts through
the sacraments he instituted to communicate his grace. The sacra-
ments are perceptible signs (words and actions) accessible to our
human nature. By the action of Christ and the power of the Holy
Spirit they make present efficaciously the grace that they signify.
In the liturgy of the Church, it is principally his own
Paschal mystery that Christ signifies and makes present. During
his earthly life Jesus announced his Paschal mystery by his teaching
and anticipated it by his actions. When his Hour comes, he lives
out the unique event of history which does not pass away: Jesus
dies, is buried, rises from the dead, and is seated at the right hand
of the Father “once for all.”
His Paschal mystery is a real event that
occurred in our history, but it is unique: all other historical events
happen once, and then they pass away, swallowed up in the past.
The Paschal mystery of Christ, by contrast, cannot remain only in
the past, because by his death he destroyed death, and all that
Christ is—all that he did and suffered for all men—participates in
the divine eternity, and so transcends all times while being made
present in them all. The event of the Cross and Resurrection
and draws everything toward life.
. . . from the time of the Church of the Apostles . . .
“Accordingly, just as Christ was sent by the Father so also
he sent the apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit. This he did so that
they might preach the Gospel to every creature and proclaim that
the Son of God by his death and resurrection had freed us from the
power of Satan and from death and brought us into the Kingdom
of his Father. But he also willed that the work of salvation which
they preached should be set in train through the sacrifice and
sacraments, around which the entire liturgical life revolves.”
Thus the risen Christ, by giving the Holy Spirit to the
apostles, entrusted to them his power of sanctifying:
became sacramental signs of Christ. By the power of the same
Holy Spirit they entrusted this power to their successors. This
7:27; 9:12; cf.