Herbert McCabe O.P. was always thought-provoking. Nicholas Lash once laid these quotations of Herbert’s before his own readers:
Christ has a better right to appear as food and drink than bread and wine have. The doctrine of transubstantiation, as I see it, is that the bread and wine become more radically food and drink.
I am suggesting that the consecrated host exists at a level of reality at which questions of whether it is bread can not relevantly be asked.
Nicholas Lash, ‘Traveller’s Fare’, New Blackfriars, May 2007, pp129, 131.
Lash warns against the ‘reification’ of Christ in the wheaten host. In other words, I think, we must not see the host as a thing we can call Jesus. Despite the old hymn it does not ‘my very God conceal’, but it reveals him.
It reveals him as humble, as nourishing, as one who,
though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
(Image from Polyvore.com)
Saul of Tarsus/ St. Paul was a person who engaged with life and his faith and quickly came to terms with them. As a Jew, he responded with wholehearted zeal to God’s will as he saw it, persecuting the Christians. As a Christian, he was equally as wholehearted and zealous in travelling around preaching the Good News. As he said in today’s reading: “I am ”.
How was he able to confidently proclaim this, considering the insecurity of his lifestyle: hunger, cold, accidents, thieves, and so on? The reason for his confidence was his faith: “There is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength”. Paul was speaking of God, the One Who will help us in all our difficulties if only we turn to Him and trust Him. He was ready to put up with anything to attain his goal of making Christ known and loved, to help others to grow in relationship with God. He knew that, as the Psalmist said, God was “a shield about Him”.
Although Paul knew that he was dependent on God for everything, he also knew that God works through people. It has been said that on this earth He has no hands but ours, no feet but ours. The Philippians had helped Paul with their gifts. Paul was delighted at their generosity, not only because it would help him, but also because, in his words, it would be “interest mounting up in their account” with God. They were learning that, as Jesus had said, the way to love God whom one could not see was to show love to one’s brothers and sisters.
Paul’s attitudes challenge us: have we got faith enough to face whatever situations we encounter with complete trust? And do we show our faith by our actions?
Today is the memorial of Saint CHARLES Borromeo (Bishop)
Scripture readings: St Paul to the Philippians 3:17-41, Psalm 121, Luke 16:1-8.
In the Gospel, Christ told his disciples a parable about an astute steward. In this parable, we see how this dishonest steward uses his master’s property to win friendship for himself. This is because he said, if my master sends me away, I cannot dig, I can’t go begging for I will be too ashamed of myself. I have to use my master’s wealth to win friendship for myself so that there will be people to welcome me when my master sends me away.
All of us have God’s gift in us. It could be the gift of singing or the gift of service. The question is how am I using God’s gifts to win heaven in Christ? This dishonest servant used his master’s wealth to win friendship for himself. What about you and I whom God have given so many treasures?
St Charles Borromeo became a true shepherd of the flock that God had entrusted to him. He used God’s gifts to gain heaven.
St Paul is telling me and you today in the letter to the Philippians not to be ashamed of the things of heaven but rather to be ashamed of earthly things, not to give up our hope, but to be faithful in the Lord.
May God grant us the grace to be faithful to Him at all times, Amen.
Today is the Memorial of Saint Martin De Porres. (Dominican Religious)
Scripture readings: St. Paul to the Philippians 3:3-8; Psalm 104; Luke 15: 1- 10.
St Paul says writes: “Because of Christ, I have come to consider all the advantages that I had as disadvantages.” Paul had everything and every qualification as a Roman citizen. He was fastidious in keeping the Law of the Jews but something was lacking. He did not know Christ. When Christ was revealed to him, he gave up everything to preach the Kingdom of God.
The same thing could be said of St. Martin De Porres. As a young man, he learnt the profession of a dispenser of medicine. He was comfortable in life. But he found something was lacking in his life as well. He then joined the Dominican Order and used his skill to work for the poor for the sake of the kingdom of Heaven.
Today, in my comfort and advantageous life, what am I doing for Christ? I can do something where I am no matter how small it might be. Even if it means looking at someone on the street with MERCY. What am I giving away for the sake of Christ? What am I considering as disadvantage for the sake of the Kingdom of Christ? It is possible for any of us to make a U-turn back to God. Jesus says in the Gospel of Luke 15:1-10 that ‘”there is joy among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.”’