The 2nd century Christians: In the world but not of this world

The wonderful and unexpected event of the Salvation in Jesus Christ (or the humanization of God and the divinization of man) was lived as a reality by the young Christian communities in a conscious, intense and Eucharistic way. Proof to this was the eschatological climate of the "already here" and the "not yet" which characterizes the first Christians. They lived in this world, but were fully conscious of not being of this world.


The fifth chapter of the Letter to Diognetius (2nd century) leaves no doubt about the lucidity of those early Christians that were temporary pilgrims in this transitory world.


They lived in this world, but under the sign of the expected eschatology, completely projected toward the other side of time.


The ancient and mysterious Aramean liturgical formula "Maranatha" was often found on the lips and in the hearts of our first brothers in the faith.


It evokes the presence of the Risen One in the midst of his brethren; it is a supplication, because this presence is renewed at the moment of the celebration: "Maranatha."


It hastens, by the desire and the prayer, Christ's definitive return in glory: May the Lord come and this world pass... "Maranatha". Amen. [1]


[1] Cf. M. MAGRASSI, Maranathà. Il clima escatologico della celebrazione primitiva in Rivista liturgica, 53 (1966) 3, 392-393.