In the prayer this week, we learn that sincere respect isn't what we think it is. This week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Prayer Over the Offering for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Grant us, Lord, we pray, a sincere respect for your gifts, that, through the purifying action of your grace, we may be cleansed by the very mysteries we serve. Through Christ our Lord.
The gifts in the prayer are a big deal. The gifts are the bread, wine, and the intentions we bring and through the Eucharistic Prayer, they become the mysteries of Christ. The action of the gifts deserves some meditation time because through the action of God's grace, or His favor, we are purified. We are cleansed by these gifts.
In the prayer, we ask God to grant, or bestow upon us, a sincere respect for His gifts. It turns out that in the Latin form of the prayer, "sincere respect" is translated from "libera mente," meaning a mind made free. A mind made free is important if we want to be cleansed by His grace.
To understand what a free mind is, let's use an example of what a bound mind might look like: the Israelites. I've heard it said that God took the Israelites out of Egypt and he then took them through the wilderness to get Egypt out of the Israelites. They were still stuck with a bondage mindset. They had only ever known slavery, hard work, and want. They didn't know that God had so much more for them, but they first had to let go of their old way and trust in God.
Today, our minds may be bound to our own desires and attachments. However, the challenge lies in the truth that we cannot have a sincere respect for God or His gifts if we are bound to our own pursuits and desires. When we let go of it all, when we turn it all over to Him, we become free. We begin to think and see from God's perspective and we see the importance of love over greed, of discipleship over judgement, of relationship rather than control.
We need the grace of the Spirit that comes from the mysteries that are from Christ and that are Christ. These are the mysteries of the Eucharist. When we become cleansed, we can begin to serve.
Thanks for praying with me,