On a balmy weekday twilight, I appeared up from my studying on the entrance porch to witness the rising full moon illuminating the homeward journey of two neighbor boys. They walked companionably up Fifth Road. One wore a backpack seated firmly on his shoulders. The opposite dangled a creased cardboard signal. I might solely make out the biggest letters — OP — above extra phrases too small to learn within the near-dark.
“STOP killing us,” I posited.
“Cease killing us.” It was jarring to sq. the lament on the protest signal with my earlier, admittedly restricted, expertise of the boys. What number of evenings this spring have I heard their peals of laughter and playful boasting as they shot hoops within the yard with littler neighborhood children?
The following morning, my teen neighbors nonetheless on my thoughts, I sat for religious studying, the way in which I do most daily. On web page 61 of a dense textual content I’m rereading, I used to be caught by shiny parallel strains of yellow highlighter from a long-ago research.
“Meeting and motion are the 2 elementary traits of the Eucharist,” proclaimed Greek Orthodox theologian John Zizioulas from the pages of his basic, Being as Communion. The guide is a research of personhood in relationship to the character of the Church.
It’s not a coincidence I’m rereading the guide now. Exactly due to the disintegration we’re experiencing today I selected to dip into it once more. Once I noticed these bright-yellowed phrases that morning, I knew why I’d been despatched again to the textual content.
Meeting and motion. Father Zizioulas’ writing speaks of what the Church already is — signified by meeting — and what it’s not-yet-but-becoming — signified by ahead motion.
The Church is a communion of individuals he says, cautious to differentiate that he doesn’t imply every separate confessional church. Not church buildings divided into “flavors” — Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian. He means THEChurch — the Physique of Christ — in communion throughout temporal, historic, and ecclesial boundaries.
In different phrases, our synthetic ecclesial divisions usually are not the work of the Christ, who proclaimed that in his physique and blood we’ve got communion. No. True communion in Christian custom is constituted by a oneness of individuals held in being by the connection Christians acknowledge as Trinity: Father, Son, and Spirit. Within the Roman Catholic custom, this reality is manifest sacramentally within the Eucharist, and precedes it. It exists already because the meeting gathers, although it’s not but fulfilled. In our hoped-for achievement of the not-yet we transfer ahead from our assemblies to do the work of coming to true communion.
The neighbor boys, I actually, and what number of hundreds of othershave been joined in meeting — in communion — throughout this world-changing, paradigm-shifting, time-out-of-time for the reason that brutal homicide of George Floyd? What number of have desired to be?
Peaceable assemblies of individuals in our city and around the globe are magnificent indicators of the“already.” We’re God’s kids now St. John proclaimed two millennia in the past. We’re already assembled as such, Father Zizioulas affirms. What we’ll later be has not but been revealed, St. John says.
That evening on my porch I noticed my neighbors transferring from an meeting of the already towards a not-yet-but-PLEASE-GOD-close-to-realizing motion of liberation. Within the hopeful homeward journey of the neighbor children I noticed what might be after we white folks enable the blinding scales of our supremacy to fall from our eyes.I noticed what is prime to the Feast of the Physique and Blood of Christ Catholics and different Christians have a good time right this moment. I noticed a Christ-willed motion towards full communion.
On that moonlit evening, I noticed it coming. What do you see?
Sister Beth Murphy, OP, is the communication director for the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois.