Christ’s Baptism Sets a Three-Beat Rhythm

The vagaries of the calendar will deprive us this year of a Baptism of the Lord Sunday.

From the archive…

Click HERE for a Baptism of the Lord homily about the sacraments.

Click HERE for a Baptism of the Lord homily about joining God’s club.

Click HERE for a Baptism of the Lord homily about Tiger Woods.

[If you click the links, scroll down past the sports page to get to the homilies.]

…Here we present another little Roman Missal reflection:

The Lord Jesus came up from the water, and the Holy Trinity revealed Himself in full. The Father spoke, the Son stood before our eyes, the Holy Spirit descended as a dove.

One God, three Persons.

When St. Peter denied Christ on Holy Thursday night, he denied Him three times. When Christ forgave Peter on Easter, He asked the repentant sinner three times, “Do you love me.”

We join in the same three-beat rhythm now when we begin Mass.

Our new translation of the Confiteor expresses the three-fold acknowledgement of sin that the ancient Latin prayer has always included: “Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.”

We continue, as we always have, to implore the mercy of the Trinity in a three-fold manner. “Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.”

And, now, when we sing the Gloria, we express the threefold adoration of the Lamb that the ancient Latin prayer always has expressed:

you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.

Since we believe in one God in three Persons, it makes sense that our prayers to begin Mass would have a special three-beat rhythm in them.

We thank God that our new Missal restores some of the beats that were missing from the previous translation.

Yes. Liturgy. With Heavenly Songs.

Last week, we talked about our upcoming transition to a new edition of the Missal, our prayerbook for Mass.

The Lord be with you. –-And with your spirit.

Well done.

We will start using the new Missal on the First Sunday of…? Advent. November…? 27.

When we get together to pray and offer the Mass, the ceremony we perform has a special name: Liturgy. The word comes from ancient Greek and means “public work.” The common work we do together in church: the liturgy.

Our heavenly Father beckons us to do this work of prayer together. When it comes to adapting ourselves to this new Missal translation, maybe some of us are thinking, like the first son in the parable: “No! I will NOT re-learn how to go to Mass!”

Let’s think about it. The first son’s reply may have come from honest fatigue. Maybe he had intended to rest on that particular day. Maybe his lazy, good-for-nothing, con-artist brother had not done a lick of work for months or even years. Who knows? The second son may very well have had a good reason to resist his father’s directive.

Continue reading “Yes. Liturgy. With Heavenly Songs.”