According to John Macquarrie, theology should treat all religious beliefs as diverse. Theology aims at showing the coherence of Christianity. It should also encompass the doctrines of the different faiths in Christianity. This is necessary to promote positive relationships among different faiths practiced in the modern world.
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As John believes, there is need to integrate all Christian faiths with the entire range of human life. The only trick, therefore, is to exhibit the coherence of the Christianity faith. This paper explores how Robert Barron summarizes the theology of the Eucharist in accordance with John’s definition of theology.
Summary of the Eucharist as Offered by Barron
In only three chapters, Barron gives a detailed description and analysis of the Eucharist as an important practice in Catholic faith. In the first chapter, the author of the text considers the Eucharist as a special and sacred meal. The Eucharist has been a question of debate among Christian believers for many years. However, Barron explores the practice as an important rite for Catholics and other Christians.
According to the author, believers should consider the Eucharist as a sacred meal that brings them together and remind them of Christ (Barron 28). The Eucharist, according to the author, is a Holy Communion. This means there is need for Christians to reenact the communion occasionally. This is necessary because Jesus instructed his followers to do so in his memory. It is agreeable that Christians and Catholics consider the Eucharist as a holy practice because it helps them remember Christ.
According to Barron (29), the Eucharist is a holy meal for Catholics and other believers. Jesus asked his followers to practice the Eucharist in his memory. The Catholics believe that the elements of the Eucharist cease to be wine and leavened bread after consecration. Instead, they become the blood and body of Jesus respectively.
They portray the divinity, faith and holiness that characterize Christ’s soul. The Catholics usually consecrate the wine and bread, something that portrays the separation of Christ’s blood from the body as it happens on the cross.
The other important thing from the book by Barron is that Christians should treat the Eucharist as sacrifice. To support the argument, the author of the book states that the church should always consider the Eucharist as a special sacrifice. It is necessary for Catholics to assemble on Sabbath day to offer thanks and break bread.
However, Christians should first confess all their sins before the practice. This is the only way to make their sacrifice pure. Those quarrelling should reconcile because the sacrifice of the Holy Communion meds to be holy. Barron views the Eucharist as an essential element of the Holy Mass, something that makes it a true sacrifice (Barron 58). On the cross, Christ offered himself wholly on the cross. This explains why Christians should offer themselves to God and repent their sins.
The main purpose of the Eucharist is to give thanks to Christ and glory to the Father. This is the best way to offer sacrifices and ask for forgiveness. Finally, Barron sheds more light on the Eucharist as an important symbol of faith, repentance, sacrifice and holiness (Barron 67). This casts doubt and makes it an important practice among Christian believers today. The Eucharist is a new opportunity for Christians to celebrate and benefit from the offering made by Christ in every Holy Mass.
By the end of the day, the purpose of the Eucharist is to give thanks and glorify our creator (Barron 73). This is the only way to obtain mercy and forgiveness. Christians can say their prayers after forgiveness. The Eucharist is an important practice that glorifies God and brings Christians closer to Him. It is also an important act of sacrifice.
How Barron is Doing Theology According to the Definition by Macquarrie
After reading the book, it is notable that Barron succeeds in defining the Eucharist as an important catholic ritual. The author offers a detailed description of the Eucharist as an important practice through which Catholics celebrate Christ and ask for forgiveness (Barron 18).
The sacred meal brings Christians come closer to their creator. Although this is the central focus of the text by Barron, it is quite clear that the author goes a step further to do theology as defined by Macquarrie. John Macquarrie, an Anglican theologian, believes that theology should consider Church’s faith as something coherent. This means that theology should show the coherence of Christian faith and present a sense of unity that brings together all Christian believers.
Theology should seek to unite all doctrines, beliefs and attitudes practiced in our modern world. That being the case, Barron views the Eucharist as an important practice that brings Christians closer to their God and Christ. Barron therefore does theology as defined by Macquarrie because he describes the Eucharist as a holy meal that brings Christians together. He goes further to explain the importance of the meal, consecration, repentance and celebration as essential parts of the Eucharist (Barron 52).
From a critical perspective, it is notable that the Eucharist presented by the author is something that brings all Christian faiths together. Although the kind of meal that forms the Holy Communion might differ from one faith to another among Christians, the idea of theology becomes evident as detailed by Macquarrie. The Anglican theologian believes that theology should always seek to unite all beliefs and attitudes practiced by different religious groups in the world.
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The specific doctrines of the Holy Communion among Christians are more or less the same. For instance, the author does a great work of theology by pointing out that there can never be communion without sacrifice. This is an important part of the Eucharist as practiced by different faiths.
Christians should relate the idea of giving sacrifice with the suffering and death of Christ on the cross. Jesus decided to sacrifice his soul and body on the cross to secure forgiveness for our sins (Barron 89). Therefore, believers should consider the Eucharist as an opportunity to repeat this important sacrifice on the cross. Although the author of the book is a Catholic priest, he goes further to treat the Eucharist as a holy meal for all Christians. This is what helps the author complete his theological work as detailed by John Macquaarrie.
Therefore, several things come out clearly to the reader after reading the book by Robert Barron. The first thing is that the Eucharist or the communion is a special and holy meal for Christians. Christians are required to practice the Eucharist because it is the way of Christ.
The other thing is that the Eucharist is a form of sacrifice for Christians. With such ideas, it is evident that Robert Barron does a great job of treating the issue from a theological perspective. This is true in the sense that he follows Macquarrie’s description of what theology ought to be. In conclusion, all religious faiths should treat the Eucharist as a special practice for Christians.
Barron, Robert. Eucharist. New York: Orbis Books, 2008. Print.