Thứ Sáu, 28 tháng 6, 2013

Daily reflection _ unity and concord

"UNITY AND CONCORD"
Today, we pray, through Irenaeus' intercession, "that, being renewed in faith and charity, we may always be intent on fostering unity and concord" (Collect).
Deacon John Ruscheinsky
How often do you or I take for granted the treasures of our Catholic Faith, especially the Scriptures? Today, we celebrate the feast of Saint Irenaeus (130-202AD), the great second century Church Father and apologist who played a significant role in the early development of Christian theology. He placed a great emphasis on the traditional aspects of the Church, especially the episcopate, Scripture and Tradition. St. Irenaeus had a deep desire for unity and peace within the Church. He was a priest and later became the bishop of Lyons, France and a martyr for the love of Jesus Christ and His Church.
Irenaeus is an important witness to Apostolic succession because he knew the greatest churches founded by the Apostles and compiled a list of the bishops of those sees, located in Asia Minor and in Rome. Born and educated in Smyrna (now Turkey), he is an important link with the age of the Apostles through St. Polycarp, who was a disciple of St. John the Evangelist. In addition to his anti-heretical writings and his simple and clear explanations of the doctrines of the Church, he has been a valuable servant of the Faith for his witness to the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, the See of Peter. He insists that one must defer to it as the center of doctrinal unity, and views it as a great symbol of this unity!
Emphasizing the relationship between the Old and New Testaments, St. Irenaeus demonstrates that the "God of the Old Testament" and the "God of the New Testament" is One and the same true God. He also defends the fact that there are four and only four Gospels by pointing out the many examples of the "four" in nature, such as the four winds, and the four Covenants (Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the New Covenant).  He relies more on the description of the four living creatures in Ezekiel 1 (see Against Heresies 3.11.8). The faces of these four living creatures - man, lion, ox, and eagle - eventually become symbols of the four Gospels.
As we reflect upon St. Irenaeus' life, today, we value his testimony to the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, and he is a major link in the history of Eucharistic theology. He clearly teaches that the Mass is the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ represented by the sacramental signs of bread and wine. Each of his writings touch on all major areas of theology: Christology, Mariology, and the theology of the Church, which lead to the key point as to why Jesus came as Man - for our salvation and eternal life.
Today, we pray, through Irenaeus' intercession, "that, being renewed in faith and charity, we may always be intent on fostering unity and concord" (Collect).

Không có nhận xét nào: