Monday, April 24, 2023

Ransoming, Redeeming, Retelling

Jesus is himself the first person to retell the story of Israel with his death and resurrection at its center. Peter, both in Acts and in his First Letter, retells that story too. And although the Bible never explains how exactly Jesus' death saves us, it regularly uses the word "ransom" to describe Jesus' death on the cross. And more often than not the words that we read in English as "redeem, redemption" are really the same Greek word as "ransom". Even though we often tend to lump our "redeeming" with words like "forgiving" or "satisfying" or "rescuing", it first and foremost is buying word, a marketplace word, a word for trading away your costly valuables to release an enemy's victims from their slavery. And that is a favorite image of the first Christian centuries: giving up a Son to free us slaves.

O wonder of your humble care for us! 

O love, O charity beyond all telling, 

        to ransom a slave you gave away your Son! 

O truly necessary sin of Adam, 

        destroyed completely by the Death of Christ! 

O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!

Thursday, April 6, 2023

"The Blood of Jesus Purples Our Lips"

For our Holy Thursday Mass tonight we had Communion by intinction. Meditating on that word. "intinction", I remembered the above quote from St. Peter Julian Eymard from the wonderful book The Real Presence. 

So I invite you too to meditate on the imagery of the Body of the Lord, tinged with His Blood, given to the faithful. In the words of The Letter to the Hebrews, Chapter 10: “We have confidence to enter the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, his flesh.”

(Also, how great is it that when I searched Google for an intinction picture, the first image was of our own Bishop James Conley distributing Communion.)

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Matthew's Lost Last Supper

Sure, at Mass we are constantly reminded of the Last Supper, but we actually rarely hear the story. And when we do, it is all but drowned out by the subsequent events of the passion. So let us turn our eyes to Matthew's narration of it and see Jesus offer Israel a "system update": the rollout of Covenant 2.0