Wednesday after Epiphany
Amongst Catholics, very few topics hit the raw nerve of people like liturgy. Yes, liturgy. I want to discuss this because it’s so important to our faith. Jesus did say that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. God inspired religion in order to bring us closer to him. If we ignore liturgy or aren’t open to receiving its graces, we run the risk of losing our spiritual lives.
The Catholic Church offers a rich liturgical variety that nourishes souls and guides them on the journey to their Heavenly homeland. Prosper Guéranger* wrote that the Church, the Bride of Christ, meets her bridegroom in the liturgy. We are all a living part of the Church, and we meet Christ in the Mass and Church’s liturgy. We who encounter liturgy every day should not take it for granted. We ought never to forget the sacred beauty we are privileged to partake in every time we celebrate Mass or any Catholic liturgy. The time allotted to the liturgy allows us to refocus our mind and heart on the “the things that are above.” A Church that loses its central focus on prayer will lose its very viability. The liturgy is, in a sense, the foundation for all Catholic life. No parish or Catholic community can stand without it. Thanks be to God that the liturgical traditions we cherish have indeed survived, and thrived, through so many different times and challenges. Our Catholic liturgy is a great gift. We can offer thanks that God would give us so great a gift as to share in his grace in it.
Reflection: It’s one thing to come to Mass, it’s quite another to participate in it. If you asked yourself honestly, how well do you think you focus and participate in the Divine Liturgy? What more can you do to “be present” in both mind and heart?
Reflection by Br. Matthew Marie, OSB
*The Holy Mass, Guéranger, Prosper . Barionus Press. 12-13.