Thanks for joining me as we Lectio The Liturgy with the Collect for the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
O God, who in the abasement of your Son have raised up a fallen world, fill your faithful with holy joy, for on those you have rescued from slavery to sin you bestow eternal gladness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
In the prayer this week we find falls and joys.
Twice in the prayer we hear the word fall. The first is in the Who of the prayer, “the fallen world.”
Abasement is defined as humility or lowness. We heard in the second reading last week, from Second Corinthians, that our “Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” The Son of God became the son of man, so that the sons of man could become the sons of God. That’s how Jesus raised up a fallen world. His abasement was like the lever, his coming down raised us up.
The second use of the world fall is in the original Latin translation. This prayer dates back to the eighth century, and translated in the Latin, the phrase “rescued from slavery to sin” is translated from “snatched from falls to unending death.”
I love the use of the verb “snatched.” This phrase reminds me of an action movie, where there’s a fight on the roof of a building and you know the good guy is going to fall off. But right at the last second, just before he falls, just when your heart skips a beat, a helicopter shows up and snatches the guy to safety. Our sin had us on the brink of eternal death, but Jesus came and rescued us.
We also hear “joy” twice in the prayer. The first is “fill your faithful with holy joy.” The word (laetitiam) means an outbreak of joy or external joy. The second is gladness (gaudiis), or internal joy.
Joy is what we ask God for in this prayer, that the faithful, those he has rescued from eternal death, are filled and overflowing with eternal joy.
Lectio the Liturgy: How does being snatched from eternal death bring you interior joy? How can your interior joy become exterior joy?
Thank you for praying with me,