“Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours, for ever and ever. Amen.”
When I attended mass as a young child, I often waited for the Eucharistic prayer to be done, so as to get to the Communion Rite. After all, isn’t “getting” the Eucharist the big reason why we attend mass? At least, that was my logic for quite a while. I definitely paid attention to the concluding doxology though, so that I could respond with the great Amen. Sadly, I did not pay attention to the meaning of the words most of the time. Unfortunately, that was still true when I first became a church musician. It’s a fact that I had to get ready to play the first note of the introduction to the sung response of the great Amen the moment that the priest rolled out the last “r” in “for ever and ever”; otherwise, the congregation would go ahead and say “Amen”, and that would have been unacceptable in my mind.
The funny thing is that the Holy Spirit has a way to open our eyes.
Today at mass, my mind was just stuck with the words in the very familiar concluding doxology. It was as if time stood still for a split second. Maybe, everyone in the church were frozen in time for a second. Who knows?
The doxology says that “through [Jesus Christ], and with [Jesus Christ], and in [Jesus Christ],” we give glory and honour to God. Without Christ’s work in our salvation, we probably would not have access to God our Father. With Jesus’ incarnation as one of us, we have the opportunity to learn from him and pray with him to our Father. As baptized members of the church, we are the body of Christ; and therefore, we are connected to God our Father.
Now, my question is: Does the phrase work the other way round?
Can we give glory and honour to God by allowing God to work through us, and with us and in us?
If God desires to reach someone through us, do we make ourselves available? Are we willing to spend some time with a lonely soul or the older folks in nursing homes? Are we willing to speak up on an issue that is counter-cultural, even though that’s an issue dear to our Catholic life? Are we willing to seek justice for the poor?
God gives us free will. With that, he willingly works with our triumphs and failures in our everyday decisions. Do we keep God in mind in all the choices that we make?
Just prior to us sharing Holy Communion at mass, we ask for mutual forgiveness in saying the Lord’s Prayer together. Do we mean what we say? Do we truly deserve our “daily bread”? When the priest, deacon and Eucharistic minister offer us “The Body of Christ” and/or “The Blood of Christ”, and we answer “Amen”, do we truly mean “It is true”? When we finally receive communion with an honest “Amen”, we know that Christ is “in” us.
O God, You sent your Beloved Son to redeem us. Grant that your will be done through us, and with us, and in us as we ask through Jesus Christ, with him, and in him. Amen.