instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Speaking of identity through time

In giving to the Church the gift of the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary, the blessed Pope John Paul II wrote:
Certainly the whole mystery of Christ is a mystery of light. He is the "light of the world" (Jn 8:12). Yet this truth emerges in a special way during the years of his public life, when he proclaims the Gospel of the Kingdom...
Each of these mysteries is a revelation of the Kingdom now present in the very person of Jesus.
(Emphasis in the original, of course.)

The thought occurs that the Church herself is a revelation of the Kingdom now present in the very Person of Jesus. The five Luminous Mysteries reflect the Church in action from the day of her birth:
  1. Christ's Baptism in the Jordan is continued in the Baptism that brings new members into the fold.
  2. Christ's self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana continues in the Church's blessings of marriage.
  3. Christ's proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with his call to conversion, continues in the missionary and preaching activity of the Church.
  4. Christ's Transfiguration is recalled in the Church's worship of our Lord and our God.
  5. Christ's institution of the Eucharist, as the sacramental expression of the Paschal Mystery, continues as the source and summit of the Christian life.
This notion tracks closely with the alignment of the mysteries with the Seven Sacraments, as you might expect considering the relationship between the Church and the Sacraments. The difference (in my mind at least) is that the sacramental view is more personal and the ecclesial view is more corporate, treating the Church as the Body of Christ that endures through time for no other purpose than to reveal the Kingdom now present in the very Person of Jesus.