Monday, July 28, 2014
Blog 321 Catholic Theology # 8
Blog # 321 Catholic Theology # 8
The action-prayer of Jesus on Calvary, identified in its unconditional trust and total love as an act of worship, was a gift to the Father that was pleasing to Him. The Father's response to Jesus was the gift of RESURRECTION !
That was indeed a marvelous gift. But only Jesus offered that unique and perfect action-prayer of worship on the Cross. Only HE actually physically died in that perfect and unique historical action-prayer of Calvary. Only He was entitled to the Father's response. What of us? What, if any, is our connection to the Father's response to Jesus? First it could be an opportunity for us to appreciate the validity and value of the human unconditional trust of Jesus in laying down His life in obedience to the Father's will. Then, in response to this appreciation we could have confidence in the validity and value of our day by day acts of obedience to the Father's will, that they would be pleasing to the Father, though so small compared to that of Jesus, yet done in memory of Him and inspired by His obedience But there is more!
In John's Gospel we have Jesus praying on the occasion of the Last Supper this way:( Jn, 17: 20 - 26). " I pray for those who will believe in me through their word, that they all may be one as you, Father, are in me, and I am in you; I pray that they may be one [in us], that the world may believe that you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me that they may be one , as we are one- I living in them, you living in me - that their unity may be complete. So shall the world know that you sent me, and that you loved THEM as you loved ME...To them I have revealed your name, and I will continue to reveal it (in 2014) so that your love for me may live in them, and I may live in them."
In Blog # 320 Catholic Theology # 7 I applied this text to the entitlement we receive through Baptism to offer the worship Jesus offered to the Father on Calvary as it is offered again in the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass. Here I apply it to identify and assert a second claim, a claim for our resurrection. In other words it is through our union with the Resurrected Jesus in Baptism that we make our claim for our personal resurrection.
A few brief comments on the text may be helpful here. The union for which Jesus prayed is given not merely as a union that could be visualized as bought about through imitation, admiration, or memory of one person with another. Rather the union for which Jesus prayed is more in the nature of an organic union of one member of a living body with another member of the same body. Jesus spoke of our union with Him as a union of branches on a vine. ( Jn. 15. Scripture
clearly identifies us as members of a body identified with Jesus as the head. (1 Cor. 12: 12, 20, 27;
6:15; Rom. 12 4; Eph. 5 30.
This union of ours as members of the Body of Christ the Church comes about through Baptism. Jesus prayed the Father would love us AS He loved Jesus. The Father responded to the worship Jesus gave as His gift to the Father, in the Father's gift to Jesus of the resurrection. In loving us in response to the prayer of Jesus, the Father recognizes our union with Jesus in Baptism and in this union qualifies us to share the life of Jesus both in His gift to the Father of worship and in the Father's response to that gift in our resurrection!
I do not remember ever thinking of it this way before or ever reading about it in this way before. It came to me very clearly in recent months and seems to lift Jesus up as our unique Savior in a way that correctly interprets the Scripture passages relevant to the situation we are reflecting upon and identifies the mission of Jesus in the story of the salvation of the world clearly and well. Jesus obtained for us in His prayer to the Father the night before He died our entitlement to share, united with Jesus through Baptism, His experience of worship on Calvary and the Father's response of our resurrection.