Friday, March 18, 2005

Liturgy as the Work of the Trinity

Today the reading at mass was about the relationship between Jesus and the Father. This is told within the context of Jesus' about to be stoned for blasphemy because he said "I am the son of God."

John 10: 31 - 42

The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?" The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we stone you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God."

Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, `I said, you are gods'? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came (and scripture cannot be broken), do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, `You are blaspheming,' because I said, `I am the Son of God'?

If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father." Again they tried to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.

He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John at first baptized, and there he remained.

And many came to him; and they said, "John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true."

And many believed in him there.

This relationship with the Father that Jesus' was willing to be stoned to support is actually questioned today during the Liturgy. Many priests and people try to omit the reference to God the Father from the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Often we hear the Father referred to as God the Creator, etc... Or more popular is the deletion of the word Father in the Gloria and the creed. Especially done through the removal of the male pronoun. In one church downtown the Pastor says the petition of the people below in a loud voice and substitutes the word "God" for "his." Interestingly, the people in the pews say the word "his."

C: Suscìpiat Dòminus sacrificium de mànibus tuis ad laudem et glòriam nòminis sui, ad utilitàtem quoque nostram totiùs que Ecclèsiae suae sanctae.

C: May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good,and the good of all his Church.

It is ok to use the word God in this context in the sense that we are speaking to God. So, technically it does not change the action. But this betrays what is said before.

P: Oràte, fratres, ut meum ac vestrum sacrificium acceptàbile fit apud Deum Patrem omnipotèntem.

P: Pray, brethren, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father.

So we don't substitute the abstract God for the more personal Father who is referred to in the pronoun "His."

We are preparing to offer Jesus to God the Father. People do these substitutions out of a misplaced sense of seeking to make sure that woman do not feel excluded in the liturgy. This is also done because people think that the Liturgy is made by them and so they have the right to change it according to their preference.

Even though the Liturgy is carried out by the visible Church, it is still an action of the Holy Trinity. During the consecration the priest acts In Persona Christe, so that it really is Christ offering his Holy Body and Blood to the Father.

CCC 1566 "It is in the Eucharistic cult or in the Eucharistic assembly of the faithful (synaxis) that they exercise in a supreme degree their sacred office; there, acting in the person of Christ and proclaiming his mystery, they unite the votive offerings of the faithful to the sacrifice of Christ their head, and in the sacrifice of the Mass they make present again and apply, until the coming of the Lord, the unique sacrifice of the New Testament, that namely of Christ offering himself once for all a spotless victim to the Father." From this unique sacrifice their whole priestly ministry draws its strength."

The Liturgy is an act of worship that we are invited to. In it Jesus offers himself to the Father in a supreme act of worship that cannot be created but by him. We participate by offering ourselves to the Father together with Jesus.

In the Catechism's section entitled Article 1 "The Liturgy - the Work of the Trinity," we read the sections under The Father-Source and Goal of the Liturgy

This is why, like Jesus, we are not afraid to refer to the Father. In the only prayer that Jesus taught he told us to pray to the Father by first calling him Father and then acknowledging that sanctificetur nomen tuum.

And the Baptism in which the person enters into the life of grace with the Trinitarian formulaIn nominee Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen, cannot be changed or the Baptism would not take place.

The proof that this is no historical accident is the perpetuation of this language and reality in the Liturgy and Traditions of the Church as well as the Scriptures.

That is why the attempt to change the pronoun from a male pronoun to a gender neutral one is a mistake. We are praying to God the Father, with and through Christ, His Son. It is our honor and the true source of our dignity.

In conclusion I offer the Litany of the Father for your personal use:

The Litany of God the Father

For Private Use Only.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity One God,
have mercy on us.

Father, First Person of the Most Blessed Trinity,
have mercy on us.
Father of the Only-begotten Son,
have mercy on us.
Father and Son, from Whom proceeds the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Father of the Immaculate Virgin Mary,
have mercy on us.
Father of her most chaste Spouse,
have mercy on us.
Our Father in Heaven,
have mercy on us.

Father eternal,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Father, infinite majesty,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Father, infinite holiness,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Father, infinite goodness,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Father, infinite happiness,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Father, all-powerful,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Father, all-knowing,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Father, present everywhere,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Father, all-just,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Father, all merciful,
hallowed be Thy Name.

Father, creating Heaven and earth,
Thy kingdom come.
Father, promising a Savior,
Thy kingdom come.
Father, revealed by the Son,
Thy kingdom come.
Father, willing the passion of Jesus,
Thy kingdom come.
Father, accepting the Sacrifice of Calvary,
Thy kingdom come.
Father, reconciled with mankind,
Thy kingdom come.
Father, sending the Paraclete,
Thy kingdom come.
Father, in the Name of Jesus,
Thy kingdom come.
Father of Nations,
Thy kingdom come.

Father of Love, cherish us.
Father of Beauty, protect us.
Father of Wisdom, direct us.
Father, Divine Providence, watch over us.

Father of the poor,
Thy Will be done.
Father of orphans,
Thy Will be done.
Father of widows,
Thy Will be done.
Father of the exiled,
Thy Will be done.
Father of the persecuted,
Thy Will be done.
Father of the afflicted,
Thy Will be done.
Father of the infirm,
Thy Will be done.
Father of the aged,
Thy Will be done.

Father, we adore Thee.
Father, we love Thee.
Father, we thank Thee.
Father, we bless Thee.

In joy and in sorrow, may we bless Thee.
In sickness and in health, may we bless Thee.
In prosperity and in adversity, may we bless Thee.
In consolation and in desolation, may we bless Thee.
In life and in death, may we bless Thee.
In time and in eternity, may we bless Thee.

Father, hear us.
Father, graciously hear us.

Lamb of God, well-beloved Son of the Father,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, commanding us to be perfect as the Father,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Our Mediator with the Father,
have mercy on us.
Let Us Pray.
Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come; Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank u, good post! =)