Chris is a 2013 graduate from St. John’s School of Theology with a Masters of Liturgical Music. Originally from St. James, NY on Long Island, Chris now lives in St. Cloud, MN and works as the Director of Music for Christ Church Newman Center at St. Cloud State University. Previously, Chris spent two years living and serving in Camden, NJ. He graduated in 2009 from Crane School of Music in New York with a degree in Music Education.
A key concept in this passage from Luke and in the Eucharistic celebration itself is sacrifice. We see this beautiful gift of sacrifice illuminated here in three ways.
The first panel shows the gifts consecrated during Mass, the sacrifi-cial offering of bread and wine. Blood pours out of the sacrificial lamb in the center panel. The image of Christ as the sacrificial lamb serves as a reminder of the new covenant Christ promised to his people. During the Eucharistic prayer, the words of Christ ring out: “This cup is poured out for you.” How intimate. How gracious. The third panel depicts the ciborium, the vessel in which the Eucharist is reserved.
Together, these Eucharistic illuminations help us see that Christ’s sacrifice, his love for us, is ongoing. Christians have reaped the benefits of the love of Christ from the night of the Last Supper to today. And by the grace of God, this love will continue forever and ever. Amen.
Join Seeing the Word this Lenten season as we take a prayerful look into the ministry of Jesus Christ through the lens of The Saint John’s Bible. The weekly posts will feature either a prayer or reflection paired with an illumination. All content was written by Jessie Bazan, M.Div. candidate.
Illumination: © Donald Jackson, 2002 The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, © 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
By Jessie Bazan, M.Div. candidate
The Way of Beauty: A Liturgical Minister Retreat was first hosted at Saint John’s University in November 2014. The retreat was developed in the spirit of Pope Francis’s encouragement to revel in the beauty of proclaiming Christ. In Evangelli Gaudium, Francis declares, “Every form of catechesis would do well to attend to ‘the way of beauty.’” Every expression of true beauty, he writes, fosters “a renewed esteem for beauty as a means of touching the human heart” (167).
This call to engage beauty is a main focus of Seeing the Word, a project developed to help people listen, meditate and pray with the Illuminated Word of The Saint John’s Bible. As the first handwritten and illuminated Bible in more than 500 years, The Saint John’s Bible was commissioned by the monks of Saint John’s Abbey with the hope that its beautiful illuminations and calligraphy would ignite the spiritual imagination of readers. We think delving into its beauty will ignite the hearts of liturgical ministers, too.
The half-day retreat includes an introduction to The Saint John’s Bible, a visio divina prayer service, individual art time, small group discussions and the talk posted above. Seeing the Word graduate assistant Jessie Bazan created and facilitated the retreat, and would be happy to talk with you about bringing the retreat to your parish or school. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.