July 16, What is Theology Saying? XVI: The Eucharist 3: No way can creature = Creator.

paschal.candles

Jesus told Nicodemus of our need to learn to live differently – to realise that we are gifted with ourselves in order to become gift for others – a way often called tough love; not counting the personal cost involved in being concerned primarily with mutual well-being and not just me alone. A child walks because adults wait for and expect this – often before it is physically possible! Love means not just self-giving, but expressing confidence that you will be all the better for it, and flourish accordingly. But to challenge like this presupposes trust – the trust of a child for its parents.

Our Eucharistic celebrations look very churchy and remote from everyday living – carefully choreographed rituals, strange attire worn by leaders sitting apart, scripts for designated readers only – all well-intentioned to enhance the beauty and centrality of the Eucharist – but does it? It certainly is central in our worship – but what about our everyday living? Does your Sunday Mass impact noticeably on your social, political, economic involvement?

We are celebrating the hospitality of God in a gathering in which we are invited to be co-hosts; and this happens in the real presence of Jesus. He told his disciples to continue celebrating the Last Supper, interpreting his death and Resurrection in the light of the Passover. The Exodus is central for Jewish faith – the setting free from oppression – since love depends on equality. But this not simply a one-off event of long ago – it is a permanent reminder of how God is with us, as equals.

Do we have a problem here? Equality is of the essence of love – but God cannot have any equal by definition; does this mean God cannot love? Revelation is clear about the gulf between us – no way can creature = Creator. So we seem destined for an infantile authority/obedience relationship with God through keeping the rules. There is no equal to God. However kind, benign and compassionate the Creator is, we remain creature and Creator.

AMcC

2 Comments

Filed under Daily Reflections, Easter

2 responses to “July 16, What is Theology Saying? XVI: The Eucharist 3: No way can creature = Creator.

  1. From this reflection: “love depends on equality.” It does? How?
    Also: “Equality is of the essence of love.” What does that mean?
    Perhaps there is a previous reflection that I can be pointed toward for clarification and better understand?
    Pax Christi

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  2. From memory, Christina, as I’m busy preparing to visit my daughter and my mother in Manchester – two trains and an LRT away.

    Very simplified, I think Austin would argue that the Trinity is a loving, equal threesome. And if I love you in any meaning of the word, it is love between two equals: if I do not ‘love my neighbour as myself’ I may be using/pitying/idolising (etc, etc) you. And as a sinful man some or any of those vices may creep into my relationship with anyone. Even love for young Abel, (or your nephews) though there are obvious inequalities of maturation between us, has to acknowledge him as a full human being, therefore an equal, not to be formed in MY image and likeness. The big jump is that the second person of the Trinity, the Word became flesh, did not cling to his equality with God but became as men are, even to death on a cross – I paraphrase John and Paul.

    I hope that is some help. I think the devotion to the saints is an instinctive reaction to that enormous assertion (blasphemous if not true). People can feel human warmth in relating to some of the popular saints, which brings them closer to God. But he came close to us via OT covenants and their end point in Christ.

    Will.

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