Developing the liturgical life

With the celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King followed by that of the first Sunday of Advent, we are marking both the end of a liturgical year and the beginning of another one. Such celebrations should make us more aware of the significance of liturgy in our life and need to develop in each one of us what we may call our liturgical life.

Liturgy as defined and described in our Catechism is the celebration of the Christian mystery that refers to the wonderful truth of our faith that Christ continues to accomplish his redemptive work with all throughout time.

In it, we are made to be aware that Christ’s work of redemption which culminated in his passion, death, and resurrection, and made present in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, is not just a historical event, but one that continues to take place every time the liturgy is celebrated.

In it, we are made to participate in Christ’s continuing work of redemption of us in the most effective way, since our redemption, while it is mainly the work and the mission of Christ, is also one where we are expected to correspond, to do our part.

In the liturgy, we work out our own salvation together with Christ and with everybody else who participate in it. Our salvation is not just Christ’s work. And much less is it just our own work. It has to be both together, Christ and us, properly understood.

That is to say, that our redemption is first of all Christ’s work to which he gives himself completely before it is also our work to which we also have to give ourselves completely.

We also have to understand that in the liturgy it is not just an affair between Christ and us, individually, but rather one between Christ and us, both individually and collectively.

To have the liturgical mind or to live the liturgical life means that we should not be concerned only about our personal relation and correspondence to Christ’s redemptive action on us, taken individually or personally, but rather we also have to be concerned about everybody’s relation and correspondence to Christ’s continuing redemptive action.

In other words, in the liturgy, we should be concerned about our duty to care and love one another which we show through our spirit of fraternity among ourselves and our concern for a continuing apostolate. This duty should not be held only theoretically, intellectually, and spiritually. It should be carried out in practice all the time.

Thus, every time we participate in the liturgy, especially in the Holy Eucharist, the urge to do apostolate should be felt, otherwise, we would just be converting the liturgy into nothing other than going through some rites, prayers, gestures that would actually mean nothing or would just be appearances, if it is not accompanied by that urge to do apostolate.

We need to appreciate this particular aspect of the liturgical life which should not be confined only to attendance at Mass and other liturgical celebrations or the reception of holy communion. The liturgical life behooves us to reach out to everybody, living to the utmost degree that we can the spirit of fraternity and love for everyone. The liturgy should feed this urge to reach out to everyone and to love.*

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