When you ride the Seventh Avenue-Broadway IRT on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, you roll through the ghost of the 91st Street Station. The train doesn’t stop, because the station has been closed since 1959.
When you pray your way through the Easter season according to the Roman Missal–in most ecclesiastical provinces–you roll through the Seventh Sunday of Easter like a ghost station.
Because now this Sunday is the perpetual home of the Solemnity of the Ascension, transferred from Thursday. The liturgy train doesn’t stop on the pages of the Lectionary marked “Seventh Sunday of Easter” anymore.
The gospel reading for the Seventh Sunday of Easter is the priestly prayer of Jesus.
I certainly am not competent to judge great things, like how to make decisions about when people have to go to Mass.
But this situation is rather ironic.
According to the Second Vatican Council:
The treasures of the bible are to be opened up more lavishly, so that richer fare may be provided for the faithful at the table of God’s word. In this way a more representative portion of the holy scriptures will be read to the people in the course of a prescribed number of years.
And yet, because going to Mass on a Thursday is too inconvient for people, we solemnly read the Prayer of the Hour of Jesus–by any estimation, one of the most important texts of Scripture, upon which the entire spiritual life of the Church is based–we read it in church…never.
(Well, only at daily Mass.)
Perhaps you will say, ‘Father, we actually hear the priestly prayer of Jesus at EVERY Mass, because the Eucharistic Prayer is the Church’s humble echo of Her Founder’s prayer.’
You would have a fine point. I would grant your penetrating pertinacity. Praise God. You cheered me up.
But, nonetheless, it would be edifying, don’t you think, to hear the original version of the Eucharistic Prayer read from the holy book, at least every once in a while.