Interpellans pro nobis Christus Pontifex noster

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Today's Collect

O God, who for the salvation of the world,
brought about the paschal sacrifice,
be favourable to the supplications of your people,
that with Christ our Pontiff interceding for us,
we may be reconciled by that in which he is like unto us,
and be absolved by that in which he is equal to you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

Christ Our Pontiff

On this Thursday of the Second Week of Pascha, the Church gives us a Collect focusing on the mediatorship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest. Very fitting, in fact, for a Thursday. "With Christ our Pontiff interceding for us," is, of course, an allusion to Hebrews 7:25. The word "pontiff" -- meaning bridge-builder -- is, I think, a more suitable translation than "high priest" in this instance, given that Christ Himself is the bridge, the Divine Mediator uniting God to man and man to God.

Saint Catherine of Siena

This recalls the words of the Eternal Father to Saint Catherine of Siena in The Dialogues:

I also wish you to look at the Bridge of My only-begotten Son, and see the greatness thereof, for it reaches from Heaven to earth, that is, that the earth of your humanity is joined to the greatness of the Deity thereby. I say then that this Bridge reaches from Heaven to earth, and constitutes the union which I have made with man.
This was necessary, in order to reform the road which was broken, as I said to you, in order that man should pass through the bitterness of the world, and arrive at life; but the Bridge could not be made of earth sufficiently large to span the flood and give you Eternal Life, because the earth of human nature was not sufficient to satisfy for guilt, to remove the stain of Adam's sin. Which stain corrupted the whole human race and gave out a stench, as I have said to you above. It was, therefore, necessary to join human nature with the height of My nature, the Eternal Deity, so that it might be sufficient to satisfy for the whole human race, so that human nature should sustain the punishment, and that the Divine nature, united with the human, should make acceptable the sacrifice of My only Son, offered to Me to take death from you and to give you life.
So the height of the Divinity, humbled to the earth, and joined with your humanity, made the Bridge and reformed the road. Why was this done? In order that man might come to his true happiness with the angels. And observe, that it is not enough, in order that you should have life, that My Son should have made you this Bridge, unless you walk thereon.



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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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