Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Gaze that Saves

"Go and show yourself to the priests", says Jesus in today's Gospel. The Jewish lepers do so, the Samaritan, who would not have welcome in Jerusalem, comes to the true Priest, the Lamb who takes away the sins of the World.
In the Sacrament of Penance we "show" ourselves and the leprosy of sin is taken away.
The Gospels are full of people who want to see Jesus. Jesus likens himself to the serpent in the desert that brings healing to those who simply look upon it.
Pre-counter Reformation Catholicism seems to have been very much about the "gaze that saves", of looking at, being proximate to the Holy and holy things. It is Communion rather than hearing which saves, what happens in the soul rather than the mind, not homilies but holiness.

In the first read it is either obedience to Elisha or washing in the Jordan following the rubrics laid by Elisha that heals Naaman. In the Old Testament people are saved by looking on bronze serpents. In Acts Peter's shadow and his handkerchief brings healing.

5 comments:

mum6kids said...

I've just written on today's Gospel too.
I am wondering what has happened to the charism of healing in the Church.
It is so so needed these days.
I envy those lepers.

Peter said...

I rather liked the Offertory "Recordare mei..." "Remember me,O Lord, you who dominate all authority; put the right words on my lips, so that my speech may be convincing in the presence of the King." (Solesmes missal pages 569-570).
All those trying to uphold the Faith need help to convince.
Good on you Father.

Boy Madonna said...

"Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked for alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, with John, and said, "Look at us." [...] But Peter said, "I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise and walk." (Acts 3: 4-7)

In reference to Father Ray's "The gaze that saves", and his homily to-day on the presence of Christ as healing, I couldn't agree more. So abounding is the grace of God that even in His name are men saved! Amen to that.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

What a beautiful rood screen crucifixion. Where is it from?

I do SO miss English Gothic. You can get enough of the gold curlicues and disembodied flying baby-heads. Baroque! Pah!

Fr Ray Blake said...

Hilary, I found it by googling "rood". I know nothing more.