I loved the visual image in the prayer this week, and there is a bonus of finding the Trinity in it, as well! This week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Prayer Over the Offerings for the 26th Week in Ordinary Time.
Grant us, O merciful God, that this our offering may find acceptance with you and that through it the wellspring of all blessing may be laid open before us. Through Christ our Lord.
In the mass, this prayer comes immediately after a dialogue between the priest and the people, where the priest prays that our sacrifice is acceptable to God. The people respond in supplication that the Lord “accept the sacrifice at your hands, for our good and the good of all His holy Church.”
The prayer picks right up, asking God, in His mercy, that our offering may find acceptance with Him, and the next phrase I studied word by word.
The “it” in the prayer is our offering, which is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and through this offering, the wellspring of all blessing is open before us.
Wellspring is defined as a source of continual supply, which can be lackingly compared to an artesian well. There is an artesian well along the highway roughly 90 minutes from where I live. We rarely go past it, but I remember the first time we did. We were with my husband’s parents, and we stopped at the little park to look at the well. Water was bubbling from the ground, it was pure, clean water. There was no hydrant to turn it off, it just bubbled up 24/7 and and long as the well can receive water, there will always be water bubbling up at that little park.
Just like this artesian well, there are two parts to a wellspring, a source and a supply. There is a well and there is water.
In this prayer, the source, or the well, is the Father, who, we proclaim in the Nicene Creed, that the Father is the “maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.”
The prayer tells us that blessing is the supply that comes from Source. From the Father, and through the Son, we receive the Blessing of the Holy Spirit. Revelation 22:1 gives us a beautiful image, “Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us in paragraph 1137, that the book of Revelation, reveals to us the Church’s liturgy: "A throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne": "the Lord God." It then shows the Lamb, "standing, as though it had been slain": Christ crucified and risen, the one high priest of the true sanctuary, the same one "who offers and is offered, who gives and is given." Finally it presents "the river of the water of life . . . flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb," one of most beautiful symbols of the Holy Spirit.
These graces, the blessing of the Holy Spirit, are continually poured out from the sources of this wellspring, the Father. There was no beginning, there will be no end to the blessings of God. His mercies are new not only every morning, but every moment of our day.
On the altar during the Mass, the self-offering of Christ on the Cross opens the blessings (or the graces) of the divine wellspring to us. When you go to Mass, just imagine, as you are walking up to the altar to receive Holy Communion, that the Holy Spirit is bubbling up and there is no end, it doesn’t stop. Soon, as we are in the Church, we are ankle deep in God’s glory, and the glory just keeps getting higher and more beautiful. Even through we can’t see it with our natural vision, it is happening in the supernatural.
I believe that we may never see the full glory of the Mass. I believe that we, in our human nature will never comprehend it all on this side of heaven, and that’s OK because that’s the way God made us.
While some day, the artesian well may not have water any more, the Father supplies us with the water of life, the Holy Spirit, to drink deep. It is a water that somehow quenches our thirst and leaves us thirsty for more, and it flows in plenteous supply.
Thanks for praying with m