Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Daily Thought For October 28, 2015

Worship—God Invites & We Respond

The so-called Didache of the apostles, a book that dates from about 90 or 100 A.D., records a tradition that had long been accepted as a matter of course: “Assemble together on the Lord’s Day, break bread, and give thanks, having first confessed your sins so that your offering will be pure” (Did 14:1). We can be certain of this, then: it is not the role of the Church or of any individual Christian to decide whether or when we should celebrate the divine liturgy or what we should decide to do with our Sunday. Someone may object: But I dislike the bad air in the church and the worn-out hymns. It bothers me to kneel crowded together with all kinds of people whom I do not know and to hear the priest recite prayers that I cannot understand. I prefer to go up into the mountains, into the woods, or on the water, and I am more pious in God’s free nature than in a congregation that has nothing to offer me. In reply one might say: It cannot be that we choose for ourselves whether or how we shall worship God: what is important is that we respond to him in the place where he gives himself to us. We cannot decide on our own terms where God is to meet us, and we should not strive to reach him by our own efforts. He can come to us and let us find him wherever he chooses. What matters is not just some pious feeling of ours that relegates religion to the realm of the nonobligatory and private but the obedience that hears God’s call and accepts it. The Lord does not want our private feelings; he wants to form us into a community and to build the new community of the Church on faith. The body must share in the divine worship as must the community with its hardships and discomforts. That is why it is false to ask: “What do I get out of this?”

Ratzinger, J. (1992). Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year. (M. F. McCarthy & L. Krauth, Trans., I. Grassl, Ed.) (pp. 341–342). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.