Monday, November 28, 2011
Blog # 207 John Chapter 6 -9
Blog # 207 John Chapter 6 -9 One of the tasks of a study of theology is to discover and interpret connections between history, (with a specific focus upon the origin of particular religious traditions and practice), etymology,( the background and origin of words), and the content, meaning,and authorization of claims made for the possession of a particular revelation by a particular authority. I see the fulfillment of this task as most important when we come to a study of our theology of the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus. With regard to the history of our faith in the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus, I think our references in previous blogs gives clear evidence of its authentic Biblical roots. ( John Chapter Six ; Luke 22: 19,20). A further strong supportive reference occurs in the explicit testimony of St. Paul in 1 Cor 11: 23 - 27. With regard to the legitimacy of recognizing the theological identity of the Last Supper and Calvary I have found Jeremiah 31:31 and Hebrews 8; 8-12 supportive. Jeremiah speaks of a "new covenant" God promises to make with His Chosen People. The author of the letter to the Hebrews quotes Jeremiah , having identified Jesus in his previous Chapter ( 7: 20 -25).as priest of the new covenant. "Unlike the old covenant there were many priests because they were prevented by death from remaining in office; but Jesus, because he remains forever, has a priesthood which does not pass away". The priesthood and sacrifices of the former covenant have all passed away. But the priesthood of Jesus is given as remaining until the end of time. The history of the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus is still going on, primarily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered daily in our churches around the world. It is current in your and my response to it today and tomorrow. Another significant factor in identifying the Last Supper with Calvary is the fact Jesus and His disciples were officially celebrating the annual Feast of Passover or the liberation 0f God's Chosen People from the slavery of Egypt. The miraculous physical liberation from the slavery of Egypt had always been recognized, officially celebrated, and relived in the annual celebration of the Passover Supper. From the beginning Jesus was seen as the new Moses and His death on Calvary was seen as liberation from sin in the unconditional obedience and the total infinite divine love of the Perfect Everlasting Sacrifice we have come to refer to as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. By definition sacrifice is identified in our Catholic theology with worship, which is the name given to our unique total love and consequently unconditional trust offered and owed to God alone. In the light of this definition and recognizing the Last Supper experience and that of Calvary as a single act of sacrifice offered to the Father and in obedience to the Father's will , we see the Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist as an active presence. continuing the perfect act of Calvary every time it is offered Sacramentally on our altars. Our worship of Jesus in our tabernacles is a current participation and sharing in the total love Jesus offered the Father at the Last Supper and on Calvary, His body given, His blood poured out. In union with Jesus by faith , Baptism , and the living gift of Sanctifying Grace as branches on a living vine, we are entitled and invited to share His perfect love as it was expressed at the Last Supper and on Calvary and is presented to us day by day in the Mass. Calvary was the greatest love Jesus knew. It was His glory in history and continues as the glory of the Resurrected Jesus for all eternity. We begin to see more clearly the wisdom and privilege involved in our continuing to share and grow in this love until it is at its greatest in and at the instant of our death, unique to ourselves among the more than seven billion human creatures now living on earth.