Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Bishop’s Note: April 02, 2015 – The Last Words of Jesus #7

Bishop Eric Menees

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

    Today is Maundy Thursday. On this night some two thousand years ago, our Lord washed the feet of his disciples, instituted the Lord’s Supper, and was arrested. These events lead off the whole process of his faux trial and shameful crucifixion - ending with these words uttered by our Lord: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)

    Jesus’ familiarity with Holy Scripture is evident in his Seven Last Words. For the second time, Jesus had quoted the Psalms. The first time was when he said, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” - “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1) The second quote - this Final Word from Psalm 31:5 - comes as Jesus breathes his last, surrendering his life for you and me.

    With these words Jesus is simply saying: “Abba, I’m done. I’ve done all that I can and I place these past 33 years into your hands along with all of my eternity.”

    In his Last Words, Jesus demonstrates for us what God desires for all of us: that we surrender our whole lives to Him – past, present, and future.

    As we prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord, isn’t that the proper response to eternal life – complete surrender?

    Of course, that is easier said than done, and it requires us to be intentional every day.  The discipline of praying the offices assists us in this endeavor – waking up with prayer and scripture reading, and going to bed with prayer, scripture, and self-examination. What a wonderful response to Jesus’ resurrection - to intentionally spend time with him every day.

    I pray you all a truly blessed Holy Week along with a heavenly Easter Celebration!

Catechism Questions 94 - 96

94.    Why is the Church called “holy?”
The Church is holy because the Holy Spirit dwells in it and sanctifies its members, setting them apart to God in Christ, and calling them to moral and spiritual holiness of life.

95.    Why is the Church called “catholic?”
The term “catholic” means “according to the whole.” The Church is called “catholic” because it holds the whole faith once for all delivered to the saints, and maintains continuity with the apostolic Church throughout time and space.

96.    Why is the Church called “apostolic”?
An apostle is one who is sent. The Church is called apostolic because we hold the faith of Christ’s first Apostles; because we are in continuity with them; and because we, like them, are sent by Christ to proclaim the Gospel and to make disciples throughout the whole world. (Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 9:1-6)

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