Configured to Christ Jesus
The Spring issue of Notre Dame’s new online journal, “Church Life: A Journal for the New Evangelization” is now available here. Aside from regular contributors like John Cavadini, Larry Cunningham, and Virgilio Elizondo, it has some fine articles on the place of art and film in Christian discernment and formation.
One article that I found particularly suggestive and apt in this Easter Season is by Michael Heintz, who is the Rector of Saint Matthew’s Cathedral in South Bend and teaches in Notre Dame’s Department of Theology. In his article “Jesus: Sage or Sacrifice,” Heintz writes:
Jesus does not come to tell us “about” God. He comes to show us God, God-in-action, as it were, the life-giving and dynamic relationship which the Incarnate Son shares with his Father; an eternal relationship whose Love has been termed in the Tradition their Holy Spirit; a life of self-emptying love into which he invites those who follow him to share, but to do so only by losing or forgetting themselves.
And this share, of course, has a significant cost. “Are you not aware,” Paul had rather sternly to remind the Romans, “that you who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” The life of Christians is not fundamentally a morality (though, of course, it is indeed this too), but a personal and corporate configuration into a real, living Person: Jesus, the Crucified and Risen One. This configuration to Jesus, begun in baptism, is expressed fully in Eucharistic communion, where our share in his dying and rising, which Paul tells us we somehow carry about in our own bodies, is made both tangible and personal.