This week we Lecito the Liturgy with the Prayer Over the Offerings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter.
O God, who by the wonderful exchange effected in this sacrifice have made us partakers of the one supreme Godhead, grant, we pray, that, as we have come to know your truth, we may make it ours by a worthy way of life. Through Christ our Lord.
In this prayer, there is a truth about the Christian life that may be often forgotten about. We get so wrapped up in living out the current day or the current hour that we forget the truth that we are partakers of the divine life of God.
Let’s look first at this wonderful exchange mentioned in the prayer. In the Latin form of the prayer, the words lend themselves to read the “the exchange about to be venerated.” Also, instead of something pleasurable, think of the word wonderful as meaning astonishing, or full of wonder.
The exchange is the bread and wine, however, it is also the Incarnation of Jesus. At this exchange, we offer the bread and wine, symbols of our sacrifice, and we receive the Body and Blood of the Lord in the Eucharist. We give Jesus our humanness, our lowliness, and in exchange, he gives us his divinity.
God makes us partakers. Participes in Latin, and it means to share in. This is where I am astonished. Not since Adam and Eve have people been partakers of the divine life. Unlike the world today, in the Garden of Eden, where there were only two people, it was easy to live in the divine life. I also think that it wasn’t until after they fell for the temptation of the enemy, that Adam and Eve knew exactly what they had lost.
Unless God gives us divine grace to completely comprehend it all at once, this is a truth we will come to know in time. As we grow in this truth, we will realize that we need to begin to live it. We live in the Godhead when we live a Sacramental life. When we live from our Baptism, Confirmation, and Vocation, and when we participate in the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, we are filled with the life of the Trinity. Moreover, what we are filled with is what comes out of us.
For an example of living a Trinitarian life, let’s look to Jesus. Sent from the Father and filled with the Holy Spirit, God, coming in human nature, shows us that we live in the life we were called to. He came to teach, to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom, and to heal the people (Matthew 4:23). He is the way, the truth, and the life. Scripture scholar George Leo Haydock writes that Jesus teaches, “I am the way, by my doctrine and example; I am the Truth, by my promises; and I am Life, by the graces I offer and give.”
Notice that the prayer says we will come to know this truth when we live a worthy way of life. I already know that the only time I’m perfect at that is when I’m asleep. When I’m awake, the challenge begins. I can truthfully say that I am a work at progress and that I’m getting better at it. Do I ever fail? Frequently. That’s where the Sacramental life comes in.
Grace builds on grace and it is in that grace we find ourselves in the midst of Trinitarian love.
Thanks for praying with me, Julie