Friday, May 27, 2016

Transcript of the Patriarchal Address on the Feast of Corpus Christ 2016

Transcript of the Patriarchal Address on the Feast of Corpus Christ 2016
Rutherford, Card. Patriach of St. Stephen
To the Members of the Court of St. Mary of Walsingham, to all the clergy and faithful under Our pastoral care, and indeed to all the clergy and faithful in Christ around the world, that all may be one, the grace and peace of our Lord, and Apostolic Blessings on this Feast of Corpus Christi in the year of our Lord 2016. As the Trinity season begun on Sunday, a mere four days ago, we will remark again that we consider the Trinity Season a great gift as a period of reflection on all that has recently been experienced. From the beginning of the liturgical year in Advent, we prepare for and experience the coming of our Lord to earth as man, the chief occasion being the Nativity. Then comes the period of the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles in which we welcome Christ likewise into our homes and our hearts. Next comes Lent, during which time we focus on the earthly ministry of our Lord, culminating in the going up to Jerusalem, the Passion, and the Crucifixion. Then comes the moment for which the world long waited and for which we wait in anticipation each year, the most important day of the liturgical calendar, the Easter Vigil and the Sunday of Resurrection, when the victory over the grave is complete. Yet Christ did not merely rise from the grave and disappear. He had more to do. He had to make plain His great victory, that all might believe and be saved. Thus begins the forty days from Easter to the Ascension - a marvelous time in which there is much to absorb. And, of course, the Feast of Christ's glorious Ascension itself does not even mark the end of Paschaltide, for our Lord promised to send the Holy Spirit. That we celebrate on Whitsunday and throughout Whitsunweek, inviting the Holy Spirit again into our hearts and renewing our openness to the work of the Spirit in Christ's Holy Church Militant. And so it is that Paschaltide ends immediately prior to the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. God the Father was made known first to the Hebrew people. Then God the Son was made manifest on earth. Once our Lord's ministry on earth had been fulfilled, indeed in very fulfillment of the Hebrew Scriptures, He send the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit. It is truly right and even logical that the end of the Easter season ends with the Feast of the Holy Trinity.

So great and so deep is the mystery that we cannot hope to comprehend it all. There is much to learn each year. There is much personal growth that can take place if we only open our hearts to the truth of Christ. Thus we are given the marvelous gift of the Trinity season each year, following Paschaltide and continuing until the beginning of the next liturgical year with Advent. As the liturgy shows us the Persons of the Holy Trinity in Christmas and Epiphany, Lent and Easter, and Pentecost, the Trinity season lets us relax and reflect, taking in all that we have experienced, and marvel at the mystery and power of the combined Trinity.

Less than a week into Trinity season, though, comes the Feast of Corpus Christi. We celebrate and worship the Most Holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of Mankind, the founder of the Holy Catholic Church, and the Supreme and Eternal King and Priest. We celebrate the fact that our Lord remains with us here on earth through His presence in the Most Holy Sacrament. Christ lives on the altar, which remains a true and living Sacrifice to which we may all join ourselves. As we begin Trinitytide, we receive the bold reminder of Christ's presence on earth so that we do not wander through Trintytide aimlessly, merely waiting for it all to begin again next year at Advent, but instead walk through like pilgrims with purpose. May we in our Patriarchate be pilgrims with purpose, letting our lives be as a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Let us all seek Christ in all that we do and thereby lead a life filled with divinely-inspired purpose.

We are blessed in the Patriarchate of St. Stephen, the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church, to continue the legacy of Walsingham, of Rome, of Florence, and of Jerusalem. Our legacy is ancient and deep, and we drive forward in humility. To the members of Our Curia and Houeshold without whose assistance We could not so effectively serve, We thank you sincerely and give Our special blessing. And now, all may prepare to receive the blessing of our Lord.

Et Benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris, + et Filii, + et Spiritus + Sancti, descendat super vos and maneat semper. R. Amen.