Friday, March 12, 2010

The Trinitarian basis of sacrifice

Sacrifice is not something that, in the first instance, begins as an activity of human beings directed to God and then, in the second instance, become something that reaches its goal in the response of divine acceptance and bestowal of divine blessing in the cultic community. Rather, sacrifice in the New Testament understanding- and thus in its Christian understanding- involves, so to speak, three 'moments'. The first 'moment' is the self offering of the Father in the gift,, the sending of his Son. The second 'moment' is the unique 'response' of the Son, in his humanity and in the Spirit, to the Father and for us. The third 'moment'- and only then does Christian sacrifice begin to become real in our world- consists in the self-offering of believers in union with Christ by which they share in his covenant relation with the Father. The radical self-offering of the faithful is the only spiritual response that constitutes an authentic sacrificial act according to the New Testament (Romans 12:1). In other words, Christian Sacrifice is a profoundly personal, eschatological, and trinitarian event, an event in which we Christians, in the power of the same Spirit that was in Jesus, and in our concrete humanity, begin to do in this world what we will be able to do completely only in the next: we begin, namely, to enter into that perfectly self-giving and self communicating relationship of Father and Son"
Edward J. kilmartin 'The Eucharist in the West: History and Theoloy' Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1988. Pp 381-383

I'd probably want to include the presentation of Creation to the Son and the Sons handing back of the kingdom as the bracketing 'moments' but otherwise scintillaating stuff.

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