Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

fected union hereafter. He who is the very central Life of the whole mystical Body imparts Himself to all in His divine Communion, uniting all with Himself, and through Himself with each other. It is a pause in our earthly course when the longed-for union knows no let, no hindrance. It is a time when even here on earth Heaven and earth are one; when the Victor from the Throne and the earthly captives of His grace, meet; when all variances and discords of mind and heart are for the moment silent; when all the movements of each separate member of the body are at rest in one heartthrilling consciousness; when the power of the Highest possesses, enfolds, enwraps, enchants each and all with a common glory; when there is but one thought, one consciousness, one vision, one pervading power, one pure joy, thrilling with a uniform pulse throughout the whole body; when the mystical union is complete and undisturbed, the Eucharistic Presence through the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, being over us, around us, within us, reconciling all in one, absorbing together Himself the very Head, and ourselves, His members, now filled with Himself, and living in His fulness. It is then that this unity is for the time, as an anticipation, fulfilled; -when it may be truly said, "All Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine." Our Lord and His faithful are then indeed for the time glorified in one. "We are one Body, for we are all partakers of that one Bread." It is heaven begun in a very truth, only how soon to lose that completeness, as again we fall; and yet the same perfect life to be again and again realized, even though not possible to be kept perfect and undisturbed in the complete possession of an indefectible grace, though with power to grow ever more and more, as we increasingly feed on

1 Cor. x. 17.

Him, and abide in Him. We are, as we communicate, really lost to the consciousness of time and space; all mere sense of the creatures and of nature is passed away for the moment, and it is as though already God were All in all; as though the unity which pervades the Blessed in Heaven, had suddenly spread itself forth to flood the earth, as an advancing tide overflows its bounds by a sudden rush, and though to retreat again, yet again and again to return. Such is the blessedness and the need of constant and fervent reception of the Blessed Sacrament. . Our life becomes thus a life of grace in nature, overpowering nature. It is Christ formed in us, and through Him, the whole blessed Trinity. "If a man love Me, he will keep My words and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him t." It is the forming within us of the glory which exists first in the Humanity of Jesus, which broke forth in His Transfiguration as for a moment, and is now in its full and stedfast radiance clothing Him on the throne, and by His Spirit spreading and communicating itself through all the elect, as they become by grace capable of receiving Him.

Such, then, is our present dignity, in proportion as it is realized in us, making us one with God, linking us with all true created life in God; hidden within us, but yet even now our only real life, by which we already rise, and live above space and time in the Infinite and the Eternal.

What would life become more and more, if we lived more and more in the power of this consciousness? What our present share in the glory which, encircling His Throne, is overshadowing and indwelling secretly St. John xiv. 23.

on earth all true hearts? To attain this should ever be our fervent, earnest, longing, as we "press forward to the things that are before," "if by any means we may apprehend that for which we are apprehended of Christ Jesus." What need of watchful care, of unceasing, stedfast studying of the life and spirit of Jesus? What a call ever sounding in our hearts to put forth increasing efforts for the attainment of His mind! What utter loss if we fail! What unspeakable, endless blessedness, if at last we are found faithful, and in Him, the Head and centre of this life, are accepted!

SERMON X.

The Victor, on His Throne, absolving His People.

[ocr errors]

ST. MATTHEW vii. 29.

"For He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes."

ST.

JOHN XX. 23.

"Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."

WE

E cannot wonder that the Jews were unable to see the greatness of the Majesty which in Christ was concealed under a human form, and that they could not at once distinguish between Him and the crowds of scribes and philosophers who came, each with his theory, to find acceptance with the people.

Men would not at once recognise the claims of one, who had received no instruction, to speak with an authority greater than that which the scribes presumed to claim. Yet this claim to authority gives our Lord's words their distinctive character: He does not proclaim that, which men may accept, or reject at their pleasure; but absolute truth, which those who reject, reject at their peril and He asks from all an obedience so entire, that those who knew His mother and His brethren might well say, "Whence hath this Man these things; and who gave Him this authority?"

And if His claims seemed to be extraordinary, it must be admitted that the prophecies which formed the Jewish conception of a Messiah were somewhat confusing; there was in the coming Christ a double

M

character; in the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah it says, "When we shall see Him there is no beauty that we should admire Him." In the sixty-third another note is struck, and at sight of Him the prophet says, "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah this that is glorious in His apparel, travelling in the greatness of His strength." There is a coming one, but He is now, a sheep led to the slaughter, and now, the Conqueror treading the wine-press in His wrath.

This double character exhibited in the prophecies is very observable in our Lord's life; and there are occasions in that life when the sufferer and the conqueror are presented together in a very striking manner. Our Lord's endurance is probably too exclusively dwelt upon by us and we thereby get a mistaken notion of the manner of man He was. There were endurance and suffering; but there was aggression too: He was the Lamb led to the slaughter; but He was, too, a Conqueror; He bore the taunts and insults of Pharisees and Sadducees; but He dealt back shafts of rebuke and withering satire, which, destroying the people's faith in their old leaders, shattered the crystal fabric of Pharisaism in which the fossil forms of a once living faith were imbedded. He never appeared to the leaders of the Jews to be a patient sufferer until He hung as their victim on the cross. He was rather a daring aggressor, rooting up all things that had received the sanction of ages. The Pharisees had lived in the respect of the people, and the teachers had been called Rabbi; and when He denounced against them the woes of the twenty-third chapter of St. Matthew, He must have seemed to them not a meek sufferer, but a formidable enemy that must be crushed. And they judged Him

« AnteriorContinuar »