Does Luke mean here the Holy Spirit who comes from Jesus, the Spirit who somehow is Jesus, or the Spirit who brings us to Jesus? As regards the initial outpouring of the Spirit, Luke distinguishes Jesus as divine Co-Sender from the divine Spirit who is sent or poured out (Luke 24: 49; Acts 2: 33). But when witnessing to the spread and life of the Christian community, Luke often refers to the powerful guidance of Jesus and that of the Spirit in a seemingly undifferentiated manner. Both are constantly present ‘in, with, and under’ the ministry of the Church. Luke’s narrative puts flesh and blood on what the Letter to the Hebrews states about human beings being enabled through Christ the High Priest to approach God’s ‘throne of grace’ (Heb. 4: 16).

One might risk summing up what Hebrews conveys about the place and means of salvation: ‘Outside Christ the High Priest and his ongoing priestly self-offering and intercession there is no salvation.’ To avoid misunderstanding, one should add at once: ‘But there is no way to be “outside Christ” and no zone beyond him and his priestly activity.’ It was Augustine who classically expressed in debate with the Donatists his faith in Christ as the real, albeit invisible, minister of every baptism, no matter who was the visible minister of baptism. Later, Augustine’s principle was extended to the Eucharist, the administration of other sacraments, preaching, and the celebration of the divine office. We quoted Vatican II’s Constitution on the Divine Liturgy on the multifaceted presence of Christ in the celebration of the liturgy, preaching the Word, and praying the divine office.38

38 See K. Rahner, ‘The Presence of the Lord in the Christian Community at Worship’, trans. D. Bourke, Theological Investigations, x (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1973), 71 83.

Few have witnessed more powerfully than Tom Torrance to the active, priestly presence of Christ whenever the Eucharist is celebrated. We cited Torrance’s emphatic words: ‘when the Church worships, praises and adores the Father through Christ and celebrates the Eucharist in his name, it is Christ himself [in the Spirit] who worships, praises and adores the Father in and through his members, taking up, moulding and sanctifying the prayers of the people.’ (5) The fifth item in our summary of the permanent exercise of Christ’s priesthood concerns his role as the Mediator for the blessed in heaven. Adapting the words of the Creed, we can say: ‘His priesthood will have no end.’ In his glorified humanity Christ will remain eternally the Agent (or rather joint Agent with the Holy Spirit) through whom human beings will be raised and enjoy divine life forever.