No.23 Divine Love Story
We, Catholics, are entrusted with the greatest mysteries of God’s love for humankind. Re-lived daily in the Sacrifice of the Mass and unfolded in the sacred liturgy of the Church, the eternal love and self-giving of the Lord God, are laid open for all to learn from and to enter into. There at the altar God’s priest stands, and in His name and by His power makes present in our here and now that timeless story of grace and mercy and forgiveness and the promise of a new beginning.
And yet, speaking for myself, and maybe for some others too, all this is taken so much for granted so very often. Would I not be deaf and insensitive, if I were to let the prayers and the wonder of the Mass go by, unheard by me? Am I not poor, often lost in day dreams of worldly promise or problems or tasks, with good intentions perhaps, but not one with my Lord as he speaks to me at Mass? Sunday after Sunday? Unaware of how much I have missed, of graces not gathered? Do I only see the priest, a man like ourselves, and the congregation, while missing the miracle of transubstantiation that takes place?
Deep within me, I know that the Lord, my God is merciful and desires my awakening, and also that of all who call themselves his children; waiting for our response, for our own sake, for the sake of the world, for the sake of the coming of His kingdom.
Liturgical Love Story: the Fourth Eucharistic Prayer
“Father, we acknowledge your greatness: all your actions show your wisdom and love.
You formed man in Your own likeness
and set him over the whole world to serve You, his Creator,
and to rule over all creatures.
Even when he disobeyed You and lost Your friendship
You did not abandon him to the power of death,
but helped all men to seek and find You.
Again and again You offered a covenant to man,
and through the prophets taught him to hope for salvation.
Father, You so loved the world that in the fullness of time
You sent Your only Son to be our Saviour.
He was conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit,
and born of the Virgin Mary,
a man like us in all things but sin.
To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation,
to prisoners, freedom, and to those in sorrow, joy.
In fulfillment of Your will he gave himself up to death;
but by rising from the dead, he destroyed death and restored life.
And that we might live no longer for ourselves but for Him,
He sent the Holy Spirit from You, Father,
as his first gift to those who believe,
to complete His work on earth
and bring us the fullness of grace.
Father, may this Holy Spirit sanctify these offerings.
Let them become the body and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord
as we celebrate the great mystery which He left us as an everlasting covenant.
He always loved those who were His own in the world.
When the time came for him to be glorified by You, his heavenly Father,
He showed the depth of His love.
While they were at supper, He took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread, and gave it to His disciples, saying:
Take this, all of you, and eat it:
This is My body which will be given up for you.
In the same way, He took the cup, filled with wine.
He gave you thanks, and giving the cup to his disciples, said:
Take this, all of you, and drink from it:
This is the cup of My blood,
the blood of the new and everlasting covenant.
It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven.
Do this in memory of Me.”
O Christ the Light of heaven, and of the world true Light, You come in all your radiance to cleave the web of night. May what is false within us, before Your truth give way, that we may live untroubled with quiet hearts this day. May steadfast faith sustain us and hope made firm in You, the love that we have wasted O God of love renew. Blest Trinity we praise You, in whom our quest will cease, keep us with You for ever, in happiness and peace. (Prayer of the Church, Hymn, Tuesday, Week 1)
May we be drawn ever more closely to You, O Lord, through the liturgy You give us through Your Church.