- Thursday, 21 May 2009 06:00
We believe in
Jesus whom we have not seen. Those who have seen and touched him with their own
hands, who have heard the word from his mouth, are the ones who have borne
witness to him. It was to teach these things to the world that they were sent
by him. They did not presume to go out on their own initiative. And where did
he send them? You heard the answer to that in the gospel reading: “Go, proclaim
the Good News to every creature under heaven.” The disciples were sent to the
ends of the earth, with signs and wonders accompanying them in confirmation of
their testimony, because they spoke of what they had actually seen.
We believe in
him though we have not seen him, and we await his return. Whoever waits for him
in faith will rejoice when he comes, but those without faith will be put to
shame at the appearance of what they cannot at present see. Then let us abide
in his words, so that his coming may not put us to shame. In the gospel he
himself says to those who have believed in him: “If you persevere in my word,
you will truly be my disciples.” And to their unspoken question, “What will it
profit us?”, he adds: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you
At present we
possess our salvation in hope, not in fact; we do not yet possess what we have
been promised, but we hope to do so in the future. The one who promised it is
faithful; he will not deceive you, so long as you wait for his promised gift
without growing weary. The truth cannot possibly deceive. Make sure then that
you yourself are not a liar, professing one thing and doing another; keep faith
with him, and he will keep his word to you. If you do not keep faith, it will
be you who deceive yourself, not he who made the promise.
“If you know
that he is righteous, you can be sure that everyone who acts rightly is born of
him.” Our righteousness in this life comes through faith. None but the angels
are perfectly righteous, and they have only a shadow of righteousness in
comparison with God. Nevertheless, if there is any perfect righteousness to be
found in the souls and spirits created by God, it is in the holy angels who are
good and just, who have not fallen away from God nor been thrust out of heaven
by their pride. They abide forever in the contemplation of God’s word and find
their happiness in nothing apart from him who made them. In these is found the
perfection of righteousness, but in us righteousness has its beginning through
faith, as the Spirit leads us.
- Sunday, 17 May 2009 09:00
Redemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been
given hope, trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we can face our present: the
present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads toward a
goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to
justify the effort of the journey. The promise of Christ is not only a reality
that we await, but a real presence. (Benedict XVI)
We speak about how things ought to be or what is not going
well and “we do not start from the affirmation that Christ has won the
victory.” To say that Christ has won, that Christ has risen, signifies that the
meaning of my life and of the world is present, already present, and time is
the profound and mysterious working of its manifestation. (Luigi Giussani)
- Tuesday, 12 May 2009 11:08
Let Him Easter in us,
Be a dayspring to the dimness of us,
Be a crimson-cresseted east.
Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.
The Wreck of the Deutschland
- Monday, 27 April 2009 08:00
Conversion and baptism immerse us in Christ’s Easter mystery, and involve us in his death and resurrection. Easter calls for the reborn, the resurrected; the rebirth and the resurrection of which baptism is not only the beginning, but also offers the grace for its progressive and complete fulfillment.
As Christians we are never finished being converted, reborn and risen again; the condition of our life on earth is the tension of a continual regeneration in Christ, conforming us more and more to his death and resurrection.
A Christian’s striving is never ended; we ourselves says the Apostle who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for the redemption (Romans 8:23). We shall have full and complete redemption only in heaven, for only then shall we be assimilated in an enduring way into Christ’s paschal mystery and die to sin, once for all. . .and be alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:10-11).
Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD
- Wednesday, 22 April 2009 10:44
A few thoughts of Pope Benedict on the meaning of the Resurrection:
Until that moment Christ’s death remained almost an enigma, whose outcome was still uncertain. In the Pascal mystery the words of Scripture are fulfilled, that is, this death realized “according to the Scriptures” is an event that carries a “logos” in itself, a logic: Christ’s death testifies that the Word of God became human “flesh,” human “history,” without reserve. How and why this happened, we understand from the other addition Paul makes: Christ died “for our sins.” With these words the Pauline text takes up the prophecy of Isaiah contained in the fourth song of the Servant of God (cf. Isaiah 53:12). The Servant of God — the song says — “surrendered himself to death,” bore “the sins of the world,” and interceding for the “guilty” was able to bring the gift of reconciliation among men and between men and God: his is a death therefore that puts an end to death; the way of the cross leads to the resurrection.
In the verses that follow, the Apostle pauses over the Lord’s resurrection. He says that Christ “rose on the third day according to the Scriptures.” Again: “according to the Scriptures!” Not a few exegetes see in the expression “[he] rose on the third day according to the Scriptures” a significant reference to Psalm 16, where the Psalmist proclaims: “You will not abandon me in the netherworld, nor let his faithful one undergo corruption” (16:10). This is one of the texts of the Old Testament that was cited by early Christians to prove Jesus’ messianic character. Since, according to the understanding of Judaism, corruption began after the third day, the word of Scripture is fulfilled in Jesus who rises on the third day, that is, before corruption set in. St. Paul, faithfully transmitting the doctrine of the Apostles, stresses that the victory of Christ over death happens through the creative power of God’s Word. This divine power brings hope and joy: this is the definitive liberating content of the Easter revelation. God reveals himself and the power of the trinitarian love that annihilates the destructive forces of evil and death in the events of Easter.
And with humble confidence let us pray: “Jesus, who, rising from the dead, anticipated our resurrection, we believe in you!”
April 19, 2009