This week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Prayer after Communion for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time. I am going to do something different this week, I am going to flip the prayer and read the second part of the prayer first. I want to begin this prayer with what we are praying for before we look at how to attain it.
Second part: That we may come to possess your redemption both in mystery and in the manner of our life.
First part: graciously raise up, O Lord, those you renew with this Sacrament.
Close: Through Christ our Lord.
Before we look at the prayer as a whole, there are some definitions that need some clarification.
To possess, or capiamus in the Latin form of the prayer, means to take in or understand. Mystery refers to the symbols and sacrament of ritual, the Sacrament of the Eucharist. The manner of our life is everything about us, our will, way, habit, manner, and even mood.
Our purpose for the prayer is that we completely take in and understand our redemption in the celebration of the Mass and that it imbues our lives.
How do we accomplish that? We don’t because we can’t. It is the accomplishment of God’s action in us. To be more precise, it is the result of God renewing us and raising us up.
When we think of renew, we may think of restore, but we need to put our focus on the new. It is interesting that in the Latin form of the prayer, we find the word reficis, meaning remake. To remake something implies that something new has begun. If I were baking bread and the loaf fell to the height of a pancake during baking, I cannot restore it. I must remake it, I must make a new loaf.
The example of a making a new loaf of bread is a far cry short of the newness God gives us. The Eucharist, the mystery of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, renews us. We read in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” When we receive the Eucharist, not only are we in Christ, but he is in us. We are purified and our integrity has made whole.
When we are renewed, we are raised up. Being raised up is where we were meant to be because we were made to share in the divine life. Paul writes to the Ephesians that even though we were dead because of sin, we were renewed, or brought to life with Christ and He “raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus.” (Eph 2:4b-6)
Let’s go back and look at the petition of the prayer, that we when we are renewed and raised up, we possess our redemption in both mystery and manner of our life. Do you know what this is called? This is called fullness of life. It is not just where God has called to be, it is who He meant for us to be and the only way for us to attain it is to have a heart that allows God to do His work.
Thank you for praying with me,