Sunday, January 25, 2015

Simplest truth, pure reality

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing
after another.  For the law was given through Moses;
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. - John 1: 16-17
Stained glass:  Waltham Abbey ~England

"This is my Body" ~ "This is my Blood"; under no circumstance may the is in these holiest of sentences be interpreted as "means" or "is a symbol of" my Body and Blood.  If ever the Lord's admonition, "Let your speech be, 'Yes, yes';'No,no'; and whatever is beyond these comes from the evil one" (Matthew 5:37) was deeply urgent, it is here.

    It is not only wrong but sacrilegious to tamper with these words.  What they express is simplest truth, and what takes place pure realityHe who speaks is neither a great nor the greatest religious personality of the millennia, but the Son of God.

    His words are no expression of mystical profundity, but a command of Him who has all earthly and heavenly power.  They have no equivalent in human speech, for they are words of Omnipotence.  We can compare them only with other words of the Lord, when "He arose and rebuked the wind and the sea, and there came a great calm" (Matthew 8:26); or, to the leper: "I will, be thou made clean" (Matthew 8:3); or to Jairus' dead child, "Girl, arise!" (Luke 8:54).  Their real equivalent is the Father's "Be!" (light made) from which creation itself emerged (Genesis 1:3).

Romano Guardini 
Meditations Before Mass (Sophia Press, 1993)

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