Ratzinger om eukaristiens hellighet

Her er andre del av prekenen Ratzinger holdt Skjærtorsdag 1980, «On the Question of the Adoration of the Eucharist and Its Sacredness» – første del finner man her. Der sier han bl.a.:

Let us now turn to the second aspect, the sacred nature of the Eucharist. Our thinking over the last fifteen years has been influenced rather by the notion of «desacralization». We had been struck by the saying in the Letter to the Hebrews that Christ suffered outside the gate (13:12). This, again, chimed in with the other saying, that at the death of the Lord the veil of the Temple was torn in two. Now the Temple is empty. The true holiness, the holy presence of God, is no longer dwelling there; it is outside the city gate. The cult has been transposed out of the holy building into the life, suffering, and death of Jesus Christ. That is where its true presence was already, in his lifetime. When the Temple veil was torn across, so we had thought, the boundary between sacred and profane was torn apart. The cult is no longer something set apart from ordinary life, but holiness dwells in everyday things. What is holy is no longer a special, separate sphere but has chosen to be everywhere, has chosen to make itself felt even in worldly things. Entirely practical conclusions have been drawn from this, right down to some concerning priestly dress, concerning Christian worship and church buildings. This razing of the bastions should be carried out everywhere; nowhere should cult and life be any longer distinguishable one from the other. But thereby the message of the New Testament had ultimately been subject to substantial misunderstanding, albeit on the basis of an idea that was itself correct. For God is not withdrawing from the world so as to leave it to its worldliness, any more than he is affirming it in its worldliness, as if this were in itself holy. For as long as the world is imperfect, the distinction within it between sacred and profane will remain, for God is not withdrawing from it the presence of his holiness, and yet his holiness still does not comprehend the whole.

The suffering of Jesus outside the city wall and the tearing in two of the Temple veil does not mean that the Temple is now either everywhere or nowhere at all. That will not be the case until the New Jerusalem. Rather, these things mean that with the death of Jesus Christ the wall between Israel and the world of the nations has been broken down. They mean that God’s promise has stepped out of the narrow framework of the Old Covenant and its Temple into the wide world of the nations. They mean that the place of the merely symbolic holiness of the Old Testament images has been taken by the true holiness, the holy Lord in his love become man. Finally, they mean that henceforth the holy tent of God and the cloud of his presence are found wherever the mystery of his Body and Blood is celebrated, wherever men leave off their own activity to enter into fellowship with him. That means that the holiness is more concentrated and powerful than it used to be in the Old Covenant, because it is more true; it also means that that has become more vulnerable and demands of us still greater respect and reverence: not only ritual purity, but the comprehensive preparation of the heart. It demands that we lead lives directed toward the New Jerusalem, that we bring the world into the presence of Jesus Christ, and that we purify it for this; that we take the presence of Jesus Christ into everyday life and thereby transform it. Reverence has become, not superfluous, but more demanding. And because man is made up of body and soul and is, further, a social animal, that is why, now and for the future, we need a visible expression of reverence, the rules of play for its social form, for its visible sign in this sick and unholy world. People are not shaped merely from within outward; another line of influence runs from without inward, and to overlook this or to deny its existence is a kind of spiritualism that soon takes its toll. Holiness, the Holy One, is there in this world, and whenever the educative effect of his visible expression disappears, this leads both people and the world to become more superficial and more barbarous.

In his letter to priests the Holy Father reminds us of a particularly striking sign of reverence in the Roman liturgy: the hands of the priest are anointed. There is perhaps no organ as much as the hand that so clearly shows the special place of man in the world: parted from the ground, it shows how man walks upright. We give and we take with our hands; we heal and we hit with our hands. Among all peoples, men lift up their hands whenever they turn in prayer to him who is above them. Our hands are anointed. Our hands are bound in duty to the Lord. We are allowed to touch him. What a holy obligation for our whole will and being, what a change it might bring, and would necessarily bring, if we felt the demands made upon us and the direction given us by this sign, day after day. Let us ask the Lord that this sign of the anointing of our hands may more and more be made real in our lives, that our hands may more and more be instruments of blessing, that through his mercy we ourselves may become a blessing and, thus, receive blessing. ….

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