During the mass, the Prayer over the Offerings goes by rather quickly. This week’s prayer deserves some extra time, that’s why this week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Prayer over the Offerings for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time.
As we celebrate your mysteries, O Lord, with the observance that is your due, we humbly ask you, that what we offer to the honor of your majesty may profit us for salvation. Through Christ our Lord.
There are times when words don’t mean what we think they mean and this is a great example.
In the Latin form of the prayer, the word for celebrate is exsequentes. It means to carry out, pursue to the end.
The mysteries we are pursing are the saving events in the life of Christ. Of those events, his passion, death, and resurrection are made sacramentally present in the liturgy.
The observance is the liturgical services of the church.
Sacramentally reliving, (carrying out, celebrating) the passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord (the mysteries) with observance is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
This is why the Mass is not our church service. It is our observance, our presence and our prayer, that is due to God.
I’ve been thinking about what it means to offer God what is due. In the Latin form of the prayer, the word is debitis, to be in debt.
Somehow it sounds easier to giving God what is due than being indebted to him. Maybe it’s because to think about being in debt to him sounds so personal. It’s not meant to make us uncomfortable, it’s meant to make us grateful. If each person would take five minutes to meditate on who Jesus really is, not who we want him to be, but who he truly is, the Savior, the Son of God, we would begin to get sense of why we must offer to Him what is due. It would also give us the desire to give him what is due.
With that sense of his majesty in mind, remember this: God is so good. He gives us what we need to offer Him. We return them to Him and he uses them to profit us for salvation. Salvation isn’t just a big thing, it’s everything.
Thanks for praying with me!