New worship

In 08 Book Corner on 2012/03/25 at 9:11 AM

“I shall attempt to show, in broad terms, how the early Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, slowly penetrated more deeply into the truth of the Cross….One thing was astonishingly clear from the outset: with the Cross of Christ, the old Temple sacrifices were definitively surpassed.  Something new had happened….God’s relationship to the world, formerly distorted by sin, was now renewed.  Reconciliation had been accomplished…(2 Cor. 5:19-20)….The Temple remained a venerable place of prayer and proclamation.  Its sacrifice, thought, we no longer relevant for Christians.

God himself becomes the locus of reconciliation…These ideas are explored in St. John’s Gospel (especially through the theology of the high-priestly prayer) and in the Letter to the Hebrews (thought its interpretation of the Torah cult in terms of the theology of the Cross)….The author describes Old Testament worship as a ‘shadow’ (10”1)…an quotes Psalms 40:6-8 and interprets these psalm verses a s dialogue between the Son and the Father in which the Incarnation is accomplished and at the same time the new worship of God is established…..

Whereas in the Letter to the Hebrews we read: ‘a body have you prepared for me’, the psalmist had said: but you have given e an open ear.’ Ps. 40:6-8.  Obedience had already replace the Temple sacrifices here….  So here the idea of spiritual sacrifice, or “sacrifice in the manner of the word’, was formulated: prayer, the self-opening of the human spirit to God, it true worship.  In the Letter to the Hebrews the verses from Psalm 40 contain the answer to [man’s] longing….The Logos himself, the Son, becomes flesh; he take on a a human body.  In this way a new obedience becomes possible, and obedience that surpasses all human fulfillment of the commandments.  The Son becomes man and in his body bears the whole humanity back to God….his incarnate obedience is the new sacrifice, and in this obedience he draws us all with him and at the same time wipes away all our disobedience thorough love.

The mystery of the Cross does not simply confront us; rather, it draws us in and gives a new value to our life.”

Ratzinger, Joseph JESUS OF NAZARETH.  Part II, pp 2229-237.  Ignatius Press.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: