Friday, May 13, 2016


Paragraph 79, subparagraph h of the GIRM

Not everything that crept into the Mass rubrics were removed at the Second Vatican Council.  We did not “go back” to some pristine state.  In fact, some things were added and some things were (not bad) accretions that were left in.  For example, the Memorial Acclamation was a part of the ancient Eastern liturgies but not in the West.  It was added during the revision of the Missal. 

And an example of something that was added and not removed is the elevation of the Sacred Species immediately after each is consecrated.  Granted, it was added centuries ago, not as recently as the pre-Vatican II addition of St. Joseph’s name to the Roman Canon, but it was added none-the-less.  It was during a time when few people went to Communion.  At least they would get to SEE Jesus even if they were not going to be able to receive Him.  (This led to the unfortunate practice of people running between churches trying to catch a glimpse of Jesus.)

As fantastic as this moment is, and it is pretty fantastic isn’t it?  I mean, Jesus Himself is present among us!  Right?  It is not the most important moment of the Mass.  That is why we don’t stop here.  After this momentary worship of Jesus (prolonged during Eucharistic Adoration) we move along - we have someplace more important to be in the Mass.

The pinnacle of the Mass is the doxology at the end of the Eucharistic prayer.  Here, Jesus is lifted up, that moment 2000 years we now witness, as He offers Himself to the Father.  Here, we are one with each other and as a body, the bride, we are one with the bridegroom Jesus, Who is recognized as one with the Father.  Here is the center of our unity.  And like a coach leading his team the priest cries out, “Through Him (Jesus), with Him, in Him, O God Almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is Yours for ever and ever!”  

Have you taken the time to think about how marvelous a statement this is?  It acknowledges that Jesus is here among us as the Eucharist, the source and symbol of our unity.  He it is that saves us at this very moment by bringing His saving action into the world at this time.  Through Him, through Whom everything that is was created.  He is our One True Priest Who offered Himself as a sacrifice on our behalf.  Everything that is destined for the Father goes through Him, the one, perfect mediator between the Father and Man.  With Him, because he also became man.  He stood with us and walks with us to show us the way.  And in Him, because we become one with Him.  We stand in His name.  In our covenantal bond we give ourselves over to Him and find life in Him.

“O God!”  It is not enough just to say “God.”  We have an ache in our heart at this wonderful promise of love, redemption, salvation and hope.  We moan, “Oh!” in exclamation that means everything from “Dear” to a continual feeling of surprise that He continues to love us so Who is Almighty, Who needs us not, but Who chooses us just the same like a good and perfect Father.

And Who does so in the Holy Spirit, the very power of God!  The love that radiates from the Father and Son that is so strong and so palpable, it became fruitful, becomes the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, and generates children for the Father through His sanctifying action in the world.

What an awesome God this is!  Why does He love us so?  He certainly has no need.  He freely chooses us and promises us everything.  All glory and honor is His, not just forever, but for ever and ever!

Why is it then that the very walls do not shake in terror when Catholics cry out, “Amen!  Amen!  Amen!?”  This should be a frightening, frantic noise.  Cars on the street should break as the drivers stop and wonder, “What was that?”  It should put the sound of the bells in the bell tower to shame.  It should cause people to ask, “What is this?”

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