Having said that there were a few things in it I did like, such as the images in the St Joseph Chapel.
Make of the two what you will! I know which I prefer.
One thing emerges from [the tradition of the Last Supper]: essentially, this farewell meal was not the old Passover, but the new one, which Jesus accomplished in this context. Even though the meal that Jesus shared with the Twelve was not a Passover meal according to the ritual prescriptions of Judaism, nevertheless, in retrospect, the inner connection of the whole event with Jesus' death and Resurrection stood out clearly. It was Jesus' Passover. And in this sense he both did and did not celebrate the Passover: the old rituals could not be carried out - when their time came, Jesus had already died. But he had given himself, and thus he had truly celebrated the Passover with them. The old was not abolished; it was simply brought to its full meaning.
The process of consecration, "sanctification", includes two apparently opposed, but in reality deeply conjoined, aspects. On the one hand, "consecrating" as "sanctifying" means setting apart from the rest of reality that pertains to man's ordinary everyday life. Something that is consecrated is raised into a new sphere that is no longer under human control. But this setting apart also includes the essential dynamic of "existing for". Precisely because it is entirely given over to God, this reality is now there for the world, for men, it speaks for them and exists for their healing. We may also say: setting apart and mission form a single whole.
The connection between the two can be seen very clearly if we consider the special vocation of Israel: on the one hand, it is set apart from all other peoples, but for a particular reason - in order to carry out a commission for all peoples, for the whole world. That is what is meant when Israel is designated a "holy people".
Jesus' prayer [in John 17] manifests him as the high priest of the Day of Atonement. His Cross and his exaltation is the Day of Atonement for the world, in which the whole of world history - in the face of all human sin and its destructive consequences - finds its meaning and is aligned with its true purpose and destiny...
...And is it not the case that our need to be reconciled with God - the silent, mysterious, seemingly absent, and yet omnipresent God - is the real problem of the whole of world history?
According to rabbinic theology, the idea of the covenant - the idea of establishing a holy people to be an interlocutor for God in union with him - is prior to the idea of the creation of the world and supplies its inner motive. The cosmos was created, not that there might be manifold things in heaven and earth, but that there might be a space for the "covenant", for the loving "yes" between God and his human respondent.
|Bishop McMahon with (L - R) Henry, Neil, Craig and Linh, |
after their admission to Candidacy
What the Letter to the Philippians says in its great Christological hymn [chapter 2] - namely, that unlike Adam, who had tried to grasp divinity for himself, Christ moves in the opposite direction, coming down from his divinity into humanity, taking the form of a servant and becoming obedient even to death on a cross - all this is rendered visible in a single gesture. Jesus represents the whole of his saving ministry in one symbolic act. He divests himself of his divine splendour; he, as it were, kneels down before us; he washes and dries our soiled feet, in order to make us fit to sit at table for God's wedding feast.
...Who could possibly claim to have risen above the "average" way of the 10 Commandments, to have left them behind as self-evident, so to speak, and now to walk along the exalted paths of the "new law"? No, the newness of the new commandment cannot consist in the highest moral attainment. Here too, the essential point is not the call to supreme achievement, but the new foundation of being that is given to us. The newness can come only from the gift of being-with and being-in Christ.
"Moses always had recourse to the tabernacle in order to decide all doubts and questions, and fled to the aid of prayer for help against the dangers and wickedness of men. So must you, in like manner, take refuge in the secret of your heart, and there most earnestly implore God's help."
Laetare Ierusalem, et conventum facite, omnes qui diligitis eam; gaudete cum laetitia, qui in tristitia fuistis, ut exultetis, et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestrae.
(Rejoice Jerusalem, and make an assembly, all who love her; be glad with joy, who were mourning, so that you exult, and you will be filled from her consoling breasts.)
"Your peace does not depend on the tongues of men, because, whether they judge well or evil of you, you are not thereby another man. Where is true peace and true glory? Is it not in me? And he who does not desire to please men, nor fear to displease them, will enjoy much peace. All uneasiness of heart and the distraction of the senses arise from disorderly love and vain fear."