How does the ecclesiology of communion go back to the very sources of the great ecclesial tradition? How should we explain that a Christian is never alone, even before God? How should we perceive that the Church is a communion before being a society, a mystery before being a structure? These questions reflect the inner being of the Church that is at the center of Flesh of the Church, Flesh of Christ.
The late renowned scholar J.-M.-R. Tillard defines what the flesh of the Church is for the New Testament and the period of the undivided Church. He enables readers to understand not the structure of God's Church but the living reality of grace for which this structure exists. Tillard explains that the "flesh of the church" is communion of life for humanity reconciled with the Father and with itself "in Christ." He also shows that through the power of the Spirit and the Word, the Church is the "flesh of Christ" in the osmosis of the sacrificial flesh of the Lord and the concrete life of the baptized, of which the Eucharist is the sacrament.
Chapters are "All Linked Together by Salvation: For God, in Communion," "All Joined into One Body, Eucharistic Body, Ecclesial Body," "All Taken into the One Sacrifice: The Sacrifice of Christ," and "Flesh of the Church, Flesh of Christ."
The late J.-M.-R. Tillard, OP, served as vice-president of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, was consultor to the Vatican's Secretariat for Christian Unity, and a member of several ecumenical commissions. He also wrote Church of Churches: The Ecclesiology of Communion, published by The Liturgical Press.