September 9, 2018
If you have been paying attention to this arc on liturgical attitudes and their application of ‘real’ life, you will know that we have come to the almost-end of the Liturgy of the Word. Through all of this we have focused on our own willingness to set aside all that we know about ourselves in order to learn more and more about the God we meet in the Liturgy. This may seem extreme. Can it possibly be that knowing about God is more important that self-expression, self-assertion, self-justification?! The simple answer is yes. This yes has even more relevance as we move into the prayers of the faithful or the general intercessions.
Coming to a ‘deeper’ or ‘renewed’ knowledge of God is supposed to have led us to a deeper and renewed awareness of what and whom we have been missing, ignoring, scorning, forgetting. Thus, we turn to him: as members of a Church in need of strength and mercy; as citizens of the world in need of peace and its fruits; as sharers in the same brokenness as all other humans who need healing and eternal life; in search of his divine, creative, healing and redeeming involvement in our lives. That we are seeking what is his we express in the repeated phrase Lord, hear our prayer.
In real life, we would not expect lessons in fractal geometry (hunh?) from a two-year old. Nor would we look for assistance with redecoration from someone (like YT) who is color-blind. We turn to those who can to help us who can’t help ourselves. In this turning we realize that we are not masters ordering slaves; we regretfully acknowledge that whining will avail us nothing; we recognized that being ‘naughty or nice’ is not a barrier or a guarantee of a hearing. Simply, without pretense or pressure we entrust our cause to the honesty, reliability and good will of the one we recognize as able to help.
Bringing this attitude to our encounter guarantees that the hardships we face already will not be complicated by anger or resentment or disappointment. After all, if we had known what to do or how to do it, we would not be seeking help.
So, we think of the first part of the Liturgy as a kind of religious YELP*. And the prayers of the faithful are our contact for whatever we were wanting.
If the world were made up of trusting and trustworthy people – of it were not driven by consumerism and profiteering. Imagine the ease with which we would
look for help and the joy in knowing that our helper really was the one whose help we needed!
Really and truly and needfully, yours,