Sunday, December 20, 2009

Necessity of Sacrament to Word

Today I was at my parents Baptist church/ecclessial community, and the sermon was good. An old fashioned pietistic/wesleyan call to repent sin, accept Christ into your heart, and put you're life under his lordship. They had salvation in three steps (as all good Evangelicals know - you have to have the 3 point sermon), and they were called the ABCs of salvation. While the sermon was fine in itself and well done for the time they had, I thought a good analogy would be that if it was the ABC of the Christian faith, Classic Protestantism (not to be confused with North American Evangelicalism) would be D-G, and Catholicism would be H-Z. In our gigantic Roman Church we have so much to learn about (today I was just learning about analytic vs transcendental vs existential thomism alone!), and I once again understood what Chesterton meant when he said that the Church is much bigger from the inside. So many many many people have been through it and contributed to it, it's more a Kingdom than a Church. I also noticed that all the talk about accepting Jesus into one's heart, could've been so easily tied to Transubstantiation and the reception of Christ in the Sacrament.

As Karl Rahner reminds us, grace is the communication of God-self to ourselves, and in the words of the consecration 'this is my body', the aramaic meaning is "this is my SELF". Luckily I was able to receive the Eucharist yesterday, and truly accept Jesus, his very body, blood and divinity. (Though hillariously our priest accidentally prayed "O Lloyd" instead of "O Lord", and he forgot the sign of the cross at the beginning of the Mass, he was retired but he came back and I guess his memory was failing.)

May we receive the Word of Christ in the story of Christmas, that he may dwell in our hearts by faith, and may we receive the Word in the Sacrament, that Jesus may dwell in our bodies as 'one flesh' as he did so blessed in Our Lady.

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