May 7, 2012

Apis Mater

This little candle nub used to be about two feet long.

It was one of the beeswax baptismal candles prepared for the clergy at the Easter Vigil of our cathedral here in Boston. One of the friars brought one back for me that night. I've been burning it as a prayer candle in my room. I was hoping that it would make it to Pentecost, but it wasn't to be.

Prayer consumes. Prayer immolates. In offering the Paschal Candle to God at the Easter Vigil, it was presented as "the work of bees and of your servants' hands." There's the logic of the incarnation; the Word of God having become flesh in Christ renders creation fit to be transformed through immolating sacrifice to God. My little Easter candle was consumed in its work as a symbol accompanying my moments of prayer. The substance of bread and wine, as both created matter and a product of human work, is immolated in the Sacrifice of the Mass so as to re-present the one Sacrifice such that we might receive its victory over sin and death into our bodies and our lives.

This is the paschal mystery. In his own high priestly sacrifice, Jesus Christ carries in himself a disfigured creation that it might be transfigured in his victory. Abandoning ourselves to the immolation of the same Sacrifice, we find ourselves reborn for the great Easter slogan: sursum sunt quaerite, "seek the things that are above."

1 comment:

RJ said...

Thank you, Father