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Posts Tagged ‘Crucifixion’

Good Friday by Fr. Reid

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2012/04/06 at 9:11 AM

• After listening to the story of our Lord’s Passion, we may be tempted to ask the simple question: why? Why did the Son of God suffer so? Why this terrible violence? Why did Jesus, Who was innocent and perfect in every way, suffer the cruel ignominy of the cross?

• At the very least His execution like a common criminal some 2000 years ago was the most unjust and heinous crime the world has ever known.

• For those of us who know that Jesus is Lord and who love Him as our savior, it is unthinkable that He suffered at our hands, and yet we know it to be true. His suffering is a truth that we cannot deny.

• The crucifixes that adorn our homes and churches, and that we wear around our necks testify to this terrible reality. Even the Sign of the Cross, that we Catholics so often make with nary a thought, bears silent and perpetual witness to man’s inhumanity to the one Man who was also God. We are haunted by the fact that man the creature murdered God the Creator.

• Regardless of when we were born into history, there is blood on our hands, for we have all sinned against the living God.

• And this sad fact begs yet another question. If Jesus truly is God, then why did He allow this? For surely God cannot be coerced or forced by even the strongest and most powerful of men to do anything. If God is truly God, then He must have chosen this.

• So why did God choose the cross? St. Thomas Aquinas gives us two answers: First, Jesusendured the shame of the cross as a remedy for sins. Secondly, He did so as an example of how we should act.

• St. Thomas tells us that the cross is remedy because “in the face of all the evils which we incur on account of our sins, we have found relief through the Passion of Christ.” Yet the cross is also an example, “for the Passion of Christ completely suffices to fashion our lives.”

• St. Thomas teaches us that “whoever wishes to live perfectly should do nothing but disdain what Christ disdained on the cross and desire what He desired, for the cross exemplifies every virtue.”

• But even more than being a remedy for our sins and a pattern for our lives, the cross is our bridge to Heaven.

• Although God created us in His own image and likeness and destined us to live with Him forever in Heaven, we forfeited our rights to our eternal inheritance through our sinfulness.

• Our sins cut us off from God; they alienate us from God and bind us to this world. Yet, through the power of the cross, we have a means for passing through that veil that separates God and man, Heaven and earth.

• And in this we see the true divinity of our Lord, for only God could take a shameful instrument of execution and make it an instrument of glory and the very key to Heaven’s gate.

• With a love that we cannot fathom, Jesus pours out His mercy upon all who seek His forgiveness. The same blood that covers our hands in guilt now covers our souls with mercy!

• And that, my friends, is why Jesus endured the cross, for without the cross we would all be utterly lost. And that is why we call today Good Friday; and it is very good indeed.

• And so, my brothers and sisters, let us all confidently approach the throne of grace to receive His mercy. Come and behold Him, our savior and our king, and let us give thanks today for the gift of His holy cross, by which He has redeemed the world.

Copyright 2009 by Reverend Timothy S. Reid

Reverend Reid is pastor of St. Ann’s Catholic  Church in Charlotte, NC

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The Dying Prayer of Our Lord

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2012/03/30 at 9:11 AM

 

Vatican City, (VIS) – The prayer of Jesus at the moment of His death, as narrated by St. Mark and St. Matthew was the theme of Benedict XVI’s catechesis during his general audience….

“In the structure of the narrative”, the Pope said, “Jesus’ cry rises at the end of three hours of darkness, which had descended upon the earth from midday to three o’clock in the afternoon. Those three hours of darkness were, in their turn, the continuation of an earlier period which also lasted three hours and began with the crucifixion. … In biblical tradition darkness has an ambivalent meaning: it is a sign of the presence and action of evil, but also of the mysterious presence and action of God Who is capable of vanquishing all darkness. … In the scene of Jesus’ crucifixion darkness envelops the earth, the darkness of death in which the Son of God immerses Himself, in order bring life with His act of love”.

“Insulted by various categories of people, surrounded by a darkness covering everything, at the very moment in which He is facing death Jesus’ cry shows that, along with His burden of suffering and death apparently accompanied by abandonment and the absence of God, He is entirely certain of the closeness of the Father, Who approves this supreme act of love and of total giving of Self, although we do not hear His voice from on high as we did in earlier moments”.

Yet, the Holy Father asked, “what is the meaning of Jesus’ prayer? The cry addressed to the Father: ‘my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'” He explained that “the words Jesus addresses to the Father are the beginning of Psalm 22, in which the Psalmist expresses the tension between, on the one hand, being left alone and, on the other, the certain knowledge of God’s presence amongst His people. … The Psalmist speaks of a ‘cry’ to express all the suffering of his prayer before the apparently absent God. At moments of anguish prayer becomes a cry.

“This also happens in our own relationship with the Lord”, the Pope added. “In the face of difficult and painful situations, when it seems that God does not hear, we must not be afraid to entrust Him with the burden we are carrying in our hearts, we must not be afraid to cry out to Him in our suffering”.

“Jesus prays at the moment of ultimate rejection by man, at the moment of abandonment. However, He is aware that God the Father is present even at the instant in which He is experiencing the human drama of death. Yet nonetheless, a question arises in our hearts: how is it possible that such a powerful God does not intervene to save His Son from this terrible trial?”

The Holy Father explained that “it is important to understand that the prayer of Jesus is not the cry of a person who meets death with desperation, nor that of a person who knows he has been abandoned. At that moment Jesus appropriates Psalm 22, the Psalm of the suffering people of Israel, at that moment He takes upon Himself not only the suffering of His people, but also that of all men and women oppressed by evil. … And He takes all this to the heart of God in the certainty that His cry will be heard in the resurrection. … His is a suffering in communion with us and for us, it derives from love and carries within itself redemption and the victory of love.

“The people at the foot of Jesus’ cross were unable to understand, they thought His cry was a supplication to Elijah. … We likewise find ourselves, ever and anew, facing the ‘today’ of suffering, the silence of God – many times we say as much in our prayers – but we also find ourselves facing the ‘today’ of the Resurrection, of the response of God Who took our sufferings upon Himself, to carry them with us and give us the certain hope that they will be overcome”.

“In our prayers”, the Holy Father concluded, “let us bring God our daily crosses, in the certainty that He is present and listens to us. The cry of Jesus reminds us that in prayer we must cross the barrier of ‘self’ and our own problems, and open ourselves to the needs and sufferings of others. May the prayer of the dying Jesus on the cross teach us to pray with love for so many brothers and sisters who feel the burden of daily life, who are experiencing moments of difficulty, who suffer and hear no words of comfort, that they may feel the love of God Who never abandons us.

Vatican Information Services

Construct a Eucharist Mosaic

In 14 Book Corner on 2011/07/01 at 11:11 AM


If you look closely at the Rose Window in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, you will observe that is it a composite of colored fragments of glass inset in such a manner that their colors blend into each other while remaining separate.

Take these quoted excerpts, from Pope Benedict’s book on the Eucharist entitled GOD IS NEAR US: The Eucharist, the Heart of Life,  and create a mosaic for yourself.

…the heart of all our creeds in our YES to Jesus Christ….p.12

…the Incarnation required acceptance….the Virgin was needed….p.13

“A body have you prepared for me.” Ps. 40 & Heb 10:5 ….the entire Gospel is contained within  this single statement….as the Fathers said: the Word has contracted to become small; to become a child…p.21

The Word, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection…the three belong together. p.44

The Eucharist is much more than a meal; it cost a death to provide it. p.44

The Eucharist is a sacrifice, the presentation of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on Cross p.44

God Himself gives to us, that we may give in turn. p.45

Christ identifies Himself with us to such an extent that our sins belong to Him and His being to us. p.50

The disciples had no need to look back on the Resurrection as something in the past: the Risen One is alive; that is why the day of Resurrection was…the day of His presence, the day He gathered them together, when they were gathered around Him. p.61

In place of the Temple, there is the Eucharist, since Christ is the true Pascal Lamb; everything that every took place in the Temple has been fulfilled in Him. p.63

Paul compares what happens in Holy Communion with the physical union between man & woman….adding, “He who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit (that is, shares a single new existence in the Holy Spirit) with him.  (1 Cor 6:17) p.77

Ratzinger quotes Augustine “…eat my flesh….you will not transform me and make me part of you; rather, I will transform you and make you part of me.” Confessions Bk 7,chpt.10:16   p.78

Communion is always a personal act…I enter into the Lord, who is communicating Himself to me.  Sacramental Communion must therefore always be also spiritual Communion. p.81

We are coming into contact with the living God…Augustine says: No one can receive Communion without first adoring. p.83

Communion and contemplation belong together; a person cannot communicate with another person without knowing him. p.97

God has put Himself in our Hands and into our hearts.  God is near. God knows us. God is waiting for us in Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. p.102

The more we stand for the Lord and before the Lord, the more we stand with one another, and our capacity to understand one another grows. p.110

The Eucharist is instrumental in the process by which Christ builds Himself a Body and makes us into one single Bread, on single Body. p.114

The Church is a Eucharistic fellowship…one people….one table…p.115

Christ is both the giver and the gift…. p.119

Ratzinger, Joseph GOD IS NEAR US.  Ignatius Press.

http://www.ignatius.com/Products/GIN-P/god-is-near-us.aspx

Psalm 34 and the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2011/04/19 at 4:42 PM

PSALM 34 in the light of the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ

The psalmist in Psalm 34 petitions God for justice. He had followed the teachings of psalms: do good, seek peace, yet he
was harassed even by the people he treated well. His description of the situation is found in its most extreme form in the
Lord’s life. He “went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil.” (Acts 10:38)  ”They hated Him without
cause.” (John 15:24; Ps 35:19.)

A Spanish priest wrote this forceful meditation on Psalm 34:

“He came to save the world,
and His own denied Him before Pilate.
He showed us the path to goodness,
and they dragged Him along the way to Calvary.
He gave an example in everything He did,
and they preferred a thief convicted of murder.
He was born to forgive,
and without cause they condemned Him to the gallows.
He came along the paths of peace, and they declared war on Him.
He was the light,
and they handed Him over to the powers of darkness.
He brought love,
and they repay Him with hatred.
He came to be King,
and they crown Him with thorns.
He became a slave to free us from sin, and they nailed Him to the Cross.
He took flesh to give us Life,
and we rewarded Him with death.”