Wednesday, April 24, 2013

17. Weeks of Dedication of the Church (Qudas - Edta)

“This last Season of the liturgical year begins with the following prayer: “O Lord, the Church redeemed by your Cross and the sheep purchased by your precious Blood, offer you the High Priest garlands of praise; for, you raised her by humbling yourself.  As a glorious Bride, she rejoices and feels happy in you who are her ever-praised Groom.  By the power of truth you raise the fortress of her salvation and give priests that her children become messengers of peace””

            The Dedication of the Church is a Season when Iso’, the Bridegroom leads his Bride, the Church
into the heavenly bridal chamber and fills her with great enjoyment.  At the end of the salvation history, when everything is fully transformed into Iso’-Msiha, he submits himself to the Father so “that God may be everything to every one” (1 Cor 15, 28).  This is in Fact, the communion of the redeemed with the heavenly Father.  What is emphasized in this liturgical Season is exactly the same.

            The Church is the House of God and it is a heavenly institution; God the Father has given her form; God the Son has fixed her foundation; and God the Holy Spirit sanctifies her with grace.

            In the Book of Exodus (ch. 26) we read of a temporary tabernacle of ten veils of fine twined linen.  It was only a pre-figuration; the Church is the standing tabernacle of God, substituting it.  She stands in the world as a sign of the heavenly kingdom.  She proclaims her reality through the celebration of Mysteries, especially, the Holy Qurbana,

            Church is the community which Iso’-Msiha redeemed from sin by his own Body and Blood.  Hence the believers ought to be continuously nourished by his Body and Blood in the celebration of the “Body broken for the forgiveness of sins” and the “Blood shed for the forgiveness of sins” (Order of Raza).

            Church is a ship sailing straight to eternal life.  Anyone who likes to enter that must receive Baptism and confess the Father; the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Inside the ship, there is always serenity and calmness even when the sea is violent and turbulent.
            Thus the Season of Dedication of the Church commemorates becomingly the identity and individuality of the Church, her inalienable relation with the Holy Trinity, the dignity of Priesthood which sustains and preserves her through the vicissitudes of history, and so on.

            The Sunday readings of this Season lead us through all the above mentioned holy Mysteries.  What is most prominent everywhere is the image of the Church.


1.  Ex 40, 17-6

Presence of the Lord in the temporary tabernacle.

2.  Is 6, 1-13

Isaiah’s vision of heaven, the Holy Temple.  The burning coal that touched the lips of the prophet is the image of the Risen Body of Iso’ in the Qurbana.

3.  1 Cor 12, 28-13, 13

The Church founded on love.

4.  Mt 16,13-19

Faith in Iso’-Msiha as the foundation of the Church


1.  Ex 39,32-40,16

The Bread of the Holy Presence in the temporary tabernacle.  The priesthood given to Aaron and his children that they may minister to the Lord there.
2.  1 King 8,10-29

The splendour of the Lord filled the temple built by Solomon.  There, before the altar, Solomon offered his prayers.

3.  Heb 8,1-9

Iso’-Msiha is such a high priest, one who, is seated at the right hand in the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the Sanctuary and the true tent which is set up not by man but by the Lord.
4.  Mt 12, 1-21

Iso’-Msiha is greater than the Temple; the Lord of Sabbath; the chosen Servant of God.


1.  Num 7,1-10; 9,15-l8

Offerings for the dedication of the tabernacle; the cloud of fire over it as a sign.

2.  Is 54,1-15

New Jerusalem; the Lord will raise his children; and they will gain fame.

3.  Heb 9,5-15

Sacrifices of Old and the New Sacrifice; Iso’-Msiha, the High Priest is the mediator of the New covenant.

4.  Jn 2,13-22

Iso’-Msiha cleanses Temple; his Body is new Temple.


1.  1 King 6,1-19

Solomon builds the house of God and the Lord confirms his promise to him.

2.  Ezek 43,1-7; 44,1-5

Ezekiel saw the glory of God coming from the east and filling the Temple

3.  Heb 9,15-28

Iso’-Msiha has entered heaven itself to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.

4.  Mt 22,41-23,22

Iso’ -Msiha, the Son of David is our only leader.

“The liturgical prayers and hymns of this Season also manifest deep insights into the reality of the Church.  The foundation of the church is firmly fixed on the rock that is Peter; neither wind nor storm can topple it down; she remains in the world as the continuation of Iso’-Msiha, and as the sign of the heavenly Kingdom; she lives and serves through the priesthood, which is the continuation of Iso’s priesthood.”


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