Thursday, March 17, 2016

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 127 - Part II.

YOUCAT Question n. 127 - Part II. What does it mean to say that the Church is the “Bride of Christ”?

(Youcat answer - repeated) Jesus Christ loves the Church as a bridegroom loves his bride. He binds himself to her forever and gives his life for her.       

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 796 a) The unity of Christ and the Church, head and members of one Body, also implies the distinction of the two within a personal relationship. This aspect is often expressed by the image of bridegroom and bride. The theme of Christ as Bridegroom of the Church was prepared for by the prophets and announced by John the Baptist (Jn 3:29). The Lord referred to himself as the "bridegroom" (Mk 2:19). The Apostle speaks of the whole Church and of each of the faithful, members of his Body, as a bride "betrothed" to Christ the Lord so as to become but one spirit with him (Cf. Mt 22:1-14; 25:1-13; 1 Cor 6:15-17; 2 Cor 11:2). The Church is the spotless bride of the spotless Lamb (Cf. Rev 22:17; Eph 1:4; 5:27).      

 Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Anyone who has ever been in love has some idea of what love is. Jesus knows it and calls himself a bridegroom who lovingly and longingly courts his bride and desires to celebrate the feast of love with her. We are his Bride, the  Church. In the Old Testament God’s love for his people is compared to the love between husband and wife. If Jesus seeks the love of each one of us, how often is he then unhappily in lovethat is to say, with all those who want nothing to do with his love and do not reciprocate it?!

(CCC Comment)

 (CCC 796 b) "Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her" (Eph 5:25-26). He has joined her with himself in an everlasting covenant and never stops caring for her as for his own body (Cf. Eph 5:29): This is the whole Christ, head and body, one formed from many… whether the head or members speak, it is Christ who speaks. He speaks in his role as the head (ex persona capitis) and in his role as body (ex persona corporis). What does this mean? "The two will become one flesh. This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the Church" (Eph 5:31-32). And the Lord himself says in the Gospel: "So they are no longer two, but one flesh" (Mt 19:6). They are, in fact, two different persons, yet they are one in the conjugal union,… as head, he calls himself the bridegroom, as body, he calls himself "bride" (St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 74:4: PL 36, 948-949).     

(The next question is: What does it mean to say that the Church is the “Temple of the Holy Spirit”?)

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