Liturgy is public worship which the Catholic Church makes every effort to incorporate and involve our senses and our entire being into our act of worship.
In this article, I invite us to think about the importance and significance of some postures and gestures in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. We are all very aware of our Catholic calisthenics which are a routine part of the Liturgy, namely sitting, standing, bowing, kneeling and silence at various times.
These postures serve an important purpose and reveal the importance of the action taking place. When we enter the church and make the sign of the cross; let it be a real sign of the cross. Instead of a small overcrowded gesture that gives no notion of its meaning, let us make a large unhurried sign, from forehead to breast, from shoulder to shoulder, consciously feeling how it includes the whole of us, our thoughts, our attitudes, our body and soul, every part of us at once, how it consecrates and sanctifies us. Upon entering and leaving the church, we face the Tabernacle where Jesus is reposed and genuflect.
A genuflection, made by bending the right knee to the ground, is a … Read More
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him,”I will; be clean”
Leprosy = 1st reading
- In the biblical times, leprosy was one of the most feared diseases
- It was very contagious hence lived outside the community. This was to protect the community from infection
- It was the ultimate uncleanliness
- It made the victim an outcast, not only socially but also religiously. They were considered ritually unclean. If one saw a healthy person, he was supposed to ring the bell and shout in a loud voice, unclean, unclean
Leprosy, without doubt, was a terrible disease; but not terrible us feeling of being unloved, unwanted, or abandoned = rejection
- Rejection hurts than any other state or emotion
- It damages self-worth, making somebody feel worthless. It makes somebody shrivel up or openly rebel
- Rejection is very devastating especially for children, elderly, and handicapped people. To a child abandoned by its parent is equivalent to death.
- Lepers were rejected and despised by people, and believed themselves to be rejected and despised by God too – people thought they are cursed by God
- Our families- hatred, mistreatment, murder, unfaithfulness, persecutions, = leprosy
Gesture of Jesus – Gospel… Read More
An elderly person lost a needle which was very essential in his life. He was in deep search of the needle. A young man who was coming from an errand found the the elderly man in the evening desperately searching for the needle outside his house. The young man asked the elderly man what he was searching. In his response, the man said he cannot trace his essential needle. He then asked the elderly man, can you recollect where you lost your needle. He said, yes. I lost it in the house.
The young man asked, ” and why are you searching for it here?” He answered, my lamp has no oil and the house is pitch dark, and since there is enough streetlight outside, I decided to search for it here. The young man while holding back his laughter asked the elderly man, ” If you lost your needle in the house, how would you expect to see it outside”. The elderly man smiled back and the young man understood the meaning of his puzzling act. Isn’t that what we do? We go out to search for the meaning of our life outside ourselves because it’s dark inside ourselves … Read More
1st Reading – Amos 8:4-7
Psalms – 113
2nd Reading – 1 Tim 2:
Gospel – 16: 1-13
God versus mammon
No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Hedonic treadmill or hedonic adaptation
– it is the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes.
According to this theory, as a person makes more money, expectations and desires rise in tandem, which results in no permanent gain in happiness. This term was coined by Brickman and Campbell in their essay “hedonic relativism and planning the good society” 1971.
During the late 1990s, the concept was modified by Michael Eysenck, a British psychologist, to become the current “hedonic treadmill theory” which compares the pursuit of happiness to a person on a treadmill, who has to keep walking just to stay in the same place.
Cf. St Augustine – “desire has no rest”, is infinite in itself, endless, and as one calls it, a perpetual rack, … Read More
The jubilee year of Mercy is a special time called by the Catholic Church to receive blessings and pardon from God and remission of sins. May our passing through the Holy Door of Mercy commit us to making our own the mercy of the Good Samaritan focusing on the boundless nature of God’s mercy.
The year of mercy will help us to heal our souls and our life from temporal punishment which hinder our sanctification. In the course of the year of mercy we need to be to prepare and get disposed to receiving plenary indulgence that heals all the temporal punishment that result from our sins and remnants of the wounds in our souls brought about by our sinfulness.
Temporal punishment refers to the following human experiences.
- Feeling unhappy occasionally
- Emptiness and void
- Boredom about life
- Desperation or lack of hope
- Helplessness and hopelessness
- Lacking motivation in life/ value of life
- Fear of the unknown
- Discontentment/ lack of satisfaction
- Suicidal tenderness/ suicidal idealizations
- General anxiety or fear
- Paranoia – feeling uncomfortable with others
- Paranoids – when people sense like other out to harm them or persecute them
- Bitterness, anguish and grieving
- Death anxiety or perpetual fear
The term advent is derived from Latin “adventus” which means “coming”. The pagans used the word to mean the coming of their god. The term also meant the visit of a king to a city or the coronation day of the sovereign.
Early Christians (around 600 AD) purified this understanding and advent became a period of intense preparation for Christmas. It therefore originated in the early church as a short period of intense preparation for celebration of the nativity/ birth of our lord Jesus Christ. It slowly came to be structured into the four weeks of advent we have today.
Advent has twofold character and therefore divided into two.
- From 1st Sunday to 16th In this period the focus of the liturgy, i.e. readings, prayers are on the second coming of Christ at the end of time.
- From 17th December to 24th December when the focus is on Christmas. This time Christians are invited to observe a Novena, intensify their prayers; prepare their hearts through repentance to receive Christ in their hearts during Christmas.
At times we concentrate on what to slaughter, dress code, sites to visit etc. at the expense of interior preparations.
The period … Read More