We have dived into the Mass and we are in full mode, crying, staring baby and all!
The Liturgy of the Word; the word, the Word; Jesus in the Last Supper is going to go through readings and traditional prayers just as we do now. Obviously, after Jesus, these prayers are going to take on a completely different and fulfilled meaning, but He did it, therefore showing us the importance of scripture in our lives.
We have established that Mass is going to nourish our souls and, yes the obvious one for me had always been through the Eucharist, but his word? Honestly, I never thought much of it I thought it was to get us to hear the bible because they knew we weren’t going to read it on our own. Never had it occurred to me that the Word would nourish me just as much as the Eucharist; when I realized this there was no going back and His word has become my rock. The power of the Word is going to transform us, make us clean, make us clean again, rejoice in Him, praise Him, accept Him, and live Him.
This is why the Word of God makes up one of the two pillars of the Catholic Mass: The Liturgy of the Word. The other pillar is the Eucharist in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Catholics love our scripture, no matter what others may perceive. Our Mass is built upon the scripture and tradition of our fathers. Scripture is God’s gift to us, and it’s here to make us fully alive, it’s here for us to be able to anticipate the Glory of God here on Earth!
The liturgy is made up of the readings and a responsorial psalm. On Sundays or special days (solemnities), we have two readings usually the first from the Old Testament and the Second from the New Testament and then a responsorial psalm. After each reading, the lector will proclaim it’s the word of God and we all respond, “Thanks be to God”. Thanks be to God because shedding every ounce of His blood for you and wasn’t yet enough… His infinite love prevents Him of holding back any treasure. His Word will never pass.
We then stand for the next reading which is the “high point” of Liturgy of the Word. We recognize we will be hearing directly about Jesus and His ministry, so standing is the way we make this distinction from the other readings. A priest or deacon are the only ones who can read this, again giving it it’s differentiation from the other readings. The priest or deacon will say “The Lord be with you” and we respond, “and with your spirit.” He will state what Gospel he will proclaim from and we respond, “Glory to you Oh Lord” and we bless ourselves so that our minds can understand, our lips to speak it as it deserves, and our hearts to love it. After the reading, the clergyman kisses the book where he read from in a sing of love.
We are immersed in the mystery of His word, how will you respond?
Joandra Ocampo – Writer, unparalleled love