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The Liturgical Calendar Part 2 -- Post Pascha to Advent


And certain of them that were with us, went to the sepulchre and found it even as the women had said: but him they saw not. Then Jesus said unto them: O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory? Then beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24: 24-27

The setting for this Scripture is a post-Resurrection appearance of our Lord to two disciples, as they walked along the road to Emmaus, not far from Jerusalem. The two men were discussing the events of the last few days: they "had trusted that it had been he who should redeem Israel." Of course, they had expected an earthly liberation from the Romans and they were plainly disappointed. Perhaps our modern "liberation" theologians, with their focus on this-world oppression and horizontal redemption, are the descendants of these perplexed disciples, fixed on Palm Sunday, truly believing neither in Good Friday nor Pascha Sunday. Our Lord's word to them must be the same as to these two on the road to Emmaus: "O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered and to enter into glory."

But our Lord did not leave these disciples to dangle on his rebuke; he begins immediately to light up their darkness: "beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures, the things concerning himself." Indeed, the forty days of Eastertide, from Pascha to the Ascension were a kind of postgraduate finishing course for the Apostles, during which he explained to them many things which they did not get -until now. They were now ready to see Christ in Moses and the prophets. Let us then put ourselves in the place of these two disciples and, with them be instructed by the presence of our Lord, "in all the Scriptures."


The secular agenda of the liberationists often underestimate Christ, reducing him to an inspirational hero, and understate the Holy Spirit, reducing him to a motivational * esprit de corp, * or a trendy *zeitgeist* By the same token, they tend to OVERESTIMATE man and human society, seeing a perfectability in them that has no warrant either in Scripture, tradition or reason; certainly none in experience or history.

As human beings, we live in a perpetual conflict between what we know to be right and what we believe will profit us or give us pleasure. Our consciences, except when very badly formed, or so hardened by neglect as to become silenced, still "bear witness,"(Rom 2: 14-16) But, often we choose, quite deliberately to go for the "enjoyable." Indeed, we seem to have a bent to make the bad choice. The Bible explains this "bent" as resulting from a primal disobedience by our ancestors: -- "When the woman saw the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes,"-- and the profitable-"and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat," (Gen3:1-6) We have been making, ever since, choices of things that seemed more pleasant than what we knew was the good. Saint Paul has said it for us all: "The good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do," (Rom7:16-25)

" I was shapen in wickedness, and in sin hath my mother conceived me," King David cried. (Psalm 51:1) But it is a cry in which we can all join. To this "original sin," this bent to disobedience of our primal parents, we each and all add our own actual sins. But inclination to lesser goods is only one of the consequences of Adam and Eve's disobedience; disease and death and the loss of fellowship with God are also part of the pandora's box, opened by Mother Eve.

But, just as in the Greek myth , there is at the bottom of the box, a remedy: it is called hope. "We are saved by hope," St Paul tells us. But hope in what? Well, by disobedience, we have turned our backs on God who is the author of that still small voice we call conscience, the voice that tells us when we are doing wrong, on the God who created us that we might enjoy his fellowship. The problem then is: how do we get back this lost relationship?

It is fashonable, nowadays to ignore conscience, to put it down as the product of our own superegos or irational guilt. But, if conscience is simply something generated from within us and from us, why do we feel the demands of conscience as standing over and against, not only ourselves but all interested parties. Indeed, we feel conscience as a moral imperative coming not simply from within, but originating from something beyond.

Modern pagans would substitute self reliance or self actualization or self epression or "doing what comes naturally," for the demands of conscience. The moral upshot of the pagan notion of God is what we might call self-help, self-actualization. You can be better; you can do it; pull yourself up by your boot straps: the focus is on OUR perceptions, OUR efforts and OUR achievements, seen as the center of reality and "value." It is the creed of many so called "motivational speakers." Unfortunately, it is also the creed of some who call themselves Christian preachers and teachers. It is not new; it was confronted by St. Augustine and condemned by the Church in the fourth century. The leading exponent was a British monk named Pelagius. So we call this notion that we can save ourselves, pelagianism. All the philosophies of social engineering, from Marx to Dewey, from the French Revolution to "Liberation" theology, from "final solutions" to "political correctness", are merely Pelagianism writ large.

If you have tried this do-it-yourself salvation-and many of us have- you know that it does not work. First, as we have shown, because it does not take God seriously enough, Secondly, because it does not take sin seriously enough. Pelagianism reduces sin to lack of serious purpose, "poor self image," improper education or social lag. But sin is not a matter of feeling or perception; it is a matter of fact. Neither is it a social problem that can be "fixed" by the pursuit of "peace and justice," or by respecting the "dignity of every human person." These solutions to the problem of sin are all putting the cart before the horse. Sin is a fact that goes to the very core of our being. The Bible calls this center of our affections, the heart. "Out of the heart,"said Jesus, "proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness." (Mark 7:21 ) The Hebrew prophet Jeremiah observed: "the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) So much is sin a part of the core of our being that we are unable to free ourselves from it.

And yet, I said there was hope. If not in our efforts, where then can we find hope? Let us look again at the story of the fall in Genesis (Gen 3 ). Adam and Eve disobeyed God because they believed the lie of the devil that if they ate of the forbidden tree, "Ye shall be as gods." (Gen. 3:5 ) Pretty dizzying stuff! But the fruit looked good and was said to convey knowledge, a great good, so they disobeyed, choosing lesser goods in defiance of the greatest good. So man was banished from paradise. (3:-24 )

Now, remember our text: remember our Lord's conversation with the perplexed disciples on the road to Emmaus. "Beginning with Moses and the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures, the THINGS CONCERNING HIMSELF." This book of Genesis or "Beginnings"-for that is what the word means in Hebrew-- is the "first book of Moses;" is Christ indeed here in this book? When Eve tried to shift the blame for her disobedience to the Serpent or the Devil, God did not let her off the hook,( 3:10 & 16 ) but he did address some interesting words to the Serpent. This animal whose form Satan had used as tempter was made to symbolize the fall in his very being ;for he was transformed from an upright being to one that would grovel on his belly in the dust. ( 3:14 )But there was more: "I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy heal and thou shalt bruise his head." Ah, here in the midst of sin and disobedience, in the midst of condemnation and dissolution is the hope.

This hope was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, born of a woman, yet God made flesh to dwell among us and reverse the disobedience of Adam by his obedience. "He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross." (Philippians 2:8 ) By this obedience unto death, he reversed Satan's disobedience and redeemed us from the curse of that disobedience. Thus, he restored the lost relationship with God and so made, as we say at-one-ment between God and man. Jesus' death was the bruising of the Devil's heel, but his death, the price of our redemption, was the bruising of his head. St. Paul sums up: "We joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the atonement. Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. . . . as by one man's disobedience, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

But how, you must ask, how is this obedience made to apply to me? How can it make me righteous? We must defer the answer to that question until another time. Let us close now with the poetic transcription of this great truth by Cardinal Newman: O loving wisdom of our God, when all was sin and shame, A second Adam to the fight and to the rescue came. O wisest love that flesh and blood, which did in Adam fail, should strive afresh against the foe, should strive and should prevail. Praise to the Holiest in the height and in the depth be praise; in all his words most wonderful, most sure in all his ways.


Jesus himself stood in the midst of them and saith unto them: peace be unto you. But, they were terrified and affrighted and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, why are ye troubled and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. . . . And he said unto them, these are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me. Luke 24:36-44

In our last meditation, we saw the amazement of the disciples who walked along the road to Emmaus, when they were joined by a stranger, who turned out to be their risen Lord Jesus. Jesus attempted to dispell their amazement by showing them in the Scriptures of the Old Testament the "things concerning himself." (Luke 24:26) He asked them a question crucial to their understanding of the books of Moses, the Psalms and the Prophets: "Ought not Christ to have suffered?"

After that, Luke tells us, in the text cited above, that Christ appeared to the eleven Apostles. As the others were amazed, these were "terrified and affrighted." Jesus' first words to them were a benediction: "Peace be unto you.." His next were a question: "Why are ye troubled"? He first showed them his hands and feet and even took some food, to show that he was not a spirit, but indeed, the actual Jesus, flesh and bood, with whom they had walked and prayed and whom they had seen crucified and buried; the very same, in actual body, risen from the dead!

"Why are ye troubled?" he asks, I told you about this when I was with you. He then takes them through the Old Testament Books: Moses, Psalms and Prophets, to answer the question that he posed for the Emmaus Road disciples: "Ought not Christ to have suffered?" he asked them; "It behoved Christ to suffer," he told the eleven.

This time between the Resurrection and the Ascension becomes, indeed, for the disciples, a time of instruction, in which the inevitability of God's plan of salvation is seen from the Old Testament Scriptures. Let us then, during these forty days join the disciples at the Master's feet and there learn to see him, "in all the Scriptures."

Luke speaks of the post-Resurrection appearance to which we have just referred as to the eleven. Yet, John tells us (John 20:24) that Thomas was not there on that occasion. So it was that Thomas doubted, until he could see the risen Lord himself, the following week.

Perhaps you will remember that it was Thomas who, in the upper room, when Our Lord was trying to prepare the disciples for the coming trial, cried out in distress: "Lord, we know not whither thou goest, how can we know the way?" (John 14 :3-5 )

Jesus answered Thomas, and you and me and all the children of Adam, past present and for all time to come: : "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me."


The Way to the Father, to our Creator, was broken by the disobedience of Adam, our primal ancestor. Because of Adam's sin, God thrust Adam, and with him, all his progeny, out of the Eden of Divine fellowship and placed an Angel with flaming sword, to bar the WAY to the tree of life. (Genesis 3: 1-24 )

With this "original sin," there fell upon all men a proness, a bent, toward disobedience, toward "doing our own thing." As the Prophet Isaiah put it, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his OWN WAY." ( 53:6 ) Indeed, in the very next chaper of Genesis, Adam's first born, Cain kills his younger brother Abel, in a fit of jealousy. So it has been, ever since. Before the great flood, "God looked upon the earth, and behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his WAY upon earth." Genesis 6:12 )

The book of Job depicts man as wandering, "in a wilderness where there is no WAY. They grope in the dark without light and he [ the Lord ] maketh them to stagger like a drunken man." ( Job 12: 24-25 )He cries out in frustration, "God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net. . . . He hath fenced up MY WAY that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness in my paths." ( Job 19: 6 & 8 )

And Isaiah says of the jaded great men of his day--and does it not still ring true, to our ears?-- "Thou art wearied in the greatness of THY WAY." ( Is 57:10 )

So, wearied of the illusion of self sufficiency, men cried out to God for deliverance. The Psalms abound in such: "Lead me O Lord in thy righteousness, . . . ake THY WAY straight before my face." ( 5:8 ) "Teach me THY WAY, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path." ( 27:11) "That THY WAY may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations." ( 67:2) "Cause me to know the WAY wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. ( 143:8 ) Note the shift here from my way to thy way.

God always hears the cry of the penitant soul. So, we read in Isaiah, "Let the wicked forsake HIS WAY, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." ( 55:7 ) "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the WAY OF THE LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." (40:3 ) And we are at the curtain riser for St. John Baptist who proclaimed the advent of the living WAY: "The lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." ( John 1: 29 ), "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." ( 1: 9 )

If, indeed, Jesus Christ is, as he claimed, the WAY back to the Father's fellowship, and if, indeed "no man cometh to the Father, BUT BY ME." ( John 14:6 ) then we must ask: what is the nature of this way?

First, Christ's way is a WAY of OBEDIENCE: Adam had lost man's fellowship with God by disobedience; Jesus redeemed it by obedience. Contrast the scene in the garden with the scene in the desert: When Satan, in the guise of a serpent tempted Eve,and through her Adam, to disobey God by eating a pleasant but forbidden fruit, They both bit the fruit without much hesitation. They both said no to God and yes to Satan. (Gen 3 ) When he tried the same trick with Jesus, the response was different: "It is written that man shall not live by bread alone." And when he persisted with other suggestions to disobedience, Jesus finally commanded him: "Get thee hence Satan: for it is written thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou serve.." And what followed? "And the devil leaveth him, and behold, Angels came and ministered to him." ( Matthew 4: 1-11 )

Go now to another garden, Gethesemene, and compare it too with that primal garden in Eden. Again, instead of the assertion of self will and enjoyment, Christ wrestles with the necessity for his death and prays, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: never the less, NOT MY WILL, but thine be done." ( Luke 22:42 ) Our Lord identified himself with Psalm 40: 10, "In the volume of the book, it is written of me, that I should fulfill THY WILL, O my God: I am content to do it; yea, thy law is within my heart." Thus, our Lord, "humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." ( Philipians 2:8 )

Thus, it is a WAY OF BLOOD. The reason Cain killed his brother was because God rejected his sacrifice of the "fruit of the ground," but accepted Abel's sacrifice of a "firstling of his flock," of sheep. ( Gen 4 ) For, "without the sheddng of blood is no remission." ( Hebrews 8:22 ) There can be no return to fellowship without the cross. This is to many modern men, a great stumbling block. But, the WAY was made clear by many types in the Old Testament. The sacrifices of the Patriarchs from Abel to Abraham, to Issac and Jacob culminated in a more elaborate ritual as seen inaugurated by Moses in the book of Exodus: "And he sent young men of the Children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the Lord. And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar, and he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, all that the Lord hath said will we do, and be OBEDIENT. and Moses took the BLOOD, and SPRINKLED it on the people, and said, behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words." ( Exodus 24: 5-8 )
Note that the blood was sprinkled only after a promise of obedience. Now compare with the passage from Exodus , this from the First Epistle of St. Peter,

He addresses Christians as "Elect, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto

OBEDIENCE and SPRINKLING of the blood of Jesus Christ;" I Peter 1:2 ) . It seems clear that St. Peter has this passage from Exodus in mind and that he extolls the virtues of a more excellent covenant.

"Of course, so too, did our Lord, when he instituted the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in the upper room, saying: "This is my blood of the New Testament, [ i.e. new covenant] which is shed for many for the remission of sins. ( Mathew 26:28 ) Without the shedding of blood is no remission.

The great deliverence of Israel began with a sacrifice of a lamb "without blemish ," Kill it in the evening. . .take of the BLOOD and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door posts of the houses . . . .for I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt,both man and beast and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. And the blood shall be for a token upon the houses where ye are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you." ( Exodus 12: 5-14 )

St. Paul says succinctly: "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us." I Corinthians 5:7 ) So, our Lord, was announced by St. John the Baptist, as "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." And St. Peter reminds us that, " ye were not redeemed with corruptible things . . . but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (I Peter 1:18-19) St. Paul comments: "Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price." (I Cor. 6:19-20 ) Here we see the motive for the obedience.

Finally, it is a WAY of substitutionary LOVE. God speaks through Jeremiah: "I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee. (31:3) The consequence of this "everlasting love," is seen in the marvelous portrait of the Redeemer, in Isaiah 53; "Surely he hath born OUR GRIEFS and carried OUR SORROWS. . . he was wounded for OUR TRANSGRESSIONS, he was bruised for OUR INIQUITIES, the chastisement of OUR PEACE was UPON HIM and with his stripes we are healed. ALL we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned EVERYONE to his own way and the Lord hath LAID ON HIM THE INIQUITYof US ALL.

Again, St. Peter echos this passage: "Christ also suffered for us, . . . . who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: . . . . who his own self bare OUR SINS in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." ( I Peter 2:21--24 )

It was not to keep the Romans from persecuting the Jews and destroying their religious structures, nor was it to preserve the Pax Romana in Palestine, but for our sins, for mine and for yours, that our Lord was crucified.

All these ideas of obedience, blood sacrifice and substitutionary love come together in the sacrifice of Issac in Genesis 22. God commands Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Issac. Issac is the "son of the promise," so how can God fulfill his promise to make of Abraham "great nations," if the only son will be sacrificed. Issac was himself born when Sarah and Abraham were past very old. And Abraham loved his son dearly. But God commanded him: "Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest and get thee into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." Vv1&2 ) And Abraham OBEYED. At the end a three days journey, Abraham and little Issac and their attendants came to the selected spot.

There is here a very moving scene: as Abraham gets together the wood and the knife for the sacrifice, little Issac says:"My father,. . . behold the fire and the wood but where is the lamb for the burnt offering? And Abraham said: my son, God will provide himself a lamb." (vv 6-8 )

And so Abraham "built an altar and laid the wood in order and bound Issac, his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. and Abraham stretched forth his hand and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven . . ." ( vv 9-11 ) Well, the Angel commanded him not to slay his son and there was a ram in a nearby thicket waiting to become the victim, in Issacs stead. So we have substitution and sacrifice of BLOOD. For, "Abraham went and took the ram and OFFERED IT UP for a burnt offering IN THE STEAD of his son. " (v 13 ) of obedience, for God blessed Abraham, "because thou hast OBEYED my voice." (v.18 ) and also the great love, in that Abraham, "hast NOT WITHHELD thy son, thine ONLY SON." ( v.16 )

So Jesus was to say, with his own sacrifice in mind, " God so loved the world that he GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:1 ) And St John was left to sum up: Herein is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." ( I John 4:10 )

"Amazing love, how can it be that thou my God should die for me!" Well, what can we do? We must surely stand amazed in the presence of such obedience, unto death, in the presence of such love that gave a son to redeem sinners, in the presence of such priceless blood shed for our redemption. Think on that divine body subjected to such aweful death and then think that it was for you and how can you not bow in contrition and repent of your sins and self will and pray for grace: for grace to obey and for grace to accept that gift as your only hope of salvation, your only WAY to the father?

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up unto joy, but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified; mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the Cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through the same thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Then saith Jesus to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless but believing .And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. ( John 20:27-28 )

We noted, in our last meditation, that when the Lord first appeared to the Apostles, Thomas was absent. Of course, the others told him all about it, but Thomas was skeptical. "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails," he said, " and put my finger into the print of the nails and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe." ( John 20:25) So our courteous Lord, as Dame Julian called him, condescended to Thomas' need. He reappeared and invited Thomas to touch those wounds "Be not faithless, but believing," said the Lord. And Thomas, touching those blessed wounds whence the sacred blood flowed to purchase our salvation, exclaimed: "My Lord and my God."

We also commented, in that same meditation, about another exchange between Jesus and Thomas. When Thomas protested that he knew neither whither nor way that Jesus was going, Jesus replied: "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh to the Father but by me." We explored the concept of Jesus as the WAY in the last meditation, let us look now at Jesus as the TRUTH.

"What is truth?" asked Pilate. "There is no 'the' truth," says the relativist, "only multiple view-points: your truth and my truth etc. etc." So what can Jesus have meant when he proclaimed himself the Truth?

The English word comes from the Old English *treowth* which meant "fidelity." It is still heard sometimes in the traditional marriage ceremony. The groom promises to "have and to hold . . . for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, according to God's holy ordinance, til death do us part, and thereto I plight thee my troth." To plight means to give a solemn pledge. The bride promises the same, except in the old ceremony, the words " and obey" were added after cherish and, instead of plighting the troth, she " gives " it.

Truth then is fidelity. It is that in which one can repose trust, in the case of Jesus Christ who is THE Truth, someone in whom one can repose ultimate and total trust. Thus, St. Thomas' declaration might be viewed as a response to Jesus' earlier proclamation of himself as the Truth. When he exclaims "My Lord and my God!" he is saying I believe in you as the Truth, for he sees very clearly now that Jesus has vindicated his claims to divinity by the Resurrection.

Let us continue our search in Moses, Psalms and Prophets for footprints of Christ, the Truth. As with Christ as the Way, we begin our search in the Garden of Eden. In his primal fall, man not only lost the Way to God, he lost the truth: the trust that had existed between man and God was destroyed by the surrender to the temptation of the Devil. Satanl said, in effect, God has lied to you when he said you would die from eating the forbidden fruit; on the contrary, you will become as Gods. Man chose to believe Satan rather than God, and thus destroyed the bond of truth. So man lives a life of mutual distrust and lies, they know not the Truth. "Ye are of your father the devil," said Christ, " there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own, for he is a liar, and the father of it." Only in Jesus Christ can man, lost in infidelity, find his way back to the Truth.

The Truth is, first of all ETERNAL ; it is not provisional, but for all times. "The truth of the Lord, endureth forever." Psalm 117:2 ) Let us go to the first verse in the Bible, Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. " And indeed the eternal Son was here too, for St. John tells us at the beginning of his Gospel: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was IN THE BEGINNING with God. ALL THINGS WERE MADE BY HIM And without him was not anything made that was made.

It has become fashionable today to describe the triune God, not as Father, Son and Holy Ghost, but rather as Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier, as modes or functions of the One God, rather than three * persona * in one being. But this verse from John's Gospel makes it clear that The Son, the Holy Word of God, was present and active in the creation, as well as the Father, and indeed so too was the Holy Spirit, as we see from the second verse of the Bible ". . . and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. " So, although the Father is properly called "Maker of heaven and earth," yet it is not proper to call him this, so as to suggest that "the Father" is the name by which we call God in his creative mode. For the Holy Trinity was involved in its triunity, in the making of heaven and earth. So the Word was "in the beginning." "There was not a time when he was not." said the Fathers at the Council of Nicea, and so spoke for the Church forever, closing that subject for discussion. That is Truth we can trust, eternal truth.

Second, Truth is TRANSCENDENT: being beyond the limits of experience and knowledge. The Scripture usually expresses transcendence in spacial metaphor: " "Thy truth reacheth unto the clouds!" ( Psalm 108:4 ). But, we see another expression of it in the story of Moses' encounter with God in the burning bush. As he pastured his flock, Moses saw a bush that was burning but did not burn up. Curiosity provoked closer inspection. Then "God called unto him out of the midst of the bush and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not hither, put off thy shoes from off thy feet, For the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said: I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Issac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face for he was afraid to look upon God." ( Exodus 3:1-6 ) . God tells Moses that he will bring the Children of Israel out of their captivity in Egypt, to serve him. Moses says when I tell this to the Children of Israel they will ask me, "What is his NAME? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, "I Am that I am." ( vv. 13 & 14 )

The transcendence of God is shown here in several ways: " Draw not hither, put off thy shoes. . . Where thou standest is holy ground," and, not least, in the sacred Name, here revealed to Moses, I AM THAT I AM. But, you say, what has this to do with Jesus Christ? He did not behave that way; he invited all men, especially sinners, to come to him. Yes he did, and I shall return to that later, but consider what Jesus said to the Jews when they questioned his authority: "Verily I say unto you, before Abraham was, I AM" (John :58 ) Was this choice of words, mere coincidence?

Consider also the following incidents in the Gospel:

1. " His disciples went down unto the sea and when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid." (John 6:19-20)

2. "Jesus took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. ( Luke 9:28-31 )

3. In the Garden when the soldiers came to arrest him, Jesus said, "Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also which betrayed him stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward and fell to the ground." (John 18:4- 6)

These incidents all have the same numinous quality of the burning bush appearance. Does not our overfamiliar worship, so common today, fall short of the recognition of the Transcendent God whom we worship even in and through Jesus Christ? Sometimes we do sing "Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and with fear and trembling stand." Yet as soon as the hymn is over, do we not relapse into an " And with you also," mode, and a gather- all-the-women-and-children-around-the- altar mode ? Isaiah foretold the immanent transcendence of the Lord : "Unto to us a child is born, unto to us a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the MIGHTY GOD, the EVERLASTING FATHER." ( Isaiah 9:6 ) Whatever our words say, I suggest our current modes of celebrating the Holy Liturgy more often deny than affirm this great truth. And yet, Truth is also EN-FLESHED. "The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth." ( Ps 145:18 ) Isaiah had foretold this: "Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Im-manu-el." the word means "God with us." (Is 7:14)

In the last chapter of the book of Exodus, we read the story of how Moses built the Tabernacle which God had commanded:

"And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work. Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the GLORY of the Lord FILLED the TABERNACLE." ( Exodus 40:34 )

Now let us look again at the first chapter of St. John's Gospel: "And the Word was made flesh, and DWELT [ Greek " TABERNACLED"' ] among us, and we beheld his Glory, the GLORY as of the only begotten of the Father, FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH." John 1:14 )

God of God, indeed, but also man, born of the Virgin Mary. Thus, as we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews, "We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities: but was in all points tempted like as we are , yet without sin." ( 4:15 ) Neither a godly man nor a God in human appearance, but the only true God-man. If he had not been God, he could not have paid the price for our sins; if he had not been man, he could not have saved man.

So we come to another feature of the Truth. Truth is SAVING. The whole creation groaned under the burden of the great lie foisted upon man by Satan: "Ye shall be as gods!" and so pride in life and of life exalted itself in all our sort, exalted itself beyond measure, exalted itself because we were all tainted with a bent toward "having our own way." "I was shapen in wickedness and in sin hath my mother conceived me," said the Psalmist, " But lo thou requirest TRUTH in the inward parts." ( Ps51:5&6) "Hear me O God in the multitude of thy mercy, even in the TRUTH of thy SALVATION. Take me out of the mire that I sink not!" ( Ps 69:14 & 15 ).

He cried out ( as also all priests of the Western Church used to, as they approached the great mystery of the Eucharist ) "O send out thy light and thy TRUTH that they may lead me and bring me unto thy holy hill and to thy DWELLING. [ KJV has TABERNACLE, ] " (Ps. 43:3 ) And, in answer: "the Word was made flesh and DWELT [ TABERNACLED ] among us ( and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and TRUTH." ( John 1:14) "I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee" Jeremiah 31:3) Our Lord has drawn us by taking our very nature upon himself, by dying in our stead, dying for our sins. "Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; . . . He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:4 )

"Full of grace and Truth," because for the Lord of the Universe to take our station and situation upon himself was both necessary and unmerited. Nothing we could do could ever merit this great act of God, " for us men and for our salvation." This plighting of the troth must come by the heavenly bridegroom before we can even lift up our heads to consent to give ours. If we come to love him, and how can we not, "We love him because he first loved us."

St Augustine expressed it so very well: "Him that wills not, grace comes to meet, that he may will; him that wills, she follows up that he may not will in vain." *Enchiridion* C 82

But, how can we encounter our Lord as Saving Truth, Truth that frees from the fads and fashions of the moment, the tyranny of the moment's majority, Truth that saves not just from today's mirage , but from eternity's desert, that saves us not just to the successful life we can "get," and enjoy and spend, but to the life "more abundant" springing up to eternal bliss, without end, where we poor souls are made rich in love, where we will love and be loved and see him, in all his glory and beauty who first loved us, that we might be able to love. How can we find this love?

Love made TRUTH PERDURATIVE. Let us return to the Garden of Eden. God created woman, and from this she took her name, by taking her from man's side: "Taken from man, made he a woman and brought her to man. And Adam said , his is now BONE OF MY BONES and FLESH OF MY FLESH: She shall be called woman because she was TAKEN OUT of man." (Gen 2:22 & 23 )

Go now to Calvary where love Incarnate died for us: "Then came the soldiers and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced HIS SIDE, and forthwith CAME THERE OUT BLOOD AND WATER." John 1:32-34)

Finally, we must look at St. Paul's commentary on the Genesis passage: "Husbands love your wives as Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of WATER by the Word. That he might present it to himself a glorious Church . . . For we are MEMBERS All Hallows Hall presents a traditionalist Christian Classical alternative to "politically correct" prep schools. "Tradition refused to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about."

Putting these passages together we see that the Enfleshed Truth continued his life among us with the creation. From His pierced SIDE of the Church, FLESH OF HIS FLESH and BONE OF HIS BONES, as Eve was created from Adam's side. From the water and blood flowing from this blessed side, were composed the sacraments of the New Covenant, the regenerating water of baptism and the Body and Blood received in the Mass, by which and through which, the Church is continuously created: "The Church of the living God, the PILLAR and GROUND of TRUTH." ( I Timothy 3:15)

The Church has enshrined these features of the TRUTH in the creeds that she recites at the sacraments. By those creeds, we reaffirm our pledge of troth, our fidelity, to our Lord. The creeds enshrine the TRUTH that if we but know, "shall make us free, " (John 8:32 ) free from the temporary subject-to-revision "facts," and fashions of the momenbt, from the consensus of the crowd that happens to be in power. The creeds enshrine the TRUTH that "unless we believe, we shall not be saved." We close then with Cardinal Newman's beautiful words about the Athanasian Creed. He called it, " A hymn and confession of self-prostrating homage," and "The war song of faith with which we warn first ourselves, then each other, and then all those who are within his hearing of the TRUTH, who our God is and how we must worship him, and how vast our responsibility will be, if we KNOW what to believe and yet believe not. " ( *Grammar of Assent* )


I am the way, the truth and the LIFE, no man cometh unto the Father but by me. (John 14:6)

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. . . . And Jesus came and spake unto them saying, All power is given unto me, in heaven and in earth, Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded and Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. ( Matthew 27:1-20 )

But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. (Acts 1: 8 & 9 )

Ascensiontide is a pivotal season: it completes the Resurrection, because it means that our human nature is taken up to the very throne of God, where Christ "ever liveth to make intercession for us," but it also anticipates Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit. It therefore celebrates Jesus Christ as the Lord of life, who came that we, "might have life. . . and have it more abundantly." ( John 10:10 ) "Search the Scriptures," our Lord said, "for in them ye think ye have eternal Life, and they are they which testify of ME." And why not? He is not only the Way to be obeyed and the Truth to be believed but he is the very LIFE of the soul. Well, let us follow his command and begin in Genesis, as has been our want in previous meditations.

First, we learn that GOD CREATED LIFE: The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils, the BREATH OF LIFE, and man became a living soul. ( Gen. 2:7 )
Thus we are all of us, "of one blood," children of God by creation and dependent upon him for our very breath. Yet, in the very next chapter, we learn that MAN DESTROYED LIFE. This creature, man, created in the image of God and given life by God, abrogated this precious gift, by his disobedience. After Adam chose to believe Satan rather than God and to eat of the forbidden fruit, Unto Adam God said: Because thou hast harkened unto the voice of thy wife and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, thou shalt not eat of it: CURSED IS THE GROUND for thy sake. . . . The Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the Garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the TREE OF LIFE." ( Gen 3:17, 23&24 )

And so, as St. Paul says, As by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so DEATH PASSED UPON ALL MEN, for that all have sinned. (Romans 5:12 )

But, we learn from Scriptures also that CHRIST RESTORED LIFE. In the first book of the Bible, we learn that, through disobedience, death came as part of a curse and man's way to the tree of life was barred; in the last book we learn that, through obedience, death was destroyed the curse ended and the way to the Tree of Life restored: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes and there shall be NO MORE DEATH. And he that sat upon the Throne said: Behold I make all things new . . . I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athrist of the fountain of the WATER OF LIFE freely. . . And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain and he showed me that great city , the Holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God. . . . . in the midst of the street of it and on either side of the river which was there the TREE OF LIFE which bear twelve manner of fruits: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of nations. And there shall be NO MORE CURSE. . . . Blessed are they that do his commandments that they may have right to the TREE OF LIFE. . ( Revelation 21:4-6 & 10; 22;2&3,14 )

How did we get from creation to restoration? In the words of Cardinal Newman, "When all was sin and shame, a second Adam to the fight and to the rescue came." The "rescue," was paradoxical: in order to restore life to man, Christ had himself to die, to "taste death for every man." ( Hebrews 2:9) Thus, he paid the penalty for the disobedience of our race, reversing Adam's disobedience unto death by his own obedience unto death. But the Lord of Life did not remain captive to death: In three days he rose from the dead. Thus he became "the first fruits of them that slept; for since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection from the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so IN CHRIST shall all be made alive." ( I Corinthians 15:20-22 )

"IN CHRIST": there's the secret of the restoration of life, in-corporation into Christ. But, how is such a thing possible? What things are required for life? Let me suggest three: Water, breath, nourishment. Of course, there can be no healthy life without love, but, as you will soon discern, love is the great motive behind all the provisions God has made for our life of grace.


As the astro-biologists who look for places in outer space that might sustain or once might have sustained life will tell you: water is a vital requirement. When Adam and Eve thought, by disobedience, to become, as Satan had promised, "like gods," they began the sad train, everyman's recurrent fantasy of living without God: My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold NO WATER. (Jeremiah 2:13 ) Look at the scripture picture of death and desolateness, of man without God, the valley of dry bones: The hand of the Lord was upon me and carried me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones and caused me to pass by them round about and behold there were very many in the open valley; and lo, they were VERY DRY. ( Ezekiel 37: 1-3 )

The psalmist compares his soul's need for God, with the body's need for water: My soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh also longeth after thee, in a Barren and DRY LAND where no water is. (Ps 63:2 ) and this longing for God, he compares to the desire of a thirsty deer who runs toward a familiar brook: Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks, so longeth my soul after thee. My soul is ATHIRST for God, yea even for the LIVING God. (Ps 42: 1&2 ) And, again, he cried out to the living God: For with thee is the WELL OF LIFE. (Ps 36:9 )

We remember, in this connection, Jesus' conversation with the Samaritan woman: Jesus said unto her, if thou knewest the gift of God and who it is . . . Thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee LIVING WATER. . . . . Whosoever drinketh of the WATER that I shall give him shall NEVER THRIST; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well, of water springing up INTO EVERLASTING LIFE. ( 4:7-154 ) Had not the Prophet Isaiah said: Ho everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the WATERS ? ( 55:1 ) And to the Jews assembled for a great feast in Jerusalem, Jesus cried out: If any man thrist, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said out of his belly shall flow rivers of LIVING WATER. ( John 7: 37 & 38 )

And in antiphonal anticipation, Isaiah exclaims: With joy shall ye draw WATER out of the WELLS of SALVATION! ( 12:3 )

Now remember, we are still pursuing the question: how is it possible to be " IN CHRIST," for Christ IS the life, and that is the secret to the restoration of our life. Remember too the grand paradox: Christ began the restoration of our life in his death. Go then to that aweful scene on Calvary. You will recall that, when the soldiers came to Jesus and found he was dead, "one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side and forthwith there came out BLOOD AND WATER." ( John 19: 32-34 ) Now go to John's commentary on this verse: This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only but by water and blood; and it is the Spirit that beareth witness. " (I John 8: )

Now, look at Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus ( 3:1-5 ): Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.

We are getting closer to the solution of our puzzle. But Nicodemus has the same puzzlement: How can a man be born when he is old ? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born again?

Listen now to the answer of our Lord: Except a man be born OF WATER AND OF THE SPIRIT, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God."

All right; but have we only replaced one question with another: how can a man be "born of water and of the Spirit" ?

We must call Saint Paul to our aid:
So many of us as were baptized INTO JESUS CHRIST were baptized INTO HIS DEATH. Therefore we are buried with him BY BAPTISM INTO DEATH. " ( Romans 6: 3&4 ) Now we begin to understand: Baptism is IN WATER; out of Christ's side came WATER & Blood, and, "it is the Spirit that beareth witness. " So Christ's saying becomes clear: to be "Born of WATER AND THE SPIRIT," means to be "Baptized into his death." But, how does his death become our life?

There is more:
That like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk IN NEWNESS OF LIFE." ( V 4 )

Remember that Baptism involves both a plunging into the water ( buried into his death ) and a raising up out of the water ( raised in his Resurrection ): Buried with him in baptism wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of the Son of God, who hath raised him from the dead. ( Colossians 2:12 )

We have almost completed the solution to our puzzle. Let us stay with our guide:
As the body is one and hath many members and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For BY one SPIRIT are we all BAPTIZED into one body . . . . and have all been made TO DRINK into ONE SPIRIT. For the body is not one member, but many ( I Corinthians 12: 12-14 )

Just as Eve was born from Adam's side, so a new body, the Church, was born from Christ's side, born from his death, born from the pierced side, witnessed by the Holy Spirit, born of WATER and BLOOD and composed of all the members who by baptism are incorporated into that death and raised in his Resurrection. Therefore with joy shall ye DRAW WATER out of the WELLS OF SALVATION. " Isaiah 12: 3 ) And so, just before Jesus ascended to his Father, he left the Apostles command to go into all the world, teaching them and , Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 2:19 )

He added that they, should not depart from Jerusalem , but wait for the promise of the Father . . . . Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you. (Acts 1:4 & 8 )


Remember the Valley of Dry Bones? . . . they were very dry. And The Lord said, "son of man, can these bones live? And I answered , O Lord God thou knowest. . . . Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; behold I will cause BREATH to enter into you, and ye SHALL LIVE. (Ezekiel 27: 2-5 ) "After that the Holy Ghost [ Holy SPIRIT ] is come upon you," Jesus declared, "Ye shall be witnesses unto me . . . Unto the uttermost part of the earth." ( Acts 1: 8 ) Both the Hebrew * ruah * and the Greek *pneuma * carry the triple meanings of wind, breath and spirit. And, Had not the Psalmist declared: Send forth thy SPIRIT and they shall be CREATED and shall RENEW the face of the earth. (Psalm 104 : 30)?

Wait for the promise of the Father," Jesus had said. This period of waiting between the Ascension and Pentecost, between Jesus' returning to the Father and the descent of the Holy Spirit , this nine days was the first novena- watching, praying and waiting, waiting for the promise of the Father, for the BREATH of LIFE, the power that came with the Holy Spirit.. So, when the day came, Suddenly, there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing MIGHTY WIND, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. . . And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2: 2 )

As in the first creation, when the "Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters," so in this new creation, this new birth in the baptismal waters, once again the Spirit of God moves upon the face of the waters, whence the new Sons of God will be "buried with Christ," and lifted thence in new resurrection life, with him, IN HIM. In token of this, in some uses, the priest breathes upon the water. But, after Baptism, there is another imparting of the Holy Spirit, a breathing not upon the water, but upon the new Christian, who anointed with holy oil is, Sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise , which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession unto the praise of his glory. ( Ephesians 3: 13 -14 ) By baptism we are incorporated into Christ, into his death and Resurrection:
Crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, ; yet not I but Christ liveth in me. ( Galatians 2:20 )

And this incorporation is a great expectation: "Christ in you, the hope of glory." ( Col. 1:27 ) In this "second sacrament," called Confirmation or Chrismation, our incorporation is sealed by the Holy Spirit. The "sealing" is, on the one hand a "mark of possession," in which we are claimed by the Holy Trinity, recognized as sons of God, and, on the other, a token or claim check, an "earnest of our inheritance." ?

And because ye are Sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. ( Galatians 4: 6 & 7 )

And what is this inheritance, of which we, as sons of God, are joint heirs with Christ?

Behold what manner of love the father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God! . . . Beloved now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. ( I John 3: 1 & 2 ) So, in a nutshell, this is our inheritance; this is the "more abundant" life : to "be like him." This indeed is what St. Paul calls: "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!" (2 Cor. 4:17 ) So let us pray with Edwin Hatch in his hymn to the Holy Spirit.

Breathe on me Breath of God, fill me with life anew, that I may love what thou dost love, and do what thou wouldst do Breathe on me Breath of God, til I am wholly thine till all this earthly part of me glows with thy fire divine. Breathe on me Breath of God so shall I never die But live with the perfect life of thine eternity. But, in the meantime, we are wayfarers in the wilderness of this world, all pursued by our own Jezebels and Ahabs, and so like Elijah we must hear and obey the Angelic summons: Arise and eat for the journey is too great for thee. ( I Kings 19: 7 )

THE BREAD OF LIFE Water and breath are indeed necessary for life; so is nourishment. But our gracious Lord has made ample provision for our needs. Yet sinful man prefers the empty fluff of temporary and transient pleasures: Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which satisfieth not? (Isaiah 55:2 )

The Israelites who were delivered from Egyptian bondage by God expressed their gratitude for this freedom by complaining about a lack of food. They railed and murmured against Moses: Ye have brought us forth into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger. ( Exodus 16: 3 )

How did God respond to this railing? "I will rain bread from heaven for you," he promised, ( v4) And God supplied this complaining people with manna from heaven, which they ate until they reached the promised land. So it is with us, beloved. We too have been freed from the bondage of sin and now traverse the wilderness of this world. Our good God supplies us with bread from heaven which will, indeed, last until we reach the promised land of Heaven. And what is this "Bread from heaven" that he gives us?

The crowds of Capernaum, having this incident of the manna from heaven in mind, said to Jesus: What sign shewest thou then that we may see and believe thee? What dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written: he gave them bread from heaven to eat. (John 6:30&31)

Jesus replied:
He that believeth on me hath EVERLASTING LIFE. I am that BREAD OF LIFE. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. I am the LIVING BREAD which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world. . . . Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath ETERNAL LIFE . . . He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood dwelleth IN ME and I IN HIM. ( John 6:47-57 )

And so, The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread. . . and said take eat this is my body, which is broken for you.. . . This cup is the New Testament in my blood. (Corinthians 11:23-25 )

And thus, he gave to us that Blessed Food from heaven to sustain us, poor wayfarers, a blessed reality in this world of appearance. What a great gift this is! Neglect not to frequent the Holy altar on which is re-presented the Sacrifice of Calvary, the great offering of the Lamb of God who knew no sin, yet died for our sins. Let us offer, in union with this sacrifice, our own lives, with our joys and sorrows, our troubles and our triumphs, our downsittings and our uprisings, our works and our days ; and, receiving that Holy Food, " be made one body with him, that he may dwell IN US and we IN HIM," unto EVERLASTING LIFE!

Let us, the redeemed of the Lord, buried with him in the WATER OF LIFE in Holy Baptism, raised to new life, "risen with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ is seated on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above not on things on the earth, for ye are dead and YOUR LIFE is HID WITH CHRIST IN GOD." ( Colossians 3:1-3) Filled with the BREATH of LIFE, sealed with the life giving Spirit, and partaking of his Blessed Body and Blood, the BREAD OF LIFE-"lo I am with you alway, even until the end of the world."-- know that "when Christ WHO IS OUR LIFE shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (v4) "Arise and eat for the journey is too great for thee." .

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