There is so much to give thanks and praise to God for today. Saul is converted and will no longer persecute Christians but convert non-believers. Jesus tells about He Himself being the true flesh and true blood and that anyone who eats of His Flesh and His Blood will have eternal life. We celebrate the feast of St. Joseph the Worker – a man who has been my spiritual mentor for many years now…and should be for any Christian man. Our Psalm today is also one full of praise…
Praise the LORD, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
And yet, when I go on Twitter and follow some of the catholic groups that I do, it seems what some of the faithful are most excited about are when coming back to Mass after the Pandemic is not having to shake someone’s hand during the sign of peace. Or another post was doing away with all the Gather hymnals – finally. Really? That is what you most look forward to when Masses resume? Let’s take another quick look at our Gospel today…
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my Flesh is true food,
and my Blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
I would hope after not being able to receive God in Flesh and Blood after so many weeks, that would be top priority when getting back to Mass. I am a cradle Catholic and love my faith, love my Church, love the Mass, love the Sacraments and love all the rituals that make up the Catholic faith. As I stated before, I’ve been spending time reading through the General Instructions for the Roman Missal and found this in regards to the Sign of Peace…
The Rite of Peace
82. There follows the Rite of Peace, by which the Church entreats peace and unity for herself and for the whole human family, and the faithful express to each other their ecclesial communion and mutual charity before communicating in the Sacrament.
As for the actual sign of peace to be given, the manner is to be established by the Conferences of Bishops in accordance with the culture and customs of the peoples. However, it is appropriate that each person, in a sober manner, offer the sign of peace only to those who are nearest.
As far as the singing goes, we have instructions on that too…
The Importance of Singing
39. The Christian faithful who come together as one in expectation of the Lord’s coming are instructed by the Apostle Paul to sing together Psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles (cf. Col 3:16). Singing is the sign of the heart’s joy (cf. Acts 2:46). Thus St. Augustine says rightly, “Singing is for one who loves,” and there is also an ancient proverb: “Whoever sings well prays twice over.”
40. Great importance should therefore be attached to the use of singing in the celebration of the Mass, with due consideration for the culture of peoples and abilities of each liturgical assembly. Although it is not always necessary (e.g., in weekday Masses) to sing all the texts that are in principle meant to be sung, every care should be taken that singing by the ministers and the people not be absent in celebrations that occur on Sundays and on Holy days of Obligation.
However, in the choosing of the parts actually to be sung, preference is to be given to those that are of greater importance and especially to those which are to be sung by the Priest or the Deacon or a reader, with the people replying, or by the Priest and people together.
41. The main place should be given, all things being equal, to Gregorian chant, as being proper to the Roman Liturgy. Other kinds of sacred music, in particular polyphony, are in no way excluded, provided that they correspond to the spirit of the liturgical action and that they foster the participation of all the faithful.
Since the faithful from different countries come together ever more frequently, it is desirable that they know how to sing together at least some parts of the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin, especially the Profession of Faith and the Lord’s Prayer, according to the simpler settings.
Do something great for our Lord today…let’s all prepare to get back to Mass, live and in person. Let’s all remember that the most important part of Mass is to honor and worship our Lord. I can’t wait to see all of you back in the pews – hopefully sooner than later.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.
But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.
Eternal Go, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.