You know that in the Olympic Games, one of the gruelling events in athletics is themarathon: about 28 miles. It often happens that some runners start very quickly, arein front for a third or half of the way, and then collapse unable to finish; they havelost all their reserve; and along the way, some drink or some food, especially sugar,is given to the runner to preserve and strengthen their energy; persevering efforts andrenewal of energy are essential requirements to win this race. Saint Paul himself hascompared Christian life to a race in the stadium; we know it is long, and tiring, if westart and fall on the way, it is of no use for us. Need to keep the life of Christ aliveand strong in us all our lives, since it is the only way in which we can go to God our Father. Because of our human nature, again and again we need to deepen and foster this life of Christ in us, in a way, which will correspond to our human manner of living. The Lord has provided for this need by instituting Eucharist.This new power and this new presence which make community possible areavailable only to those who have truly died and risen with Christ by faith. Paulreminds the faith community at Colossae that they need not be guided merely by the principles of this world when he wrote: “If you have really died with Christ, to the principles of this world, why do you still let rules dictate to you, as though you werestill living in this world?” (Col. 2:20)COMMUNITYThe Christian model of life in community has two dimensions which other groupings and government styles usually lack. They are love and trust. These lead todeeper levels of communication and a type of government different from and moreChristian than the other models of community. The members of a Christiancommunity follow Paul’s exhortation to the Ephesians: “If we live by truth and inlove, we shall grow in all ways into Christ” (Eph. 4:15)The members of the Christian community care about one another, share with and bear with one another, submit to one another and serve the kingdom of God inthemselves and in the world. To those who lack faith this model of living together isimpossible and appears to be nonsense.