The Cathedral Connection 22 October 2017

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LISTENING AND HEARING

The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) provides clear teaching about the ways in which Jesus is present to us through the Liturgy – our formal, public worship.  Jesus is present: 1. In the gathering of the people; 2. In the proclamation of the Word; 3. In the person of the Presider (who leads in the name of Jesus); 4. When the Church prays and sings; 5. And, especially, in the Eucharist.

While it is the Eucharistic presence that is given most emphasis, each of the other four has great value for our faith journey.  Pope Francis, as part of his thrust to reawaken the messages and teachings of the Council, has called us to give more attention to the Sacred Scriptures, to the living word of God, and to appreciate the “presence” of Jesus in the Liturgy of the Word.

That is why next Sunday the focus will be on that part of the Mass, and we will be helped to fully listen and truly hear the sacred reading.  There will be only one reading, the Gospel [Matthew 22: 34-40].  The process that will take us through the reading is known as Lectio Divina, requiring only a willingness to listen prayerfully to the reading, remaining open to hear the Word of God speaking to your heart.

The presence of Jesus as the Word is proclaimed, is real, dynamic, and an effective guide for daily living.  While we will use this approach on only one Sunday, it is a technique you can use personally at any time.  Come prepared next Sunday for this experience.  Read the chapter [Matthew 22] early in the week.  As suggested earlier, you may like to bring a copy of the text in your first language as it could assist concentration and help provide insight.

May we all fully listen and truly hear.

Fr James

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