Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: October 1, 2018

 

Ite ad Evangelium Domini annuntiandum” that is, ‘Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord’!

The essence of our directive as practicing Catholic Christians is summed up here in these rather simple words with a deeper meaning. In other words, ‘Be like Jesus, do like Jesus.’ From our entry into the parish walls with the touching of the holy water to our foreheads, to our exiting following the words of the deacon, we are what we say and what we believe, but more so, we are the liturgy that we love. Well, at least that we used to love.

Things were different not so long ago. When I was a child, I loved the majesty of the Catholic Mass. I couldn’t get enough! I would go every day if they let me. I loved the feel, the smells, the bells, the majestic word play, the meaning, and the artistry of that which we so often – as Catholics – now take for granted. Bishop Robert Barron said it best with,“Catholic life is about joy, it’s about the attitude, it’s about how to become happy, and happiness comes from self-giving.” That, for me, is the Mass.

That is why beginning this Advent, we will gather for four sessions and try and allow ourselves to become a people in love with the Mass again! I pray you will join me as we become transformed by our encounter with the Christ we love so much. Perhaps we will finally allow Heaven to fall upon us on a weekly basis as we gather for the experience that will one day bring us to eternal life.

The word is used during the conclusion of the celebration, when the priest or deacon says in Latin is ‘Ite, missa est’. The literal translation of this phrase is, “Go, it has been sent.”  In these humble words, there’s less of that business about enduring wretched misery in our world in anticipation of reward in the next every time the priest, in the place of Christ, sends forth his parishioners into the world so that they may be beacons of light, set on a hill for all to see.

St. Francis once said, “Let the entire man be seized with fear; let the whole world tremble; let heaven exult when Christ, the Son of the Living God, is on the altar in the hands of the priest. O admirable height and stupendous condescension! O humble sublimity! O sublime humility! that the Lord of the universe, God and the Son of God, so humbles Himself that for our salvation He hides Himself under a morsel of bread.”
 
Will you join me and become a beacon of light, too, as we witness the Miracle found within each morsel of mere bread changed just for us? 
 

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