Every time we go to Mass, we reply back to the Priest with the words, “and with your spirit”, and sometimes we lift up our hands in praise. This phrase changed a few years back, but most of us are getting used to this new wording. When I go to Mass with fallen away Catholics, they often do not have this reply in their short-term memory. The reply is to the priest’s blessing on us:
“The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.” 2Cor 13:11-13.
I tell my Confirmation kids that the Mass is Bible based, and if you listen closely, there are some familiar phrases from the Bible that are in the Mass. Hopefully it helps us all listen more intently, to see how many phrases we recognize.
The blessing in 2 Corinthians is appropriate today, as June 4 is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Yet again, an allusion to our Triune God. In the blessing, we not only hear about the three co-equal parts, but the gift that comes from each part. Those gifts are what stood out to me today in the readings.
Grace comes from Jesus. It is a complicated term or concept that has caused debates throughout the millennium. In my mind, it is Jesus’ unwarranted gifts that we are given. The most important is the redemptive power of His rising from the dead, so that we have a shot of joining Him in Heaven someday. We cannot get there ourselves. Gratia Vobis, our ministry name, is Latin for “Grace to You.” It is a powerful greeting, to wish Jesus’ redemptive power onto someone. Grace to you, dear readers!
Love is from God, and He is Love. John writes a lot about this, and it is a powerful topic in our Faith. Being loved by the creator of the universe, even though we are sinning, weak, and imperfect humans should give us hope.
The blessing says that the Holy Spirit gives us fellowship. This is the power to energize, socialize, reach out, and try to make some new believers out there. The Holy Spirit is like the power to light a light bulb. Without power, a light bulb is just a funny looking piece of transparent glass. Add power to it, and we get light, heat, and purpose.