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It is Right and Just


During this Year of Faith, we will blog reflections and stories to accompany you on your faith journey.
 
The Lord be with you. And with your spirit. Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right and just. – Preface Dialogue
 
“What life have you if you have not life together?” T.S. Eliot asked. “There is no life that is not in community, and no community not lived in praise of God.”
 
I experienced this reality while awaiting the sunset on a beach at the Jersey shore.
 
People carrying coolers and blankets poured onto the beach. The place was bustling with conversation, laughter, and children playing. Then, as if someone had dimmed the lights, the crowd became quiet as together we watched the setting sun paint the sky with an array of beautiful colors. “Oohs” and “aahs” filled the summer eve.
 
When the sun slipped from sight, the crowd spontaneously broke into applause. I joined in, and then I paused and thought, “Who are we clapping for? God, of course!” I prayed, “Thank you, Lord, for the beauty of your creation.” It is right and just to give God praise.
 
A simple, poetic new response
In the new Roman Missal, the dialogue that precedes the Preface opens with the familiar words, “The Lord be with you.” But our new response is: “And with your spirit.”
 
The final line of the dialogue also changed. The new response to “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God” is a simple sentence: “It is right and just.” This leads more poetically into the opening of the prefaces, which always starts with the words, “It is truly right and just.”
 
What can we bring to Mass?
St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us that we participate in Mass as an act of justice, giving God the praise and thanksgiving that is his due. It is not so much about what we “get out of Mass” but instead what we bring to Mass.
 
Christian worship is about praising and thanking God in community as we recall God’s blessings and as we rediscover our own identity as Christ’s body in this world.
 
Gathering every Sunday for Mass challenges us both as individuals and as a community to live differently because of the worship we celebrate. Authentic worship fills our hearts with gratitude and leads us to deeds of justice.
 
We are missioned to “go” from Mass and live each day lifting our hearts to the Lord, aware of God’s glory in creation and thanking and praising God, because it is right and just.
 
Suggestions for Prayer:
– This month pay particular attention to God’s goodness and glory revealed through creation. Notice and give thanks.
– Pray the Preface dialogue with a new awareness that it is right and just to give God praise.
 
Reprinted with permission from Living with Christ. For more information or to subscribe, visit www.livingwithchrist.us or call 1-800-214-3386.
 
Sr. Terry is the Executive Director of RENEW International and a Dominican Sister from Blauvelt, NY.

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