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O Lord, Until You Come Again


During this Year of Faith, we will blog reflections and stories to accompany you on your faith journey.
 
“When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.” – Memorial Acclamation 2
 
My 92-year-old dad had been in a coma for six hours—we thought this was the end. During those last months, he refused to fight against death, but instead he fought for life with a tangible faith and a confidence in God.
 
One evening, my brother-in-law Doug was keeping vigil. Suddenly, my dad opened his eyes and said, “Hey, Doug, is that you?” Doug replied, “Yeah, Dad.” With an incredulous look, Dad said, “Jeez, am I still here? I thought the Lord already came for me.” Two days later he peacefully passed from death to life—entering into the fullness of the paschal mystery.
 
Proclaim the paschal mystery!
After the consecration, the priest now says or sings to the congregation simply, “The mystery of faith,” and we respond with a prayer proclaiming the paschal mystery.
 
The word “paschal” is derived from the Greek word meaning “pass over.” At its very heart, it is less about events and more about movement: from slavery to freedom, from death to life.
 
Each of the three new Memorial Acclamations includes us (“We proclaim,” “When we eat,” and “Save us”) and speak of what Christ did for us (“you have set us free”).
 
The very core of our faith
We respond to the words “The mystery of faith” by acclaiming that the bread and wine have been changed into the Body and Blood of Christ and that the paschal mystery is the core of our faith.
 
We acclaim that death does not have the last word—that through our faith in Christ we too will move from death to life. It is truly a mystery in that the fullness of God’s love, Jesus the Christ, is made present among us. In this life we grasp something of the mystery of God’s reign, but the full reality remains veiled before our eyes—until he comes again!
 
Our source of strength and hope
For more than 90 years my father, through God’s grace, acclaimed the mystery of faith in the ups and downs of his daily life and, yes, at Mass too. We too gain strength from the Eucharist so we can embrace our own suffering and transform it into a sure hope in the Lord’s many comings into our life.
 
Suggestions for Prayer:
   – How do we enter more consciously and more fully into Christ’s paschal mystery in our life’s daily experiences?
   -Pray each of the three Memorial Acclamations with a new sense that each one includes us and speaks of what Christ did and is doing in our daily lives—setting us free.
 
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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