Thursday, April 1, 2010

HOLY THURSDAY, CHRIST THE HIGH PRIEST AND CHRIST THE BRIDEGROOM AND THE ORDAINED PRIESTHOOD AND MOST HOLY EUCHARIST

Christ the High Priest icon, which the Ordained Priesthood is also an icon of this image:

In establishing the priesthood to be an icon of Christ the High Priest and Bridegroom of the Church, as well as the Holy Eucharist as the sign of Jesus, the Lamb of Sacrifice on Good Friday, Jesus uses the Jewish Seder or Passover ritual meal as the paradigm for the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist and the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass. The Jews recall how God rescued them from the land of slavery, Egypt, and led them to freedom. The meal also recalls how the blood of lambs was painted on door posts to protect the Jews from the destroying angels. In the Seder meal, Jews remember the events of their salvation and in doing so, bring these events forward to be a living reality in the present. The Lord’s Supper that becomes the Holy Eucharist and Mass is the memorial of the events of Good Friday, our passage from sin and death to glory. We remember, not just in an historical way the events of our salvation, but like the Jews, God brings these events forward to the present. In other words, the real presence of the one Sacrifice of Christ is made manifest in the Holy Eucharist, along with the real presence of the Risen Lord in His body, blood, soul and divinity. In other words, the One Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross is now eternal, not bound by a particular time or particular place. It is everywhere and always, just like God is "I AM." The other aspect of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is that of Christ the Bridegroom, whom we await to come and judge the living and the dead. The eschatological aspect of the Mass is made manifest in Christ the Bridegroom. The end times are present too at the celebration of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as we await our Bridegroom as the Ten Virgins did in the Parable of the Virgins. See below as the Eastern Rite and Orthodox Churches have a better grasp on this theology then the Latin Rite.

Christ the Bridegroom Icon

In the Eastern Rite of the Church as well as Orthodoxy, Holy Week and especially Holy Thursday focuses on Christ the Bridegroom and the Service of the Bridegroom (Akolouthia tou Nimfiou). The name comes from the central figure in the well-known parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). The title Bridegroom suggests the intimacy of love. It is not without significance that the kingdom of God is compared to a bridal feast and a bridal chamber. The Christ of the Passion is the divine Bridegroom of the Church. The imagery connotes the final union of the Lover and the beloved. The title Bridegroom also suggests the Parousia. In the patristic tradition, the aforementioned parable is related to the Second Coming; and is associated with the need for spiritual vigilance and preparedness, by which we are enabled to keep the divine commandments and receive the blessings of the age to come. The troparion "Behold the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night…", which is sung at the beginning of the Orthros of Great Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, relates the worshiping community to that essential expectation: watching and waiting for the Lord, who will come again to judge the living and the dead.

The Roman Catholic Priest standing in "Persona Christi" at the Sacrifice of the Mass, what the Catholic brain should visualize at every Mass:


The Sacrament of Holy Orders which makes men an icon of Jesus Christ the High Priest and Jesus Christ the Bridegroom is at the core of the sacramental theology of both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches. For this reason, a woman cannot be ordained a priest at it would be a perversion of the sacramental nature of Holy Orders and disobedient to the will of Christ. Can the images below represent Christ Jesus the High Priest and Christ Jesus the Bridegroom as highlighted above. Can they be icons of these powerful images of the Male Christ? Men only are valid for the Sacrament of Holy Orders, women are bogus.

Valid


Bogus:


Bogus:



Jesus used bread and wine and nothing else to show the newly ordained Apostles how to celebrate the Memorial of His Passion until He returns as the Bridegroom of the Church. Bread and Wine are valid for the Mass, Pizza and Beer are bogus!

Valid:

Bogus:

Bogus:


Do you now understand the Sacramental Theology of the Catholic Church and why women cannot be ordained into Holy Orders? Do you also understand why the Church is referred to as the "Bride of Christ" awaiting her Bridegroom? And why the Church is referred to as Holy Mother, who gives birth to children not generated through nature but through water and the Holy Spirit, with Christ as the "Father" Who begets these children? Seeing is believing!

1 comment:

-Brian said...

Reinforcing the idea of Christ as the bridegroom is contained in a devotional, amongst the many that we are encouraged to return to in this forum, it’s called the Angelus. The second aspiration declares, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to your word.” It is a fond way of breaking the day and concretely returning back to the Creator through the time of the day, humbly reminding us that we are creatures. Tradition holds its recitation at 6am, 12pm, and 6pm, as the day goes. However, I believe it’s the purposeful conversion several times a day that carries the weight of this devotional. It really is a wonderful habit to develop and encourage. Fruitful Holy Days to all.