Wednesday, July 1, 2009

MASS CONFUSION PART 9

This is an exciting time. Jesus is present on our altar. The curtain of time has been opened and we are united in the original sacrifice. Now with our Savior the moment of absolute joy is almost here.

In this state we begin by recalling the mystical events in which we find ourselves. In the RC we start again addressing our Father, “ . . . we celebrate the memory of Christ, Your Son,” Who is now present on our altar, “we, Your people and Your ministers recall His passion, His resurrection from the dead, and His ascension into glory.” We then tell Him that we are about to offer Him the only gift worthy of Him: Jesus. In the Third Eucharistic Prayer we state, “Look with favor on Your Church’s offering and see the Victim Whose death reconciles us to Yourself.” Since most people listen instead of reading along in a book (which is right and good) they miss the capitalization of “Victim.” Jesus is THE one true Victim for our sins as He is the only truly Innocent One. As such we beg the Father to accept this sacrifice – His Son on our behalf for the forgiveness of our sins.

In the first half of the RC we were concerned with people and things of this world. Now that we are actively dabbling in things of the next we begin expanding outward to encompass the true circle of the Church. So as in the first part we recalled “all Your people especially those for whom we know pray,” in the second part we beg, “Remember Lord those who have died . . .especially those for whom we now pray.” What a blessing (to some soul) to call someone to mind – even if it is just the poor souls – during this time instead of thinking about a tee-time or grocery list!

We pray for our future with the saints after our time in this life is over. “May we share in the fellowship of the apostles and martyrs with John the Baptist, Stephen, Mathias . . .”

Finally, before the grand moment of the Mass we once make our ultimate request: That through this sacrifice, trusting in his mercy and love, we will enjoy the fruits of salvation.

Now, there are certainly a number of high points – very significant – even earth shaking events in the Mass. But here comes the most incredible moment of all. Jesus’ mission on earth was to be the perfect mediator between heaven and earth. He was to bring man back into relationship with his Father. We were estranged and now are family is healed! This is all because of the sacrifice of our God, a Trinity of Persons Who we, in the power of the Holy Spirit, can call Father through the One we are granted to name as Brother.

So, we see Jesus lifted up for all to see just as He was 2000 years ago except we see the glory of the lifting up where the original witnesses only saw scandal and disgrace. We can be the voice in the background at Golgotha that cries out, “Through Him! (Jesus!) With Him (Did you catch that? WITH HIM!) In Him! In the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is Yours! Almighty Father! For ever and ever!” And we should burst forth, unable to contain ourselves with a three fold, “Amen! Amen! Amen!” But we are used to it! Mere mortals have become accustomed to visiting with God! That is both our shame and our glory. But think of it – now that Jesus has been lifted up in the Holy Spirit and we are once again united as closely as we can be here on earth with God (assuming we went to confession if need be) what are the first words out of our mouths? What did Jesus teach us to say? How do we address the Lord, God, Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth and all that they contain now that we have been brought this close together?

Our Father, Who art in heaven . . .”

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Father, You explain the Mass beautifully and in doing so, help me to appreciate it more fully. Thanks.

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Anonymous said...

During the "Our Father" it looks like you've walked into a robbery in progress. I find the orans position very distracting and extremely silly, especially while wearing shorts and flip-flops.

STOP THE BANALIZATION OF THE LITURGY NOW!