Prayerful Worship & The Liturgy of The Word & The Eucharist – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Reflection

This Sunday evening for the 29th Sunday of ordinary time, my family and I had an amazing encounter with the Holy Spirit. Typically, as with most of our fellow Catholics, we usually sit in the middle section or back of church out of sight and do tend to go through the motions. Instead, we ventured to the third pew with an up close encounter with a large hanging crucifix displaying a large corpus of Jesus. Such a reminder of Jesus having given his life for our transgressions was needed this day as previously all three of us had gone to the Sacrament of Reconciliation the day prior.

The Holy Spirit was definitely working through me as I was in my element going through all the reverent motions with prayer hands and was attentive and listening to every word and action. I could also sense the priest was enlivened by the Spirit with his homily. The first reading was about Moses and the aspect of prayer from Exodus chapter 17 in which the prayerful Moses had to have his hands raised to the heavens in order to be successful against the ruthless Amalek for an Israelite victory. Of course, if his hands dropped, Amalek had the better of the fight, but if his hands were raised by Aaron & Hur, Joshua had the victory. The Gospel of Luke chapter 18 reminds us of the duty to pray without ceasing and the parable of the merciful judge and the widow.

The greatest aspect of this experience was from the reflection from the second letter of Paul to Timothy. Paul states that “All Scripture is inspired by God.” The priest at mass reminded us that the Greek for inspired translates to breath and exhalation in English. He stated that when we attend mass, we should be reverent and attentive not only to the holy reception of communion, but to the readings and the Word of God that exhales the Holy Spirit into our hearts and minds in listening to holy scripture. Oftentimes, I have been one of those Catholics that have gone through the motions, let my mind wander and simply punched the Holy Communion time card without giving it second thought. Today’s experience was different and definitely coincidental as I reminded my family in the car ride to church that going to mass was a heaven come down to earth experience. To say the least, the priest definitely seemed to be speaking to us personally with an up close view that made the hair on my neck tingle.

While the Liturgy of the Eucharist and the reception of Holy communion is certainly the climactic part of our worship experience in receiving Jesus’s body & blood, the homilist reminded all of us that we should not be late in arriving to listen to the proclamations of the words from scripture being read. After all, Jesus is the Word and logos come down from heaven (Jn. 1) & our ears, minds & hearts should be fed with His word & breath as well. The exhalation of God’s word is present with us during the Liturgy of the Word just as it is present with the internal reception of the holy communion and the two are not mutually exclusive. Both parts of the liturgy are equally important for a proper encounter with the Divine Godhead.

Nevertheless, no matter what your troubles or concerns of the day are, sit up front and reverently allow the Spirit to work through you and your family for the mass. It is so easy to want to sit in the middle or the back of church for fear of little children not behaving, or because we are thinking about a Sunday sports game or grocery list to be taken care of after church. It is inherently important that we come to mass with a sense of reverence and devotion for the Spirit to really move us. As a dad and husband struggling in this earthly life to bring not only himself, but his family to heaven to be saints, such an experience of not being ashamed or present to be up close & personal during the Divine Liturgy is a typical habit that is difficult to break. After all, is not our path to sainthood the removal of those earthly distractions toward a more perfect unity with our God? Such an experience of being more attentive and preparing one’s family for mass will energize one for the grueling earthly week of labor & life ahead for us to have the strength to persevere.

It’s definitely a plus when your 8 year old child says that “Jesus was extra yummy” in the parking lot to the car & was sad that we had been dismissed to go forth.

Just like Moses, let’s have those hands lifted high to Heaven during our liturgical worship experience. If we need an Aaron or Hur or sturdy rock (pew) to assist, let it be done.

Peace,

Eric

Published by StreetEvangelist

A Roman Catholic Christian living in the TX, USA area seeking to make the world a better place. Our call to mission as being made in the image and likeness of God is two-fold: to have authentic relationships with our fellow man, and to have an authentic personal encounter with our living God through His Son Jesus Christ who is, who was and who will always be. Let us not bicker, spew hate, or worry about trivial matters when we can become better images of our self to walk humbly with our loving God.

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