Monday, June 4, 2012

Nothing Like This!

Praised be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!

Immediately after the celebration of the Easter mysteries, the words of Moses are addressed to us: “Did anything so great ever happen before? Was it ever heard of? Did a people ever hear the voice of God speaking from the midst of fire, as you did, and live? Or did any god venture to go and take a nation for himself…?” Moses was then speaking about the events of Passover which God did for the Israelites in Egypt. It was the most decisive intervention of God in Old Testament history. But if Moses was able to say this to the Israelites, the word of God more fittingly addresses these words to us. I say more fittingly because the Paschal Mystery of Jesus which unfolded before us during the days of Easter is even greater than the events of the Exodus. In the Israelite exodus, all that transpired was the liberation of an entire nation from centuries of Egyptian servitude. In the Christian exodus, however, Christ liberated us from slavery to the devil. In the Israelite exodus, God took a nation for himself from another nation. In his Paschal Mystery, Christ our Lord redeemed us from sin, from death, and from the Evil one.

The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost completed God’s revelation of himself to us. He did not reveal himself simply as the one God living and true. He allowed us to see his inner life. He revealed to us that he is a communion of 3 Divine Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. On the Mount of Olives, Jesus did not ascend into heaven without revealing this Divine mystery in the clearest terms: “…baptiz(ing) them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The Apostles received from Jesus a revelation greater than what Moses received from God on Mt. Sinai. “Did anything so great ever happen before? Was it ever heard of?” Nothing like this has ever been revealed to man. Jesus said, “No one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” Definitely, God the Son has not revealed this secret to anyone but to the Apostles and to us. “Did a people ever hear the voice of God speaking from the midst of fire and live?” Our answer is “Yes!” We heard the revelation of the Holy Spirit as he descended in the form of tongues of fire.

But it was more than just a revelation that we received. We were not simply given a peek into the inner life of the Trinity. Jesus gave us an access into this inner life of God. He allowed us to enter into the communion of the 3 Divine Persons. Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we received the Holy Spirit, the “Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’” In Baptism, we became children of God – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. We did not simply become a nation taken from the midst of another nation. We became God’s family, sharers in the sonship of Jesus. We became recipients of the Spirit of adoption. We worship the Father in Spirit and in truth – boldly we cry out to him: “Abba!” Indeed, God has not done this to any other nation!

Let us rejoice that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit has invited us into his communion. Let us know and fix into our hearts that the Lord is God, and that there is no other. Let us keep his statutes and his commandments. Let us not hesitate to suffer with Jesus so that we may be glorified in him.  He is with us always until the end of the world. God has not done this to any other nation!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit! O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

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