Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thoughts on the "New" Mass

Like many Catholics I was both excited and nervous to begin celebrating the "new" Mass at the start of Advent, with the introduction of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal.  The following is my thoughts on one particular part of the new Mass, I am hoping to turn this into a series, going part by part (in whatever order I fancy) through the Mass changes, and offering my thoughts on them.  Please keep in mind I am not a theologian.  I have had a limited theological education.  I do not represent the official position of the Catholic Church. I am simply a person on a spiritual journey, offering my thoughts, opinions and reflections.

Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof,
But only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.

Of all the changes to the language of the Mass, this is the one which keeps jumping out at me.  These words just seem so.... big!   Previously, all I had to admit was that I wasn't worthy to receive Christ.  Wasn't worthy to receive the Sacrament.  God still has the ability to heal with a simple word, but I have to admit so much more.  In saying we're not worthy that God should "enter under [our] roof," it sounds like we are saying we aren't worthy to have him in our lives.  Aren't worthy to have him come dwell among us, and enter into our beings.  The old words sounded like they applied only to the Eucharist, my unworthiness to receive the Body and the Blood, the Soul and Divinity, in it's most true form.  Now I'm not worthy to have the Spirit of God enter into me either?  Sheesh!

I'm aware that my shift in mindset is probably what they (the Pope, and Bishops and smart Mass translating people) were going for.  It has always been about something bigger.  It has always been not only about our unworthiness to receive Christ in Eucharistic form, but also our unworthiness that He came, died, and rose in the first place.  These words remind me more than ever of my unworthiness but also of God's grace!  All God had to do was say the word.  One word.  And all of us would be healed.  But God doesn't ask, "what is the least I can do for my people," he asks, "what is the most I can do for my people."  He didn't just say the word, He sent His Son.   And now my prayer is bigger, I don't want to be worthy 'only' to receieve the Eucharist, but also to receive God into my life everyday. To be made worthy of the Promises of Christ.

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