What is the Liturgy? Part V - We Share A Common Story
What is the Liturgy? Part V - We Share A Common Story

At our family dinner party there is always something interesting to share, keeping up with the news of all the cousins’ activities and talking about the events that occupy our lives.  There is an opportunity too, to remember a cherished story from the past.  These familiar stories, told again and again, give us our identity as members of the same family.  Whether a hilarious retelling of a practical joke once played, or a bittersweet remembrance of our beloved great grandmother, we like to be reminded of our history.

Our roots are important to us: we have an understanding of our common ancestors, their life stories of immigration, or transmigration in some cases, and how they built the foundation on which our families flourish and grow.

The same is true of our story sharing at Mass. Our lectors have come prepared to become vessels of God, molded and formed to retell the cherished story of our Israelite ancestors.  The Bible is our history book and from it we are reminded of the foundation on which Jesus built his church.  Together, during the Liturgy of the Word, we hear the familiar stories that give us our identity as members of the Christian Community, and here too, we like to be reminded of our history.

In the person of the priest, Jesus himself speaks to us in the proclamation of the Gospel.  Through this dynamic proclamation Christ speaks to us in the here and now; his word made ever new.

The telling of our common story shapes our experience together.  Whether at our family dinner party or at our Eucharistic celebration we are changed by what we have heard. 

This weekend, at many of our masses, we will sing “Song for the Body of Christ.”  As you sing it, pay close attention to the text for it describes our common story and the action in which we participate every time we gather for the celebration of the Mass.         (May 30, 2005)

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