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

"Victim Love" (part 2)

          Contemplative, communal intercessory prayer is a mystical ministry within the Mystical Body of Christ, where we offer spiritual sacrifices made acceptable by our union with Jesus in the presence of our "Father who sees what is hidden" (Mt. 6:18). The Roman Missal of the Catholic Church tells us that Jesus, "is the true and eternal Priest, who instituted the pattern of an everlasting sacrifice" (Roman Missal, p. 440. "Preface I of the Most Holy Eucharist"). St. Paul in speaking of his relationship with Jesus says that he wishes "to know how to share in his sufferings by being formed into the pattern of his death" (Phil. 3:10. NAB, 1970 trans.). This is the "paschal pattern" set by the Lamb. A pattern is 'a model or an original used as an archetype, or a person or thing considered worthy of imitation'. Our calling involves being conformed to the cross of Jesus: Conformed to his victim-hood. Those who share in his victim-hood will share in his victory.

          In his letter to the Ephesians St. Paul says, "So be imitators of God as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God" (Eph. 5:1-2). The 'heart' of this charism is "Lamb love":The crucified love of Jesus. The Holy Spirit conforms us to the Lamb--the Lamb who emptied himself in order to be with us in a human nature, and who continued to empty himself unto death. The life of an intercessor should "proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes" (1 Cr. 11:26). Our lives proclaim the death of the Lord through a truly intercessory lifestyle--following the "paschal pattern" established by Jesus. We are called to make daily choices to let the Lamb live within our humanity. When our thoughts, words and actions "speak" of selfless, sacrificial love, our lives will proclaim a love of which "there is no greater": Victim love!

          The Holy Spirit conforms us to the will of Jesus and his way of loving in the world. The Lamb seeks willing hearts. Jesus, the "Sacrament" of the Father's Love, wants to continue his High Priestly offering on the "altar of the cross" now within each of us for the glory of the Father and for the salvation of souls. On the cross Jesus 'presides' as High Priest and offers himself as saving Victim for our sins.  

          In the first chapter of The Book of Revelation, St. John says, "To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father" (Rev. 1:5-6). The love of the Lamb is 'freeing' love. By becoming our ransom--by handing himself over for us--Jesus has freed us from our sins. He has freed us from ourselves. He has freed us to share in his victim-hood--and hence, his victory--to now love as he does to the extent of laying down our lives as he has. As we are more conformed to the Lamb, the Holy Spirit makes us "priestly" in the presence of the Father. We have been freed to become one with the "priestly will" of the Lamb in the world. Jesus has made us priests for his God and Father. It is personal. It is about our Father ("My father and your father"- John 20:17). We, too, are to be in our Father's house (an ever present awareness that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit), and about our Father's business (see Luke 2:49, and Is. 56:7)--the salvation of souls. 

Questions:

1)   How am I sharing in the "paschal pattern"--the lifestyle--of Jesus on a daily basis?

2)   Where do I need growth in order for my life to "proclaim the death of the Lord" more fully?

Scriptures:

Any scripture from the text; Rom. 8:37; 1Pet. 2:5;1 John 4:9;

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

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