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Committed Sustained Informed - Intercession
A New Season
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"A New Season"

"Mission" (Relational Purpose: Part 4)

          In the spiritual theology of our charism (our charism is 'to live Jesus and his cross') we speak of an intercessor as becoming a "sacrament". We can only use the word, sacrament, in this way because we speak first of the Church as being "sacrament". One may recall the words of Pope St. Paul VI cited in an earlier teaching. He says that the Church prolongs and continues Jesus Christ. This is the language of sacrament. "The Church's first purpose is to be the sacrament of the inner union of men with God" (CCC 775). The Church is a sign of the presence of God, and is in the word's of Pope St. Paul VI, "the visible plan of God's love for humanity" (Paul VI, June 22, 1973). When we do speak of an intercessor as becoming a "sacrament", it is in reference to Jesus prolonging his sacrifice on the cross through us, and mediating his life and redemptive love to the rest of humanity through us. We use such words as 'prolong', 'perpetuate', 'continue', 'extend' and 'connecting' to articulate this.

          It is always as an analogy that we speak of an intercessor as being a "sacrament". We are now the visible flesh and blood humanity through which Jesus--who is now hidden within us in mystical union--can communicate his divine life to others. We are "sacraments of his saving love", united as one with the Lamb: We are the vessels through which his divine life 'reaches' other human beings. We become "sacrament" of the New Covenant of love only because the Lamb, himself, is at work within us: "I am at work" (John 5:17). It is his divine life that flows through us for others. We become "living sacraments", perpetuating the sacrifice of the cross in union with the Lamb who was slain.

          The goal of our charism is the communion of humanity with the Lamb and in him with the Father and the Holy Spirit (see John Paul II, "Ecclesia de Eucharistia" Encyclical letter # 25). We become "sacrament" so that the infinite love present in the pierced Heart of the Lamb may be extended to others. As we are made one with Jesus he continues through us to bring people into a living contact with, and hence offers them an experience of, the freedom and victory of his saving cross. For an intercessor, becoming a "sacrament" is both the fruit of a changed life (a transfigured existence), and also a commitment to allow the Lamb of God to continue to transform the world through us. 

          Of all the seven sacraments of the Catholic faith, it is the Eucharist that best expresses this language of 'mediation', 'prolonging', 'perpetuating' and 'extending' that we use in an analogous sense to describe the intercessor as a "sacrament". As intercessors our lives are to become so "Eucharistically imbued", so transformed by the sacred liturgy of the mass, that we become "extensions" of the Eucharist: We are to live the mass and make Jesus Christ (in an analogical sense) "present now" through our intercessory lifestyle and prayer. We are to live Eucharistic communion: Through our communion with the Body and Blood of the Lamb, we come to be ever more profoundly:

"In Christ in the nature of a sacrament, that is, a sign and instrument of intimate unity with God and of the unity of the whole human race" (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, # 1). 

Proclaiming the death of the Lord "until he comes" entails that we be committed to change our lives and make them in a certain way completely Eucharistic.

          As we accept the invitation of Jesus in the Eucharist to "Take and eat,", "Drink from it, all of you" (Mt. 26: 26,27), he "involves" us in the offering of his life that we celebrate in every mass. We enter into sacramental communion with him. Now, he in a sense says to each intercessor, "Do this in remembrance of me" (1 Cr. 11:24): Let me extend my life-giving offering through your humanity. Allow the Holy Spirit to transform you into a "sacrament of the Father's love" for others:

"By its union with Christ, the People of the New Covenant...become a "sacrament" for humanity, a sign and an instrument of the salvation achieved by Christ...for the redemption of all" ("Dogmatic constitution on the Church" Lumen Gentuim, # 1).

         

Questions:

1)   In what area of my life do I find the process of self-emptying difficult?

2)   How do I live as "an extension of the Eucharist" (how do I live the mass) outside of mass time?

Scriptures:

Any scripture from the text; Mt. 28:20B; John 15:5; 2 Cr. 4:7,10

"TWO-ZERO-ONE-EIGHT, TIME TO EXPIATE"

PLEASE VISIT "THIS WEEK'S BURNING ISSUES" ON THE "EVENTS" PAGE

Remember that we must be a praying Church: Am I praying for our Church and our world?

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