Saturday, August 29, 2009

Immutability of God & The Sacrifice and Presence of Christ in the Eucharist

"Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." - Epistle of St. James Chapter 1, Verse 17

This verse was in the reading of the Mass tonight, I've been thinking about it alot ever since I read how influential it was in the catholic medieval tradition in Jaroslav Pelikan's third volume on the Christian Tradition.

I was thinking about going to the Latin mass and the way the priest opened up the tabernacle and how every eye was fixed on the inside. Then I realized how the Sacrifice of the Mass is tied to the Immutability of God.

I was reminded of Bp. N.T. Wright's book where he talks about the parousia of Christ, the second advent/second coming, and how it really seems to mean in Greek the idea of something that is already a reality being revealed. It's as if something was already there (the Kingdom of God) and suddenly everyone realizes the hidden reality.

I was thinking that the sacrifice of the mass is like that. At the consecration we are given a glimpse into the window of the changeless nature of Christ's eternal self-giving love. Christ's Spirit which is present within our souls in an invisible matter, is suddenly joined by Christ's body and blood in a real physical manner for a few moments. It's as if when the tabernacle is opened, we see through it as a window into the scene of the Crucifixion, we offer our sorrow for our sins, and the sacrifice of worship, as St. John and the Blessed Virgin did at the foot of the cross.

God's immutability and simplicity of nature are a mystery, and the beatific vision always reminds me of a beautiful painting which we'll all enjoy in perfect satisfaction forever. And the promise is from "the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change"

...but maybe that's just a stupid or heretical idea...

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