Consecrated to the Heart of the Redeemer under the patronage of the Theotokos and Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

09 April 2012

Tense Is Not Technicality

So yes, I survived Holy Week--in particular, the Easter Vigil and its apian** Exultet--and the unfolding of Bright Week (as our Orthodox Brethren call it) is "tidings of gladness and joy" as much as--indeed more than--the news of His Nativity.

Yesterday Timothy Cardinal Dolan quoted our Holy Father (for fullvid click here) as his homiletic coup de grace:
"The pivotal question in life is whether Jesus was or whether Jesus is."
This matter is not relevant for grammarians alone.  Theology and Language** are very much related, insofar as both disciplines are concerned with the Word, whether written or uttered.  Precision is +++crucial+++ for those disciplines and for their disciples.

Cardinal Dolan reiterated the angelic salutation, Quid quaeritis viventem cum mortuis? "Why do you seek the living one among the dead?" (Lk 24:5)  Consider the ramifications of this question in terms

  • doctrinal, for the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ and of all people is no smoke-and-mirrors display;
  • liturgical, for our communal celebration of this mystery is infused with reality and dynamism;
  • moral, for our choices reflect the fact that our souls and bodies are meant for "newness of life" (Rom 6:4), suggesting subjection to a higher law than pleasure; and
  • spiritual, for our seeking of union with the Lord must be as tender and earnest as possible
Is, not was: this grenade-like distinction contains within it all the truth, beauty, and goodness of Christ and the Church.

**Neat word, apian; did you know that "Sting" was an English major before he was chief of The Police?

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