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Invited to a meal - Make yourself comfortable (2)

If someone were to knock unexpectedly at our door, we would probably say, Who is it? But if we are expecting guests, then make haste to greet them. If it is cold outside, we take their boots, hats, coats and scarves. We make our guests feel comfortable and at ease.
At the Mass, a similar unfolding of events takes place. First of all the Church bells chime fifteen minutes before Mass begins. From the beginning of the Mass, the greetings follow one another in quick succession. The priest begins with, The Lord be with you. The faithful respond, And also with you.

What begins at this point is the dialogue of the Penitential Rite. It’s as if we were invited to exchange our everyday clothes covered with dust for our special Sunday outfits. The purpose of this Rite is to rid ourselves of the everyday dust and to take with us what our souls can carry throughout the week. We become renewed beings. This Rite is a beautiful means to renew our souls. It is not a sacrament but certainly is a sacramental, which is a sacred sign that bears a resemblance to a sacrament. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church,… by them (sacramentals,) men(and women) are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy. (# 1667)

In other words, if I interiorize and am aware of what is happening during this dialogue, I will be better prepared to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. The next time I receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, I will receive the graces and effects in greater abundance for I will have simultaneously and proportionately, week after week, reflected on what has gone wrong in my life and what needs to be changed and improved. Let us approach this Rite with faith and devotion. Let us reconcile with Christ and experience the generous love of Christ Jesus our Savior

Ghislaine Salvail, sjsh
Translated by Honore Kerwin-Borrelli


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