Standing Under the Word
Standing Under the Word

Next Sunday we begin to mark the days of Winter Ordinary Time.  During these weeks before Lent we’ll continue our series on gaining a better understanding of the Mass.

What actually happens during the Liturgy of the Word is a bit of a mystery because, as in the eucharistic elements, we believe too that Christ is present in the scripture as it is proclaimed.  This is the living presence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who dwells in our hearts and minds, the same Spirit who allows us to receive the message or “word” God intends us to hear. So, the Liturgy of the Word hinges on an assembly which has adopted an attitude of openness and obedient listening. 

Our active listening is the reverence due to Christ as he speaks to us now.  How awesome!  But do we believe it?  Do we offer the same attentiveness to Christ in the word as we do when we receive communion?  

The dynamic of the Liturgy of the Word is very different from that of a Bible study. We are not gathered to learn about Christ but rather to listen to him speaking to us today. Neither is the homily a time of education but rather of formation as the homilist interprets scripture and connects it to our daily lives.  Just as the proclaimed readings by a well prepared lector are an encounter with Christ (Christ speaks to us) so too is the homily an encounter with Christ.  (January 11, 2004)

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