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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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As with most Christian prayer, the Mass really begins with the priest and people making the sign of the cross. Indeed,  congregants have likely already blessed themselves with holy water in the saving sign by invoking the Trinity and recalling their baptism at the entry to the church. At the end of Mass they do the same by remembering their commission as prescribed in Matthew 28:18-20 where Jesus says: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”  Two essential truths of Christianity are invoked— the Cross by which we are redeemed and the chief revelation given to us of God as one but also as a Trinity of persons.  The signing in the cross serves as a dedication.  We are saved by the Cross and we belong to Christ. All that we are about to do (this saving work and collaboration between the priest and people) belongs and is directed to the Lord. 

The celebrant greets the faithful with the words, “The Lord be with you.”  The congregants respond, “And with your spirit.” Priest and people alike are welcomed into an encounter with the Lord.  Jesus Christ will lead us in the perfect worship of the Father. We acknowledge the God we cannot see and yet invite him into our souls.  This signifies something of our corporate faith and that we need to be in right relationship with each other and in a state of grace before our heavenly Father. At this point the celebrant may speak to the congregation in his own words regarding the specificity of the given liturgy.

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