Monday, December 10, 2012

Devotion for today: The Gloria: the praise of Jesus our Lord

Today we complete our look at the Gloria in the Mass.

Scripture for reflection: John 1:29-33
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!  This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’  I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.”  John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us: 1708: BY his Passion, Christ delivered us from Satan and from sins. He merited for us the new life in the Holy Spirit. His grace restores what sin had damaged in us. 1715: He who believes in Christ has new life in the Holy Spirit. Then moral life, increased and brought to maturity in grace, is to reach its fulfillment in the glory of heaven.

…. Scriptural allusions are also made to Jn. 1:29, where St. John the Baptist points to Christ and exclaims Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.  Jesus is the one perfect sacrificial offering who takes away the sins of the world.  In the Gospel according to St. John, sin is spoken of in the singular, namely the failure or refusal to recognize Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God.  In the Gloria, the Latin official text refers to sin in the plural reminding us that the forgiveness of every sin is made possible only by the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God.  The New Translation reflects the Latin text where it says, you take away the sins of the world. Finally, in the praise offered to Christ by the phrases you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, there is an incorporation of Rev. 15:4 (For you alone are holy) and Ps. 83:19 (Show them you alone are the LORD, the Most High over all the earth) we see a confession of faith in the Divine nature of Christ in the nature of God as the Holy Trinity.  …The confession of sins leads into the confession of praise, which instinctively reveals a confession of faith.

My thoughts: The Gloria is such an incredibly beautiful prayer. In it we take time to joyfully express our complete love for God. Just as we find many ways to express our love for those who have captured our hearts in our lives, so we now find so many ways to let God know how much we love him, how much we acknowledge his power and might. We praise Jesus who made the ultimate sacrifice for us on the Cross so that one day we could be with him in heaven. We beg for mercy, and receive it; we offer our prayer, and it is heard! Most importantly, we acknowledge Jesus as our Lord, the Most High. In doing so, we readily give our hearts and souls to him, to mold us into true disciples. Sing or say the Gloria with all your heart as you give the gift of yourself to your beloved. This is the hint of the prayer we will be saying around the throne when we reach heaven!

Prayer: The Gloria
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to His people on earth. Lord God heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father; receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen. 

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