Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Substitutional sacrifice

We may have read the news story this week of a French police officer, Arnaud Beltrame, who swapped himself for one of the hostages taken by an extreme Islamist gunman only to die of his injuries when the gunman shot him as armed forces moved on the hostage taker.

What you may or may not have read - because it is being ignored by some news outlets - is that the heroic officer was a committed Catholic Christian.

He gave himself that another might live.

Like Jesus, he sacrificially substituted himself for the sake of another.


Father Ron Smith said...

Dear Peret, in the vein of this post may I submit the following Utube link?:


(Dear Friends in Christ,)

This wonderful recording (linked above) of the Good Friday Reproaches tore my heart as I listened to it this morning (Holy Wednesday).

Although I do love our own Vittoria version of the Reproaches at SMAA, which we will be hearing here on Good Friday, this particular recording - being more modern - which does not use the traditional Greek for the response of the mourners to the cry of Jesus:"O my people, what have I done unto you, wherefore have I wearied you; testify against me!" * may be even more effective in addressing the meaning of the words

The cantors sing these words of Jesus (*) while the choir sings the chorus - at a time when the People come up for the traditional Veneration of the Cross - to kiss the feet of Jesus in an act of penitence for their sins.

These are the words of the chorus " 'Agios 'o Theos; 'Agios, Ischyros; 'Agios, Athanatod, eleison imas" . (Holy God, Holy, Mighty, Holy and Strong; Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us").

I well remember the occasion, when I was Vicar of the Hibiscus Coast Parish in the Auckland Diocese, that the local Presbyterian Minister - who, at the time was also the national Moderator - attended our Good Friday Liturgy at St.Stephen's, Whangaparaoa. Afterwards, he told me he had been much moved by the ceremony; expressing the thought that it might well be a good way for his own community to reflect on the dereliction of Christ.on Good Friday.

Whatever one's personal view of 'Substitution', I am grateful for the grace of Christ's self-offering on the Cross for my (and the world's) redemption.

Looking forward to the Sacred Triduum, and the Christus Vincit cry of Easter
Father Ron

Father Ron Smith said...

p.s: A stark reminder of the self-substitution of Blessed Maximillian Kolbe

Father Ron Smith said...

In a lovely reflection on the demonstration of God's great LOVE in offering his own life to secure for us the gift of eternal life; here is today's Jesuit 3-minute retreat offering on our need to exercise mercy and love:

"At Jesus’ most horrible and humiliating moment, his agony and death, the centurion realizes that he is standing face to face with the Son of God. Jesus’ true identity is revealed as he hangs lifeless on the cross. The man who was known as teacher and healer now becomes Savior and Redeemer. The death of Jesus puts his life, and ours, in a new perspective. His death is all about love—love of God and love for us. For his followers then and now, the death of Jesus is a call to reach out in love. It is a call to believe that love is stronger than death. It is a call to see beyond what looks and feels like death around us. It is a call to make God’s Kingdom of love a reality.

"He came singing love, he lived singing love, he died singing love"

Bryden Black said...

Curiously Peter I strongly suspected this ... Bless Him and him.