I don't know if anyone else in this assembly, or among my readership, shares this trait of mine. I have many ideas and aspirations, but a good percentage of them enter my mind by 9am and are out by noon--better than most dry cleaners. As I read today's Responsorial Psalm, I recalled that several years ago I wanted to write a musical setting for it, usable perhaps for an Ordination Liturgy. Over the years I have written several Responsorial Psalm settings, and this particular psalm seems suitable. Someday.
Perhaps among your work associates, friends, or family, you've come across someone who professes, "I don't need to go to church. I can worship God anywhere I want. I find God in nature--so I worship whenever I go for walks..." My inner cynic wonders whether these people actually ever do what they claim--worship God on nature walks. It's a perfectly appropriate place to do so, mind you, but today's psalm reminds us that, if there is any appropriate forum to adore the Creator, it's here:
"I will praise You, Lord, in the assembly of Your people." The word assembly, in Greek, is ἐκκλησίᾳ (Psa 21:26 BGT), whence comes the Latin ecclesia, the French eglise, the Spanish iglesia, and others--all rendered, Church. If there's any forum, it's here; if there's any worthy company in which I am to praise the Lord, it's yours.
We who are present for the Lord's sacrificial banquet every day may find difficult to understand the various excuses that people give. "Oh, sorry I can't make it; I just bought something big, I have a game/party/late sleep-in..." "Not this week; I just got married, I'm trying to save gas, I have my own way of observing the commandment that Christ and His Church have elucidated with greater precision than I am willing to grant"--whatever.
What is it that they are missing and that we appreciate the privilege of attending?
- The Real-Time meeting of the Great Assembly "of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth" who bend the knee in adoration of the Divine Majesty and confess Jesus Christ not merely as Moral Example, or Friend, or Generator of Good Feelings, but as Lord.
- The Self-Offering of the Eternal High Priest that reconciles the world to God and atones for man's sins--the sacrifice accepted at the hands of His duly-appointed and ordained priests "for the glory of His Name, for our good and the good of all His holy Church"
- The full manifestation of the Body of Christ, the co-incidence of the Body Mystical and the Body Eucharistic. Right here and now.
|Straight up [to Heaven], yo|