Thursday, April 13, 2017

The beginning of the work of the people

Another little extract from my collection of reflections on the Antiphons in the Breviary.

Antiphon on Magnificat
As they were eating † Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to His disciples.

From this moment on, the Body of Christ is broken for us, and there is no stopping the sequence of events that must follow. The sacrifice is truly made here at this table, and what follows is inextricably bound up with it. Every action now becomes a work of the people, a liturgy, as we respond to the Mystery that Our Lord has begun, and as we receive Him at His own hands.

Here begins the bending of the fabric of reality itself as we are commanded to make this memory more than an exercise of the mind but also an exercise of Creation. Only God can do this, for He alone can command what He has made with such complete dexterity and intent.

Here, the strange and unique interaction of paradoxes confounds earthly thought: the Invulnerable God and Vulnerable Man; the Eternal God and Mortal Man; the Transcendent God and Immanent Man. The more we ponder the tension between how these natures can be wrapped up within Jesus, the more the mind stares into a bewildering chasm of the Godhead and yet how completely the soul is enveloped in Love! Bread becomes Body; Wine becomes Blood; and Humanity can partake of the same Divinity which itself partakes of Humanity.

Our Salvation starts here, though “starts” is the wrong word for it, for it has started, starts and will start beyond our Time and Space. Nonetheless, if we fix our attention on the Mysterious Miracle being wrought here, this is where we will encounter our Salvation. Let us not forget the cost, though.

(As at the previous Vespers) Almighty God, we beseech Thee graciously to behold this Thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed, and given up into the hands of wicked men, and to suffer death upon the cross: [Silently] Who with Thee… liveth.

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