For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. (from the gospel at today’s Holy Mass)
At the beginning of today’s Mass, we acknowledged that God provided us with Pope St. Pius V so that, among other things, we might “offer more fitting worship.”
Like the pope saints canonized this past Sunday, Pope St. Pius V led the Church in the wake of an ecumenical council. Like Vatican II, the Council of Trent aimed at reforming the Church and re-focusing the sacred ministers and the faithful on the fundamentals, the essentials of the Catholic religion.
Certainly our Liturgy ranks as the most fundamental of all the fundamentals, the most essential of all the essentials. And isn’t the worship of the Catholic Church really our united celebration of the truth of John 3:16?
If I might, let me quote the Catechism:
Blessing is a divine and life-giving action, the source of which is the Father…When applied to man, the word ‘blessing’ means adoration and surrender to his Creator in thanksgiving. From the beginning until the end of time, the whole of God’s work is a blessing…In the Church’s liturgy the divine blessing is fully revealed and communicated. The Father is acknowledged and adored as the source and the end of all the blessings of creation and salvation. In his Word who became incarnate, died, and rose for us, he fills us with his blessings…The Church, united with her Lord, …blesses the Father ‘for his inexpressible gift’ in her adoration, praise, and thanksgiving. (CCC 1078-1083)
God so loved us, that He chose us to celebrate His blessing, week in and week out, in church. For His glory. For the salvation of our souls.
And for the sake of keeping the door open to all our neighbors–to keep it open, so that they, too, might share in this great blessing and this most-salutary of all celebrations: the living, breathing expression of John 3:16, the Sacred Liturgy of the Church.