The Liturgy of the Word concludes with the homily, profession of faith, and universal prayer or prayer of the faithful.
After having received the power of the Word, what does this mean? What does the Word say to me? What’s next? The homily is when the priest or deacon preaches a message focused on the scripture read. The preacher helps us journey in discovering what the Word wants to transform in us. It’s important to note that all of our priests have different talents, some are great speakers, others great philosophers, others great theologians, etc. The homily is to “guide” us to opening up to the power of the Word, it’s not made to limit us to the specific message of the preacher. Too often I have heard, “oh I don’t like the way this priest preaches, oh I love how this priest preaches!” All of those are statements of setting limitations… again; the homily is an invitation to reflect on what the power of the Word needs to have in us. As Paul will say, “faith without action is dead.”
Once the preacher concludes the homily, we move on to one of the most powerful parts of the Mass for me: the profession of faith, the Nicene Creed. I am very passionate about firmly believing in your ideals, if you’re an atheist have a fundament, if you’re a Jew have a fundament, if you’re Catholic have a fundament. It’s with great honor that I profess my beliefs, especially because I know what it all means. I want to challenge you to go through part by part of the Creed and let God reveal himself through the truth. The Nicene Creed dates back to the fourth century, while the Apostles Creed is the ancient creed of the Church of Rome in which we use for baptismal renewals. It’s such an honor to firmly believe in what I proclaim. Having the certainty of faith (as certain as faith can get) is a beautiful experience.
Lastly, we conclude the liturgy of the word with the universal prayer or prayers of the faithful. After hearing the word of God, reflecting on it, and professing our faith, we now ask God to help us fulfill His word and our faith. We entrust our needs to the faithful father. This universal prayer is extended beyond the four walls of our church, because the church is the body of Christ and this excluded no one, whether you accepted it or not. In this prayer, we pray for everyone, especially those in most need. We trust in God’s love and know that His will above all is the desire of our hearts. We humbly present him our petition and know that He is God.
We have concluded the Liturgy of the Word. His word feeds our hunger for the “greater things” as we prepare to receive heaven on Earth in the next part…
Joandra Ocampo – Writer, unparalleled love