The Cathedral Connection 14 May 2017

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Photographic technology, as we all know, is developing at exponential leaps and bounds.  In recent years the phenomenon of “selfies” is now legion, even Pope Francis being swept along in this photographic avalanche.

Little known though, is that “selfies” are not a modern invention.  They were anticipated some 2000 years ago with the purported burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth.  This relic, with manifold converging evidence pointing to its authenticity, replicates the frontal and dorsal aspects of a naked, scourged and crucified corpse, in all probability that of Jesus.

As technology breathlessly tries to catch up with history we find, encoded in the Shroud image, an intricate 3-D imprint of a bearded, handsome and pony-tailed man of impressive physique, though bruised, tortured and impaled!  The Shroud has been called the fifth gospel and its gift and emphasis is to underscore and highlight the bodily Resurrection of Jesus.  Ray Downing, a 3-D CGI artist, has birthed from the ancient linen cloth the most accurate likeness of Jesus ever created.

The bodily Resurrection of Jesus, what we celebrate with Easter, is an affirmation of his claims about himself, that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  The bodily Resurrection of Jesus is the affirmation of the claims the Church itself makes, as his risen presence in the world today and the sacrament of salvation.  It is also an affirmation of the goodness, truth, beauty and unity of our own identity as en-fleshed spirits, souls emanating physicality, and our destiny to continue to be that way, with a resurrected body on the last day and forever.  The season of Easter opens and proclaims Christ as the only way to the Father.

Fr Tony Dunn (Auckland)

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