Speak Lord: open our hearts

Wise man, Notre DameThe responsorial psalm for Mass tomorrow, the feast of the Epiphany, identifies the wise men of Matthew’s Gospel with all the nations,, and associates us with all those nations.

All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.

O God, give your judgement to the king,
to a king’s son your justice,
that he may judge your people in justice
and your poor in right judgement.

All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.

In his days justice shall flourish
and peace till the moon fails.
He shall rule from sea to sea,
from the Great River to earth’s bounds.

All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.

The kings of Tarshish and the sea coasts
shall pay him tribute.
The kings of Sheba and Seba
shall bring him gifts.
Before him all kings shall fall prostrate,
all nations shall serve him.

All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.

For he shall save the poor when they cry
and the needy who are helpless.
He will have pity on the weak
and save the lives of the poor.

All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.

Psalm 71:1-2,7-8,10-13

The nations came in and as the wise men to the stable of Bethlehem; we of the nations come before the Lord in all sorts of ways. Perhaps most evidently and regularly we come before him in the Mass, where he is present for us in the assembly assembled and active in prayer and song; in the word proclaimed and listened to; in the ministry of the priest in its various aspects; and in the Eucharist, bread and wine transformed into Christ’s Body and Blood, offered, received, eaten, drunk, adored.

Were we all to fall prostrate before the Lord at Mass, progressing in its action would be somewhat difficult. But that sort of honour and respect is what we need to approach in order to be properly receptive and properly engaged in what the Mass is and what the Mass is for.

A contemplative Wise Man. Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris. (c) 2006.

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