The Call to Minister as Christ, The Priest
Introduction to Upcoming Daily Reflections for Ordinary Time
by Fr. David M. Knight
The Immersed in Christ Faith Formation Series by Father David M. Knight is an intensive, five-step journey that makes the promises of our Baptism real and active in our daily lives.
Christian life is ongoing interaction with Jesus Christ. It is conscious relationship with God as Father, Son and Spirit. It is developing dialogue between disciple and Teacher, growing into intimate friendship with him who said, “I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father” (John 15:15). Christian life is awareness of love. It is, even when we don’t recognize the word, abiding mystical experience.
As experience should, it grows—in “breadth and length and height and depth,” into the “love that surpasses knowledge,” until we are “filled with the fullness of God.” (Read Ephesians 3:18 and revel in it; that’s mystical experience!)
These reflections are echoes of mystical experience. Not just mine, but yours. As you read them, you will realize that you know what they say. Not that you have heard them before, or thought them in the same words, but that they are affirming what your heart already affirms: a Light you know and live by. You will resonate to Truth you know is your own.
Experience develops: develops us and develops within us. Real relationships aren’t stagnant. Our interaction with Jesus starts, stops, changes course, lifts us up, knocks us down, is always different and always the same, because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Saint Augustine, out of himself, cried out in his Confessions:
O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside… You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.
If you “thirst for more,” these reflections will guide you down the “unbeaten path” to springs of living water. It is a path “for those with a journey to make…” (Isaiah 35:8). The path takes us through five ways of interacting with Jesus that all must discover, soon or late. These reflections tie these discoveries to the “liturgical seasons” that celebrate the mystery of Jesus as his life gradually revealed it.
During Advent and Christmas we pass through discovery of Jesus as Savior, and of the new identity we have as Christians by sharing in his divine life as members of his Body.
During Lent, time of metanoia—of “mind change” about everything—we learn to sit at his feet as disciples, absorbing his words.
From Easter to Pentecost we practice living the risen life by making changes in our lifestyle—changes that reveal the living Jesus acting visibly with us, in us and through us. We show the truth of his words: “Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father… On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” By this we live out our baptismal consecration to bear witness as prophets.
Now we are entering into what the liturgy calls “Ordinary Time,” although now all time is extraordinary because of the action of Christ’s Body in the world. During this time the Church takes us through the whole Bible by dividing it into three sets of Sunday readings (Years A, B, and C) and two sets of weekday readings (Years 1 and 2). In 2016 we are reflecting on the Sunday readings for Year C and the weekday readings for Year 2. This present set of reflections will take us through the Seventh to the Twenty-first Weeks of the Year C-2. (We reflected on the First to the Sixth Weeks after Christmas).
Our focus will be on what these readings teach us about Jesus as Priest offering himself as Victim: his “flesh for the life of the world” (John 6:51). By Baptism all of us were consecrated as “priests in the Priest” and “victims in the Victim.” We live out this consecration through ministry, which is essentially surrender to letting Jesus in us express himself in and through our physical words and actions.
These reflections build on and help us to live out Step Four of the book Reaching Jesus—Five Steps to a Fuller Life. They help us “realize”—understand and make real—the fourth of The Five Promises of Baptism: God’s promise to give each of us a “posterity” through a life that will “bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16).
Our surrender to Christ as “priests in the Priest,” and our fruitfulness as “branches on the vine” are further developed in the book Five Steps to the Father, “Phrase, Phase Four.”
Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry