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The Risen Christ: Present and Embodied in Consecrated Life Today

Wayte, Simon Richard (2015) The Risen Christ: Present and Embodied in Consecrated Life Today. In: God Has Begun a Great Work in Us: Embodied Love in Consecrated Life and Ecclesial Movements. The Annual Publication of the College Theology Society, 60 . Orbis Books, Maryknoll, NY, pp. 28-39. ISBN 978-1-62698-129-4

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The embodiment of love must have a concrete structure if this love is to be real. The ultimate embodiment of love occurred when the Word became flesh. In the human life of Jesus Christ we find the supreme concrete expression of the eternal love of God. How does this translate to the embodiment of love in the Church and the world today?
This question can be expressed in terms of the presence of Christ. How is the risen Christ, the utmost expression of God’s Love, present today? A way forward can be found in developing an understanding of presence beyond a worldview based on normal substantial presence. As proposed by Gerald O’Collins in his book, Christology: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Study of Jesus, presence can be characterised as personal and relational. Drawing on the work of some neo-Thomists who define person as essentially relational it is possible to open up a considered view of presence. That is a non-local presence in which apparent separation can be bridged. A non-local presence has traditionally been used to describe the way the risen Christ in heaven comes to be present in the Eucharist. This type of presence has an essential quality that it allows the whole to be present in each of the parts as found in Eucharistic concomitance. A hologram is a useful scientific analogue for this quality of the whole present in the part. To see the whole in the part is also something of a leitmotif of von Balthasar. The hologram analogy advances our understanding of this type of presence by highlighting that it is relationality which makes it possible to see the whole in the part. With person defined in relational terms it then becomes possible to see the risen Christ wholly present in any portion of his embodied expression. What is this embodied expression and how does it come about?
The embodied expression of Christ in the world today comes about through the action of the Holy Spirit imprinting the relational structure of Christ on the world. By the action of grace, the Holy Spirit not only configures the world to Christ, but also through engendering faith makes available the possibility of seeing the form of Christ. In the communion of the Church, which the Holy Spirit builds, we find a concrete expression of this relational structure of Christ. Thus we can find in the mission of consecrated life not just the charism of the founders, but also an ecclesial charism – that of witnessing to Christ present in concrete relationships between persons. The work of consecrated men and women today is not just to do much, but to open a window for the world to see them truly relating to each other in a steadfast committed way, and in this manner embody the love of Christ and make him visible in the world today.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Additional Information: Written permission given to author by Orbis Books (nonexclusive worldwide rights) for uploading to The University of Divinity repository.
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: Risen Christ, Presence, Hologram, Whole, Part, Consecrated Life
Fields of Research: 02 Physical Sciences > 0205 Optical Physics > 020599 Optical Physics not elsewhere classified
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220309 Metaphysics
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: C - Systematic Theology
College/Association with University of Divinity: CTC: Catholic Theological College
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Rev Dr Simon Wayte
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2016 23:32
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2016 23:32
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1899

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