The Eucharist as Anticipation of the Eschatological Gathering of the Whole People of God
The Eastern Orthodox church considers the eucharist central and foundational, and because of this, they have developed a deep theology when it comes to the eucharist, or communion, or the breaking of bread.
For the Eastern Orthodox, the whole of Christ is present at the eucharist, and the catholicity (universality) of the church is guaranteed by Christ presence, as Karkkainen mentions in his book on Ecclesiology. Catholic is a word derived from the Greek katholics “according to the whole, i.e. undivided”. Thus comes this beautiful statement from John Zizioulas that I wanted to share with you in regard to the Eucharist.
“A eucharist which discriminates between races, sexes, ages, professions, social classes etc. violates not certain ethical principles but its eschatological nature. For that reason such a eucharist is not a “bad” – i.e. morally deficient – eucharist but no eucharist at all. It cannot be said to be the body of the One who sums up all into Himself.”