St John Chrysostom: It is Christ’s hand that is stretched out to you

JESUS Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Hebrews 13:8

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Patriarch Pavle (Stojčević) of Serbia

“Both the feast and the Eucharist overcome time and reveal eternity to those who participate in them.” The much-loved Patriarch Pavle of Serbia (+2009).

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THE Spirit is the one who brings the eschata into history.

He confronts the proceeds of history with its consummation, its transformation and its transfiguration. …

[T]he Church’s anamnesis acquires the Eucharistic paradox … the memory of the future.

Metropolitan John Zizioulas, quoted by Fr John Meyendorff in “Catholicity and the Church” p. 27.

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“I will receive the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord”
Communion sentence on Feasts of the Mother of God

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THE Son of God born by the Father outside time and before time, combines in His incarnation the temporal and the eternal, the earthly and the heavenly.

Both the feast and the Eucharist overcome time and reveal eternity to those who participate in them.

The Eucharist is not just a devotional remembrance of the Last Supper celebrated by the Church on certain days, nor is it its didactic enactment, but its continued repetition.

The celebrant of the Sacrament is Jesus Christ Himself, and every liturgy is not just a symbolical remembrance of that event but its continuation and actualization.

Though the Eucharist is celebrated at various times and in various places, it remains one, overcoming the border of time and space.

This is what St. John Chrysostom says to us,

‘Believe, therefore, that even now it is that supper, at which He Himself sat down. For this is in no respect different from that.

For neither does man make this and Himself the other; but both this and that is His own work.

When therefore you see the priest delivering it unto you, account not that it is the priest that does so, but that it is Christ’s hand that is stretched out’ (John Chrysostom, Homilies on Mt. (50, 30)).

“The Feast and the Eucharist” – a paper read by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk at the Assumption Readings (29 September 2010, Kiev). Source. My emphases.

See also Elder Aimilianos: How does the Divine Liturgy begin?