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Abiding by the Open Side of Christ
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Prayer was the central act of the person of Christ; indeed…he is constituted by prayer, of unbroken communication with the Father. We only really understand Jesus if we enter this prayer by participating in it…entering into the prayer of Christ…his act of love …is the basic precondition of real understanding. Love is the faculty of understanding, of seeing clearly, of beholding.
Jesus established a new people of God by transforming his death into an act of prayer, an act of love; thus, he did so by MAKING HIMSELF COMMUNICABLE…his life of self -donation, of obedience to the Father, of radical availability to human pain made it possible for people to participate in his most intimate and personal act of being, his dialogue with the father…..thus, he made it possible to say OUR FATHER.
By His Wounds we have been healed (1 Peter)….do you show him your wounds? Do you Hide in His wounds…to hide in His wounds is to place yourself in Jesus’ tremendous trust of the Father…His wounds only exist because He did not hold back from self -giving and such trust was rewarded by the Father by His own self-giving to Christ in the Resurrection. When you hide in his wounds you hide in this very reality AT THE CENTER OF ALL REALITY: Jesus’ trusting self-donation to the Father and The Father’s response of Self donation back to the Son. In these wounds Satan cannot find you….
Jesus’ whole life is one aimed at the cross (von Balthasar) which means that it is a life of love, because in this world love takes the form of the cross.
Jesus wants communion with his disciples and he takes them along with Him and communicates his power to stay faithful to love once he has died and been risen…His purpose is to initiate us into His own Mysteries…the receiving and giving of love in and out of the power of the Trinity… The only reason we can meet evil with love is because HE TAKES US THERE…without Him we can do NOTHING.
We want to receive into our wounds HIS HOLY COMMUNION, HIS WINE AND OIL, HIS BLOOD and WATER, HIS HOLY SPIRIT HIS LOVE OF THE FATHER AND THE FATHER’S LOVE OF HIM.
Christ has passed from this world into the Father by the pouring of His blood into us at the meal…at the new weak point of creation where the membrane is thinnest between our need and his loving desire to satisfy that need in healing. In the Eucharist Christ actively incorporates us into his mystical body…if we are available. The church is to draw all mankind into full participation in the Eucharistic mystery.
“They will look upon Him who they have pierced” (Zech 12)
Contemplating the pure self- donation of Christ upon the cross stirs up our desire to be taken up into it.
“If anyone thirsts let him come to Me and drink” (Jn 7:37)
This is the desire we want to be housed deeply within us, the desire purified and ordered toward its only satisfaction: receiving the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ and giving our lives so that all may so receive.
“Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (Jn 4:14)
We who receive the sacrifice of the cross then offer it to the Father in the Spirit because we are becoming what we offer (The Eucharist).
“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (Jn 7:38).
In this unity with the Spirit we can participate in the sacrifice of Christ with our lives…as the Spirit flows in us and from us.
Our role is to produce a heart ready to receive the power of Christ’s Resurrection just like we produce the bread and wine for Mass but God infills them with His life. Virtue longs to be completed by Grace, The Gifts of the Holy Spirit. All creation is groaning…longing…waiting…
Reflections written by Deacon James Keating