From Ephesians 5, John Paul II (Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology Of The Body) draws the conclusion that marriage provides a model for the “sacrament of redemption,” the historical and visible revelation of the mystery that has been hidden from the foundations of the world. All the sacraments of the church, he claims, derive their significance from Christ’s spousal self-gift to the church. Paul refers to two specific sacraments in the passage, and they happen to be Protestant ones:
“The text without any doubt speaks about the sacrament of Baptism, which has been conferred since the beginning according to the instruction of Christ on those who convert. . . . Baptism draws its essential significance and sacramental strength form the Redeemer’s spousal love through which above all the sacramentality of the Church herself is constituted, the sacramentum magnum. One can perhaps say the same thing also about the Eucharist, which seems to be indicated by the following words about the nourishment of one’s own body. . . . In fact, Christ nourishes the church with his Body precisely in the Eucharist” (514).
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Monday, October 1, 2012 at 4:39 pm
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