On June 29 we celebrate the feast of Ss Peter and Paul, the Prince of the Apostles and the Apostle to the Gentiles. This feast is important. Hence, it has a liturgical Vigil, which should be a day of penitential preparation.
Our lives as Catholic Christians and our identity are enriched and strengthened when we pay close attention to the liturgical calendar. Use well our fasts and feasts, with the traditions our forebears bequeathed us. We should be more liturgical. Stop giving a pass to lousy liturgy, which fails in its purpose of bringing us into an encounter with Mystery and preparing us for death.
But I digress. On second thoughts, no, I’m not digressing. This is really important and it concerns you! Speaking of being liturgical, let’s ask Benedict XVI for help. In 2008 Benedict gave a stunning sermon on the Solemnity of Peter and Paul. His Holiness remarked:
Paul expressed the essence of his mission, as well as the most profound reason for his desire to go to Rome, in the Letter to the Romans … in an extraordinarily beautiful passage. He knows he has been called “to be a leitourgos of Christ Jesus for the Gentiles, serving the Gospel of God as a priest, so that the pagans become an acceptable offering, sanctified by the Holy Spirit” (15:16).
In this passage only does Paul use the word hierourgein – serving as a priest – together with leitourgos – liturgist: he speaks of the cosmic liturgy, in which the world of men itself must become worship of God, an offering in the Holy Spirit. When the whole world will have become the liturgy of God, when in its reality it will have become adoration, then it will have reached its goal, then it will be whole and saved. And this is the ultimate objective of St Paul’s apostolic mission and of ours. It is to such a mystery that the Lord calls us. Let us pray in this hour that he may help us carry it out in the right way, to become true liturgists of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Amen, indeed. Let us become true liturgists of Jesus Christ. After the dismissal at the end of Holy Mass you, dear readers, go forth to shape the world around you, each in your own spheres, according to your vocations and means. Make your work your worship and be your Lord’s “liturgists”.
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