27 January 2009

WORSHIP

Tuesday in the 3rd Week of Ordinary Time
Mk 3:31-35

I used to teach Religious Education courses at the St. Paul University of Manila. Discussions in my class revolve around a series of thesis statements. For Religious Education 4 – “Prayer, Liturgy, and Sacraments – thesis one is “Worship is the expression of the divine-human relationship.” From this assertion logically flow several important points. One, there is no worship where there is no relationship between God and man. Second, it is therefore consequential that man desires for God and God satisfies that desire. And, third, given that this divine-human relationship exists, an inner attitude and an outward manifestation are constitutive of authentic worship.

But the kind of worship we are most concerned about is specifically Christian worship. Thus, following the brief assertions given above, Christian worship presupposes a bond between God and man, and that bond is nothing less than Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus is the bond of a Christian’s relationship with God. We are related to the Father in and through Jesus Christ, His Son. Without Jesus Christ, worship can be any kind of worship except Christian.

It is therefore not optional for us, Christians, to unite our selves to Jesus the Christ. We must be related to His Person to be related to the Person of the Father. Moreover, our kinship with Christ Jesus should never be mere superficial. It has to be a bond not created through biological or legal process; meaning our ties with Jesus may not be and should surpass consanguinity and affinity. Our union with Jesus Christ, the Bond of our relationship with the Father, has to be, using theological parlance, through configuration.

To be configured to Christ means to be Christ-like, in a way, to be another Jesus. To have the mind of Christ, to have His words, His attitude, His heart, His consuming concerns, His preferences, His life and even His death and resurrection – this is what it means to be configured to Christ.

Today, Jesus clearly defines what makes a person truly related to Him: doing the will of God. Logically so, because the will of God is paramount in the mind and heart of Jesus, His words and attitude are at the service of fulfilling that same holy will, and, therefore, all His consuming concerns and preferences have obedience to the will of God as their basis and goal at the same time. His life, death, and resurrection – His Paschal Mystery – is more than a fulfillment of God’s will, but a celebration of it as well.

Every time we open Scriptures and Break Bread in the Holy Mass, we celebrate the Paschal Mystery of Christ. Celebrating it is not only remembering Jesus, but also making Jesus present again in our midst in a sacramental way. And one of the inestimable effects of this celebration is the renewal and deepening of our union with Christ, and, with and through Christ, with the Father, and, consequently, with one another because anyone who is related to God cannot but be related to all His children.

But because worship is not only ritualistic, our relationship with God naturally flows beyond the rituals and rubrics of worship. Therefore, each of us continues his or her worship of God even after the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Beyond the parameters of liturgical celebrations, our altars is our day-to-day affairs, our sacrificial offering is the life we live. And unless that life is Christ-like, our offering is unacceptable to God.

We come to Mass to unite our personal and communal sacrifices to the one sacrifice of Christ. You may forget your material contribution to the church treasury when you come to Mass, but, please, do not leave behind in your homes the sacrifices you intend to unite with Christ, without which, you are not related to Him. And if you are not related to Christ, why come to worship?

2 Comments:

At 7:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Father, medyo mahirap intindihin but somehow i got the message. Pwede next time tagalog na lang, JOKE lang po! God bless!

 
At 4:25 AM , Anonymous sticker said...

jibabuwei
banama36
alianqiu44
dibai222
yilake77

 

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