Since Paul interpreted his ministry of proclamation as a priestly service, a fortiori we should say this also about Jesus’ proclamation of God’s kingdom. Right from his ﬁrst chapter, Mark (and then the later evangelists) understood that being active in proclaiming/teaching was inseparable from Jesus’ being active in healing and other miraculous activity. Since Jesus’ teaching was priestly, so too was his activity as healer. Teaching and healing were two distinguishable but inseparable expressions of his priestly identity and activity. By preaching, healing, and forgiving sins, Jesus built up a ‘community of the faithful’, those who accepted his message of God’s kingdom that was already breaking into the world. One can summarize much of the public ministry of Jesus by speaking of him as feeding people at ‘two tables’. Centuries later Augustine, when commenting on the Lord’s Prayer, identiﬁed ‘our daily bread’ as both our daily material needs and our daily spiritual bread, with the latter including both the Word of God and the Eucharist. In this double perspective of the ‘Bread of Life’, Christ sustains his followers for time and eternity (John 6: 25–65).1
1 Commentary on the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, trans. D. J. Kavanagh (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1951), 135.
Augustine initiated an enduring tradition of interpretation, which would ﬁnd expression and endorsement at the Second Vatican Council: ‘Christians draw nourishment through the Word of God from the double table of holy Scripture and the Eucharist’ (PO 18).2
2 This theme of the ‘double table’ is expressed more fully in Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum (‘The Word of God’), 21; see also the decree on the renewal of religious life, Perfectae Caritatis (‘Perfect Charity’), 6. 3 See G. O’Collins, Salvation For All: God’s Other Peoples (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 82