Wednesday, September 6, 2023

"Who do you say that,I am ?" Mark 8:27, " Who do the crows say that, I am ?" Lk 9:18.

"We must make Jesus human, and make ourselves as human as He was."( Anthony Padavano)

A question and an exhortation, always relevant for our growth, as we "trudge the road of happy destiny"",also called the spiritual journey. Those two questions "Who do YOU, say, that I am?' who do the crowds of the present age say that The Historical,Rabbi Jesus is. We have our individual understanding and  then the social, the human collective understanding of He Who came to reveal The Creator Father God  through His mission and ministry. A mission and a ministry we are called to carry out as Contemporary Christs. We do not meet this awe-full,wonderous challenge alone. Him Whom we are called to be,is both with and within us,Emmanuel, as we face dark valleys, and celebrate high mountain tops. As He was encountered on the highways and byways of a land so far away from us He is however, encountered  in His living fullness in the place are feet are planted. Being aware, being alert, being alive are essential for you and I to be in order to receive the  priceless gift Infinite love offered to us. We must have a personal response to the above questions, and be prepared for an encounter beyond all other encounters. These encounters with the reality of The Historical  Jesus, The Christ of God, are celebrated in  The Seven Liturgical Sacraments. That is Sacrament with a big "S".

     My first understanding of a Sacrament,hammered into my unconscious in grade school, was an outward sign instituted by Christ, to give grace." I have taught Sacramental Theology for these many years and now have this understanding of capital "S" Sacrament.

 " A Liturgical Sacrament is an ENCOUNTER with The Living Human Person of Jesus Christ,the result of which change is brought about in my life and that change is the result of the mysterious workings of The Holy Spirit"

 It is an encounter, a conscious meeting with, the living Person of Jesus Christ,The Jesus we come to first meet, and, then encounter in ,The four Gospels. That word "living" is so so important if we are going to have an in-depth meeting, encounter, with the living walking talking, festival loving, betrayed and crucified Jesus. As those who encountered Jesus in Palestine were changed so too all of our Sacramental encounters can lead, to ,change.Change not chosen by me, but chosen through the power and instrumentality of The Gracious Creative Spirit. As The Creative Spirit,The Holy Spirit encounters us in the depths of our reality that encounter leads to our immersion into the the ongoing story of "new heavens and new earths". All of who I am, all my creative effort are not accidental to, but essential to the ongoing evolution of our cosmos and universe. Pope Francis uses that word encounter again and again. He never seems to tire of reminding us



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