Fourth Sunday of Lent – 11th March 2018

We continue to explore the symbols of the Icon of the Christ of San Damiano, now hanging in our three churches…

By studying the eyes of Jesus in the icon we see they are wide open, showing Jesus to be the Living One. He said “Do not be afraid…. I am the first and the last, the Living One. I was dead but now I live forever and ever.” We can also notice that the eyes of Jesus are very large, disproportionately so. This is a way of saying that he is the “Seeing One.” Jesus wants to share with us his vision of the Father, As He says in St. John’s gospel, “Who sees me, sees the Father.” St. John make it even clearer, “All we know is, that when all is revealed we shall see him as he really is.”  We might ask the question, “Why are the eyes of Jesus focused between heaven and earth?” Because, as our mediator his glance needs to be directed half way between us on earth and heaven. Also we need to know that the eyes of Jesus also see us. He is the Shepherd who “knows his sheep and calls them each by name.”

The wounds in the hands, feet and side of Jesus have become fountains that flow abundantly with the Blood of the Lamb of God. If we look at the wounds on the nailed hands, we can see opposite each hand an angel, their hands pointing towards Jesus’s constant bleeding hands. Other angels under the arms of Jesus express their astonishment before the spectacle of the blood shed by the One Son of God. St. Peter writes, “Even the angels long to catch a glimpse of these things,” the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would come after them. If you look at the wound in the right side of Jesus; according to specialists who have studied the Shroud of Turin, it would have been necessary for the lance to have pierced the right side in order for the blood and water to have flowed from the heart. The prophet Ezekiel in speaking of the temple, said twice, that the stream flowed from the right side of the temple. This temple was a symbol of the Body of Christ which is the site of the new spiritual worship. As to the blood of Jesus, St. Paul explains, “Christ has entered the sanctuary once and for all, taking with him not the blood of goats and bull calves, but his own blood, having won eternal redemption for us. How much more effectively the blood of Christ who offered himself as the perfect sacrifice to God through the eternal spirit, can purify our inner self from dead actions so that we do our service to the living God.

Michael Hargreaves

Posted in Clitheroe, Dunsop Bridge, Sabden, Weekly View.