It’s Day 156!!
HOW IS THE LITURGY CELEBRATED?
Remember the four questions in the beginning of CHAPTER 2: THE SACRAMENTAL CELEBRATION OF THE PASCHAL MYSTERY?
WHO CELEBRATES THE LITURGY?
Today we learn HOW IS THE LITURGY CELEBRATED?
WHEN IS THE LITURGY CELEBRATED?
WHERE IS THE LITURGY CELEBRATED?
SIGNS AND SYMBOLS
These are the two key words today
We speak through signs
We have heard of sign language, people communicating by using signs with their hands
WORDS ARE SIGNS!!
THEY ARE SYMBOLS!!
They are ways that we communicate
Any word on a page is a signification
If you read the word “snow” it SIGNIFIES something
It is a SIGN for the reality of snow
Have you ever thought about that?
Even Fr. Mike SAYING the word “snow” that is a sign that signifies to us the reality of snow
We communicate to each other through SIGNS AND SYMBOLS
Why would it be any different when it comes to our relationship with God?
God speaks to us through VISIBLE CREATION
God speaks to us through SIGNS
God speaks to us through SYMBOLS
In the Old Covenant God spoke through signs and symbols
We communicate with God in signs and symbols
In the New Covenant Jesus takes those signs and symbols and FULFILLS THEM
He MAKES THEM NEW in making them into SACRAMENTS
HOW IS THE LITURGY CELEBRATED?
It is celebrated through SIGNS AND SYMBOLS
So let’s pray!!
So there we have it!!
Sometimes Fr. Mike overlooks the reality and the power of SIGNS AND SYMBOLS
Because we think they’re JUST signs and they are JUST symbols
Those signs and symbols are the way in which we communicate with EVERYBODY
We would not know ANYTHING without signs and symbols
Remember Helen Keller?
She was a young girl who was both blind and deaf
She could not hear
She could not see
She could not communicate
She lived in this darkness and in this silence and was unable to communicate her needs and thoughts
She didn’t even know what other people around her were thinking and what they wanted
Along came this teacher who was able to communicate reality through touch
The Miracle Worker is a movie about Helen Keller
The first time she touches water and the teacher traces a sign on her hand for water
Helen runs around and touches all these things and wanted her teacher to communicate
She is given a name for the reality that she experienced so that she could understand them
She could communicate back to them what had been trapped this whole time inside of her
We can’t understand ourselves and vice versa without signs and symbols
The Church says that GOD HIMSELF HAS DONE THIS
He has written this into humanity
Paragraph 1146 says, “Signs of the human world. In human life, signs and symbols occupy an important place. As a being at once body and spirit, man expresses and perceives spiritual realities through physical signs and symbols.”
THAT IS REALITY!!
St. John Paul II said, “The body and it alone is capable of making visible what is invisible, the spiritual and Divine.”
We have been given bodies
Through our bodies we are capable of making the visible invisible
What does that mean?
No one has ever seen a soul
I mean, some of us have seen ghosts
We know that when “Roger” walks into the room, oh Roger is here
Because the body is capable of making visible the invisible
Roger’s body reveals his soul
Same thing happens with us
Everything we know we know in and through our bodies
So Roger is here and we know he is here because we see his body
How does Roger communicate anything to us?
He does not use telepathy
He does not communicate to us in a spiritual way
He communicates by using his voice that we hear with our bodies
Or he waves and moves his hand back and forth
We communicate with each other with our bodies
We can even communicate to each other deep and profound spiritual realities
For the last 156 days we have been listening with our bodies
We have been processing with our brain that is part of our body
We recognize deep and profound things with our body
When we read Sacred Scripture we are reading the Words of God that are coming to us mediated through SIGNS AND SYMBOLS
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!
Paragraph 1147 says, “God speaks to man through visible creation.”
You see snow, the sun, rain, or maybe even darkness
We can read traces of our Creator there
GOD REVEALS HIMSELF THROUGH CREATION
The very fact of the reality that Creation exists POINTS TO A CREATOR
The very fact that Creation is beautiful POINTS TO THE BEAUTY OF THE CREATOR
The very fact that Creation makes sense, that we can do science, means that the Creator MUST BE RATIONAL
Visible creation speaks to us
We get to express our response to God
Paragraph 1148 says, “Inasmuch as they are creatures, these perceptible realities can become means of expression who sanctifies men, and the action of men who offer worship to God.”
Not just in normal creation
But also in culture
Think about the normal human actions of washing and anointing
Yeah you’re washing and putting on oil
These normal aspects take on a NEW MEANING when they are brought into the religious rites
Breaking bread and sharing the Cup are ways in which human beings bond
ALPHA is a program that is an introduction to Christianity that was started by the Anglican Church in England
The three elements of an evening in ALPHA is to first gather for a meal, have normal conversation while breaking bread
There is something about that that unites people
Later on there is a presentation on some aspect of the Christian life and then there is a discussion
God has taken these normal aspects of human life and they have been ELEVATED
How have they been elevated?
Think about washing and anointing
Think about breaking bread and sharing the cup
These are normal things people do
What did God do in the Old Covenant?
He took them and gave them NEW MEANING
They became SIGNS OF THE COVENANT
If you’ve gone through the Bible you know what those signs are
Circumcision is a SIGN of the Covenant
How could a little surgery on a baby have any spiritual reality?
That circumcision was what brought a man INTO COVENANT WITH THE LORD GOD
These NATURAL things have been given SUPERNATURAL POWER
Anointing and consecration, laying on of hands
We reach out and touch people, we put our hand on their shoulder or on their back
God elevates that to the laying on of hands for healing and prayer
People make sacrifices for all sorts of things
In the Old Covenant sacrifice becomes elevated into worship of God
Jesus has transformed them and fulfilled them
Jesus in His very self…
Think about how many times Jesus BREATHES ON SOMEONE
Jesus SPITS ON THE GROUND and makes paste out of mud and puts it on someone’s eyes
Or the man who is mute and deaf and Jesus heals him by touching his ears and tongue and spitting aka doing physical things to communicate spiritual healing
Think about Jesus’ own Sacrifice
He gives us Himself at the Last Supper
He gives up Himself to the Father in the Crucifixion at Golgotha
Why would that have anything to do with us?
Why would that have any ramifications in our lives?
It does because these SIGNS AND SYMBOLS, these things that JESUS ACTUALLY DID AND SAID have SPIRITUAL POWER
That POWER is communicated to us in the SACRAMENTS
Does that make sense?
Words are communicated
Gestures are communicated
These actions that are NATURAL become SUPERNATURAL
These actions of Jesus become SALVIFIC and they come to us in the SACRAMENTS
This is what SIGNS AND SYMBOLS are all about
These SIGNS point to the REALITY
These SIGNS AND SYMBOLS make present the reality
Hope that makes sense!!
IT IS INCREDIBLE!!
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!