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Catechesis on the Parables of Jesus: The Sheep and the Goats
The Gospel writers tell us that after the resurrection Jesus opened the minds of the disciples to understand the Scriptures – in other words, the Old Testament – showing how the whole of the Old Testament was speaking about himself. It also became increasingly clear to the early Church that Christ had established an identity between himself and those who were his followers. As a result, the Church saw that the opening of their minds also included seeing the Old Testament as also revealing the Church, for Christ is now not simply the historical person, but is the totus Christus – the whole Christ, which is Christ and his Body, the Church. Furthermore, the early Church also realised that the reality of Christ, Head and members, is itself an image of the final heavenly reality which will be complete only after the second coming. The identity of Christ and the Church on earth is a prefigurement of the totus Christus in heaven. It is appropriate therefore, to look at a parable which expresses the reality of the totus Christus and invites us to reflect on our life in the Church as a preparation for and a prefigurement of the life of heaven in which our transformation into the likeness of Christ will be complete.