Pray the Mass

Should not our deeper understanding of the Resurrection and of the Jesus Process that flows from the Resurrection change the way we pray the Mass, the celebration of the Risen Jesus’ ongoing Incarnation among us, his ongoing transformation of us to become Jesus to others?

Prepare the Way. The historical Jesus is the catalyst of the Jesus Process that will bring us to the Risen Jesus who gifts us with the Spirit. So let us unite ourselves with Jesus prior to Mass and at all the key parts of the Mass. Before Mass, let us recall, with all the love we can arouse, our Crucified Lover who suffered a horrific death to win our freedom. Then, let us celebrate his rising from the dead. The stone has been rolled back from his tomb. The Spirit leads the Risen Jesus in triumph to his glory and power. Now let us ask the Risen Jesus to gift us with the Spirit’s power to celebrate at Mass Jesus’ Resurrection and ongoing Incarnation.

Seek Transformation. The Jesus Process continues as we listen to the words and life events of the historical Jesus in Scripture. Jesus’ life experiences have become power sources for our transformation to become Jesus to others because the Risen Jesus now contains in himself all Jesus’ experiences in a transformed way. Let us pray to the Risen Jesus to gift us with the Spirit’s power to bring about change in our lives. Let us ponder: What change in our lives are the Scripture readings and homile inviting us to make? What empowerment are we being called to in order to carry on Jesus’ Incarnation of service and healing for our sisters and brothers?

Prepare Hearts. The historical Jesus prepared his heart for self-gift onCalvary at the Last Supper. In loving service, he washed the disciples’ feet, and he gave himself in Eucharist. Uniting ourselves with Jesus’ actions, let the Jesus Process work to prepare our hearts for sacrifice and service to others. The bread and wine that we offer up are symbols of our lives that we are sacrificing. With the help of the Spirit, let us surrender our lives to the Risen Jesus. Let us prepare our hearts at the level of our feelings—with words, if necessary, or without words in a prayer of the heart, a prayer of desire.

Offer Self. The Jesus Process reaches itshigh point at the consecration. The historical Jesus made his offering once and for all. The Risen Jesus has perpetuated his sacrifice. Now it is our turn to make our own offering. We join the priest in asking the Risen Jesus to send his Spirit to empower our gifts of bread and wine with his presence. At the same time, we ask the Risen Jesus to empower us through the Spirit to give ourselves as self-gift to him and to our sisters and brothers in service to them.

When the priest offers up the Consecrated Bread and Wine, he offers the Risen Jesus and us as members of the Body of Jesus. We too are saying to our sisters and brothers, “Take, eat, this is my body; take drink, this is my blood.” We are sacrificing our body and blood, our life, time, energy and resources in service to them.

Power Up.  As a truly human person, the historical Jesus was a work in progress. It was the Spirit who led Jesus to develop his innate powers of faith, hope and love of God. Now we need to ask the Risen Jesus for the Spirit’s power to live our self-gift to God and others, which we have just given at the Consecration.

Let us ask for the strength to practice Resurrection, to become persons of radical faith, hope and love. To become agents of the Spirit, beauty and new life. Let us ask the Risen Jesus for the power to practice union with the historical Jesus in our pursuit of holiness, spiritual formation and evangelization so that he can become the catalyst of the Jesus Process for us. Let us ask the Risen Jesus for the power to practice Pentecost by calling upon the Spirit for courage and enlightenment, for discernment of God’s will and direction for our lives.

Carry On Jesus’ Incarnation. When we receive the Risen Jesus in Eucharist, we are not only receiving his presence sacramentally, we are feeding on Jesus’ whole personhood and lifestyle. We are feeding on the Word of God that we have just heard in the Gospel portrayal of Jesus, and we resolve to live that Word of God. For we must put on the mind and heart of Jesus to be Jesus to others.

Now let us ask the Risen Jesus for the Spirit’s power to manifest the Risen Jesus within us to those around us.  Let us ask that we become sacraments of peace, healing and forgiveness for others, that we might become Jesus’ compassion and communion to others. Let us ask that we might become channels to awaken faith, hope and love in others as Jesus did. Now the Mass ceremony is ended, but the Mass event continues on: Let us go and be Jesus to others!