26 April 2007

Oh Holy Cow!

I know I should be writing about Saint Mark Evangelist* as it is his feast, but I thought of something far more interesting (at least to me) today.

I was poking through the Gospel of Saint Luke today, and I read the parable of the prodigal son just for fun.
"But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to celebrate." (St. Luke 15.20b-24, RSV)
Watchman Nee pointed out that Christ wasn't just illustrating God's grace toward us, but he was also pointing to himself, and the sacrifice that was to come. Nee writes in his commentary:
"Verse 32. [This] Signifies the rich Christ killed on the cross for the believer's enjoyment. God's salvation has two aspects: the outward aspect, signified by the best robe, and the inward, subjective aspect, signified by the fattened calf. Christ as our righteousness is our salvation outwardly; Christ as our life for our life is our salvation inwardly. The best robe enabled the prodigal son to meet his father's requirements and satisfy his father, and the fattened calf satisfied the son's hunger. Thus the father and the son could be merry together."
I never realized the Eucharistic value to this passage; typically we think of Christ as the 'Lamb of God' or the 'Lion of Judah'. But a fatted calf? Huh? Perhaps the Hindus were right after all in their veneration of the sacred cow. So I had a little fun with the Angus Dei in the liturgy for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Holy Cow, you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

Holy Cow, you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

Holy Cow, you take away the sins of the world,
grant us peace.
Did I raise a few eyebrows? Moo!


*Why is it in modern times we add 'the' to a saint's feast? Even as late as our 1928 Prayer Book, we called rendered Saint John the Baptist's day as "The Feast of Saint John Baptist". Is it perhaps a carryover of Norman French? In French it's rendered, 'La fête de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste'. If you know the answer, tell me. I mean, although not a saint, do we call the Son 'Jesus the Christ'?

2 April 2007

Still stuck in the Philippines

I was supposed on come back on 26 March, but thanks a lot to a blasted mosquito, I caught Dengue Fever, and I wasn't discharged from the hospital until 30 March, Philippine Time. I have a new booking for 5 April (Maundy Thursday), which sucks, as I should like to fully participate in the Holy Triduum. I'm heading off for Manila again tomorrow, where I'll wait it out until my trip back home to the States.

Anyway, I suppose I might as well upload the photos from this year's mission trip. I'll upload the pictures from the family reunion at another time because the internet cafe is waaaay too slow.

Random shot of the mission team.

Me with the mission team at the hotel.

Praise and worship with Sam.

Kathleen with unidentified Filipino baby.

Charlene with the children.

Can you spot me among this group of hungry missionaries?

Sitting in church.

With Filipino children.

The team with the Mayor of Lapu-lapu City (Guy, centre, in white).