Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Knox - At the Altar Pt. 3

IT WAS NOT ONLY at the last supper that our Lord in person gave his own body and blood with his own hands. In the Passion itself he is, all the time, the principal agent; he was offered because he willed it. He neglected his own opportunities for defence at his trial; he consented to carry his own cross, co-operating , as it were, in the greatest injustice of history; while he hung on the cross, the angel legions were about him, hand on scabbard, ready to interfere and to rescue him, but he waved them back; and at the last, when he laid down his life, he laid it down of his own will, at a moment of his own choosing; no man could take his life from him, he laid it down. Always, Christus Patiens is also Christus Agens: always, Christ the victim is also Christ the priest. And wherever the bloodless sacrifice is offered to the last end of time, it is Christ continuing on earth the work he began on earth, our reconciliation with the Father. He lies upon the altar, as he lay stretched out on the cross on Good Friday. Yet he stands at the altar, as he stood in the upper room on Holy Thursday. Operating through the consecrated hands of his unworthy priest, Christ himself blesses the bread and transforms it, and breaks, and offers, and distributes that which he has transformed.

- Ronald A. Knox

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