When I have posted these in the past, I have done so before the Sunday Masses. Today I am posting after for two reasons: first, I have been too busy to post until now; second, the fruits we receive at Sunday Mass need to last beyond the dismissal and closing hymn.
If we were thirsty and in the desert, we would always go back to the well where we found water before. The same is true of our spiritual lives: we need to continually go back to the springs where we have found grace before. So let us return to today’s prayers…
O God, who teach us that you abide in hearts that are just and true, grant that we may be so fashioned by your grace as to become a dwelling pleasing to you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
In the Sacrament of Baptism we first receive the gift of God’s friendship. God made us his friend by giving us his grace. That grace is the indwelling Holy Spirit. God himself dwells in the hearts of his friends. With our own powers we can do nothing which makes us a pleasing dwelling place for God. However, when God gives us his grace everything that we do receives a new quality. Our graced-actions are pleasing to God. This is why Mass ends with the priest saying words to the effect of, “Go forth the Mass is ended!” Having received Jesus in Holy Communion, our very persons become a sort of tabernacle that ought to radiate God’s love to those whom we meet. God does not give gifts which are only for one person. God’s gifts are meant to be radiated out toward others in a joyful spirit of evangelization.
Prayer over the Offerings:
May this oblation, O Lord, we pray, cleanse and renew us and may it become for those who do your will the source of eternal reward. Through Christ our Lord.
In Holy Communion we receive Jesus who is love incarnate. It is Jesus who forgives us and gives us the grace that makes us new. If we live and act out of the new identity which God gives us when he makes us his friends, then our good deeds become meritorious. Since God is the source of all grace and we receive God in Holy Communion, then Holy Communion is the source of our meriting an eternal reward.
Prayer after Communion:
Having fed upon these heavenly delights, we pray, O Lord, that we may always long for that food by which we truly live. Through Christ our Lord.
In Matthew 4:4 Our Lord quotes Deuteronomy 8:3 which says, “it is not by bread alone that people live.” This prayer reflects that by asking God that we always desire the True Bread which is Jesus himself. This prayer supposes that those who are praying it are in the state of grace because God’s friendship is necessary for the reception of Holy Communion. The person who is outside of the divine friendship is spiritually dead. For the person who has sinned mortally after baptism the Sacrament of Reconciliation is the ordinary means by which he or she returns to God’s friendship. As long as we are in Christ we are truly alive and can say with St Paul, “for to me life is Christ, and death is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
I would love to hear your responses/thoughts to the prayers of the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, please drop me a message or share them in the comments.