Friday, July 4, 2008

Why the face of the Shroud of Turin?

When we "seek the face of Christ," why should we emphasize the particular face of Christ in the Shroud of Turin, and not just an all-embracing way of seeking out Jesus' face-- his personality, his expressions, his look, Jesus' self shining out through his words?

The answer lies in the reply to the question on why three of the universal sacraments have a symbolic force limited to a specific region in the world, the Mediterranean region: olive oil, bread, wine.

Ratzinger answers the question in his book, Spirit of the Liturgy: God's incarnation binds us to the history of a particular place. It does not mean doing as we please, a typical tendency of those who want to invent a new liturgy, or new sacraments. No. "The elements become sacraments through connection with the unique history of God in relation to man in Jesus Christ."

And Ratzinger concludes:

It is with this particular face, with this particular human form, that Christ comes to us, and precisely thus does he make us brethren beyond all boundaries. Precisely thus do we recognize him: "It is the Lord" (Jn 21:7).

No comments: