There are some great words in the prayer this week, beginning with “constant gladness.” In Psalm 100:1-2 we read “worship the LORD with cries of gladness; come before him with joyful song.” We are to be people filled with joy in being devoted to God and there’s no greater blessing than being around people like that.
The next word is “constancy”. With "constant" being in the beginning of the prayer, it’s easy to think that constancy means the same as constant. However, constancy is defined as the the quality of being unchanging or unwavering, as in purpose, love, or loyalty; faithfulness.
But at the “to” is where this prayer took a turn for me. When I looked up the Latin form of this prayer, (liturgies.net) then put the Latin prayer in a word study tool (latinlexicon.org), I found that “to” isn’t there.
The word used in the Latin prayer is “si” and it has one definition: if. This prayer, read in the Latin says that we have full and lasting happiness IF we serve with constancy (faithfulness) the author of all that is good.
The “to serve" doesn’t make this prayer wrong, it is somewhat the same thing, but the “if” gives us a more direct instruction on how to obtain the happiness God desires for us.
Ways of serving God have been a reoccurring theme for me lately, and there is even a guideline about serving in this weekend’s Gospel.
This week, from the book of Matthew, we hear the parable of the master who gives his the servants talents before he goes away. As you study the scripture, notice how the good servants served - they increased what their master gave them.
The disciples did the same. They didn’t bury what Jesus gave them. Instead, they increased what their Master gave them and the Church spread throughout the world.
How has God called you to serve? Sometimes it’s easy to make the ways we serve our to-do list. It would be worth our time to ask God what he wants. Don’t worry about God giving you big things. As we learn in the Gospel, God will start us with little things at first, the bigger things will come when we’re ready.
Lectio the Liturgy: Did you know that God has given you specific gifts that are needed to build up the church? If your gifts aren’t used, the world misses out on what God has given YOU to share. What are your gifts? What are the things that energize you? What brings you joy?
If you’d like places to start, check out the books, Fruitful Discipleship by Sherry Weddell and Your Blue Flame by Jen Fulweiler.
Have a great week. Thanks for praying with me,