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True Radicality

“What is truly radical…is not that God rewards those who help the poor; what is truly radical is that Jesus identifies himself with the poor.  The pain of the hungry person is the pain of Christ, and it is thus also the pain of anyone who is a member of the body of Christ.  If we are identified with Christ, who identifies himself with the suffering of all, then what is called for is more than just charity.  The very distinction between what is mine and what is yours breaks down in the body of Christ.  We are not to consider ourselves as absolute owners of our stuff, who then occasionally graciously bestow charity on the less fortunate.  In the body of Christ, your pain is my pain, and my stuff is available to be communicated to you in your need… In the consumption of the Eucharist, we cease to be merely ‘the other’ to each other.  In the Eucharist, Christ is gift, giver, and recipient; we are simultaneously fed and become food for others.”

–William T. Cavanaugh, Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008), 56.

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