As the center of Christian unity and visibility, the Eucharist separates the church from the sinful “world,” because in the Eucharist the church deconstructs the world and is caught up into the Kingdom. This does not mean that the pilgrim church on earth is not sinful, or that the Eucharist is reserved for an elite of people of surpassing personal holiness. The exclusion of those who fail to “discern the body” from participation in the Eucharist is used as a sign not of the church’s present purity, but of its present participation in the future Kingdom. In the Eucharist, as we have seen, the church anticipates the Kingdom, and supplants the imagination of secular time with the eschatological imagination. The excommunication of one who sins against the body of Christ is both a sign that such a person has brought a foretaste of the future judgment upon himself, and an anticipation of the eternal church, with all the saints, standing unblemished before God. (William T Cavanaugh, Torture and Eucharist, p.250)

 

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