Grace to you!
If you were to tell just one story about the most important thing that has happened in your life/history, what would it be? Perhaps, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to think about which story.
Individuals have their story. Families have their stories. Nations have their stories too. We carry our story with us wherever we go. They shape our thoughts and inspire our actions in many ways.
In the Book of Wisdom chapters eighteen and nineteen, I read a beautiful story about one of the most significant events in the life of Old Testament Israel as a people. It was the story of the Passover. The original story, as you may know, is recorded in Exodus chapters twelve through fourteen.
I have tears of joy as I read how the Book of Wisdom recounts that story with unique creative passion. It’s a powerful poetic piece.
“For while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half gone, thy all-powerful word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne, into the midst of the land that was doomed, a stern warrior carrying the sharp sword of thy authentic command, and stood and filled all things with death, and touched heaven while standing on the earth” (Wis 18:14-16).
Did you notice how God’s word was described as a person (personification)? “Thy all-powerful word leaped from heaven….” I learn from this that God’s Word, Christ, is close to those who are suffering, persecuted and socially maltreated. He leaps from heaven for the salvation of the downtrodden, the weak and those in need of salvation.
One may begin to understand how all things, even from the Old Testament, were positioned towards the fulfillment in the Incarnation (God becoming man in Christ). God’s Word that comes from heaven is the one who takes flesh so those on earth could be saved. It is not surprising that many Church fathers say that the event of the Passover is itself a typology of the Incarnation. Through his coming and becoming like us in all things, except in sin, Christ opens to many the fullness of life in God. He accomplished deliverance of his people from slave conditions.
We read the story of the liberation of God’s people and we make it our own story also, since we are God’s special children in faith. Much more, in Christ we’ve received the grace of adoption and the grace of freedom. “For freedom, Christ has set us free” (Gal 5:1). Hence, we love to tell the story. It’s our story.
Did you notice that during the Eucharistic celebration, we recount what the Lord has done? It becomes our highest worship and prayer. We tell the story over and over again; and the story is renewed in our lives again and again. By reliving the story, we are reliving the event in a special way. We become more and more beneficiaries of what the Lord has done.
I love celebrating the Mass everyday because in it, I’m constantly reminded of what the Lord has done. I’m daily configured in that grace he has offered through the cross and resurrection.
Never can the liturgy be boring if we understand the bigger picture and the bigger story. Never would it be boring if we understand that it’s not just a mere story but divine life relived for us.
I pray that God will give us the grace of wisdom of active participation at the Eucharist. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Saturday Week 32 A: Wis 18:14-16, 19:6-9; Lk 18:1-8]
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.