Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  147 / 665 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 147 / 665 Next Page
Page Background

Chapter 10. The Church: Reflecting the Light of Christ • 119

The Church as Communion is our loving fellowship and union

with Jesus and other baptized Christians in the Church, the Body

of Christ, which has its source and summit in the celebration of

the Eucharist by which we are joined in divine love to the com-

munion of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (cf. CCC, Glossary)

The Church, the Body of Christ, is the assembly of people gathered

into her by Baptism and their participation in the Sacraments, especially

the Eucharist, which open their minds and hearts to the Trinity, a loving

communion of divine persons. In this communion of the Church, the

members are called to love God, others, and self, and so to be a commu-

nal witness of the love by which Christ saved the world. By divine love,

we are joined to the communion of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

At the center of the Gospel message is God’s desire to share the com-

munion of Trinitarian life with us. Jesus came to invite everyone to par-

ticipate in the loving communion that Father, Son, and Spirit have with

each other. All creation is meant to show us the Trinity’s plan of love for

us. Everything Jesus did pointed to this goal.

In the Church, the Holy Spirit works in us to achieve the same pur-

pose. When we say God is love, we are doing more than applying an

abstract quality to the Lord. We testify in faith that God as Trinity wants

to relate to us and to be engaged in our world.

This truth in no way diminishes the mystery of God as totally other,

unique, awesome, majestic, and pure holiness. But love within the Trinity

makes possible a divine closeness to us. Love preserves the mystery and

yet overcomes what might have been a gulf between us and God. Unity

and communion with God in the Church also calls us to become a source

of unity for all people.


In our culture, some have a resistance to institutions. Our history reminds

us of the freedom of the frontier where the homestead was central and

the fields endless—even though such traditions as wagon trains, com-

munal barn-raising, and volunteer fire departments show us that even

frontier freedom needed structure of some sort. But the sense of endless