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Body of Christ

“Christ is never Christ alone, for He incorporates each of us into His body. He shares the resurrection with all those who believe in Him. He not only gifts us with salvation, but gifts us with the spiritual gifts we each need to be His Body and to fulfill His saving mission to the world. A Christian is never a Christian alone for each Christian is immediately incorporated into the Body of Christ and shares the faith and fate of all those who identify themselves with the Lord.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“For Christians this individualized concept of the self undermines many of the primary realities of the faith. The Church cannot be rightly understood as a voluntary association. We are Baptized “into the Body of Christ.” The modern concept of the individual runs deeply contrary to Scriptural teaching on the nature of the Christian life. The sacraments, whose foundations rest within a world in which true communion and participation are possible, become more and more foreign to the individualized Christian experience. The sacraments are either deeply minimized (even to the point of extinction) or re-interpreted in voluntaristic terms. It is this re-interpretation of the sacraments that undergirds the modern notion of “open communion,” or “Eucharistic hospitality.” The exclusion of persons from the Cup of Christ is seen as an insult, a denial of their self-defined Christian identification. I have been told, “Who are you to say that I should not be allowed to come to communion?” However, “Individual communion” is an oxymoron.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Envy and selfish ambition are unspiritual and demonic and have no place in us or in the body of Christ.” (Marlena Graves)

“It [patience/longsuffering] is the quality of forbearance that outlasts and overcomes the trials that it faces. Those who are patient have the grace to put up with the faults of others. And they trust that the Spirit is working in every believer to cause him or her to mature in faith and love. Those who have patient hearts can help the Body of Christ look beyond the troubles of the present. Thus, they can prevent the Body of Christ from impatient reactions to the weaknesses of its members. Rather they can offer the peace that comes from accepting the faults of others.” (Fr. Basil)

“We must never forget that each member of the Body of Christ is capable of absorbing only certain things and only at certain times…Not all people can “endure” hearing the whole truth to the same degree. This is why we will give it gradually and carefully, so that they are not scandalized. This is also what the Fathers always meant when they said “the greatest of virtues is ‘discernment’ ” If Christ Himself recognized at one point the inability even of His disciples to understand Him, and “interrupted,” saying, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12), how much more is the modern theologian obliged to evaluate the “endurance” of an audience in each situation, even when there is a well-informed and mature congregation.” (Dr. Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou, Archbishop Stylianos Harkianakis)


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