Sunday, February 7, 2010

A simple analogy for the Eucharist being the Gospel itself

I have been re-reading my Sr. Hermann Sasse materials lately. While doing that I realize why I liked reading him so much. While discussing Communion, its place in worship and the real Presence, he used a very clever and useful analogy.

When discussing what is the Gospel he stated

..."This is my body" and "This is my blood" are true and must be taken as they stand...With this understanding of the Sacrament the relationship between Word and sacrament is no longer a problem. They go together. The sacrament is the verbum visibile (visible word); the Word is the sacramentum audibile, the audible and heard sacrament. The spoken and heard word is of itself a thing of nature, soundwaves that come from the voice box and are received by the ear. And yet we hear "in, with and under" these sound waves, the Word of the eternal God himself. The natural word becomes the Word of God, is the word of God.
("We Confess the Sacraments" Hermann Sasse p. 24)

He goes on to use examples such as God's word and human writing--the Scriptures, and how God is veiled from us, the divinity of Christ is cloaked in his humanity, if you will.

Similarly, when the words of Institution are spoken, and we receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, the body and blood and the promises are cloaked in bread and wine. In fact, God never comes to us "naked"--he is always wrapped, hidden, obscured. And it is by this body and blood cloaked in bread and wine is the very proclamation of the Lord's death--the Gospel of forgiveness, new life etc. as he himself said when we do this in remembrance of him.

1 comment:

Steve Martin said...

Good stuff, Ed!

Keep it coming!

There is life in it!

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