This week we Lectio The Liturgy with the Prayer after Communion for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
O God, who have willed that we be partakers in the one Bread and the one Chalice, grant us, we pray, so to live that, made one in Christ, we may joyfully bear fruit for the salvation of the world. Through Christ our Lord.
The first five words of this prayer are powerful: O God, who have willed. It was God’s will to create heaven and earth. The leper in Mark 1:41 knelt down before Jesus and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus responded with, “I do will it.” It was also his will to put you where you are in this day in time.
In this prayer, God wills that we be partakers of one Bread and one Chalice, and in that partaking, we are made one in Christ. Our unity was the prayer of Jesus in John 17:21, “so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us,” and again in verse 23, “I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one.”
Saint Angela Merici wrote, “There is only one sign that is pleasing to the Lord, that of loving and being united to one another.” She went on to write that there is power in being united. When we are one, bound to one another in love, building each other up, without any doubt, God would be in our midst.
I love the rest of this prayer, as well. We ask God to grant that we, united in Christ, live in such a way that we joyfully bear fruit for the salvation of the world.
The salvation of the world is a big deal. It is a matter of heaven or hell. Our oneness in Christ matters because in it we joyfully bear fruit.
However, it is not fair to tell you about the power of being united with each other to Christ without telling you that we have an enemy who does not want us to be united.
Throughout the New Testament, our enemy is often called diablos. Diablos is derived from two words in Greek, dia, meaning apart, and ballo, which means to throw. Diablos is one of the names of the devil and his name tells us what he does. He divides.
The devil wants to divide families, he wants to divide churches, he wants to divide the Church. He can convince someone that they are right. He can manipulate situations and people to give someone a sense of pride or make them bitter.
We are not defenseless. There are powerful antidotes, humility being one, and another antidote is in this prayer as we strive to live in oneness.
As I meditated on this prayer, in my mind, I went through the Mass and thought about what it meant for me to receive Communion. I must admit that too often, my thoughts were on me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Eucharist and I love Mass, but as this prayer points out, it is really about the whole Church being one with Christ and I am just one part of the whole.
God has impressed on me to not only pray for the Church more, but to pray with the Church more. If you have never prayed Liturgy of the Hours, now is a good time to start, as the each prayer of the Hours is praying with the Church worldwide.
If oneness is a challenge for you, remember that Jesus is praying for you and your place in His Church. He is also praying for those in the world who come to believe through your word (see John 17:20).
Thanks for praying with me,