Saturday, March 03, 2007

St Augustine says that when we pray, we talk to God but when we read, God talks to us. Epistle is a letter sent to us from God Himself. This is why at the end of Epistle reading, we say "Thanks be to God". This is followed by the summit of the Catechumen's Mass which is Gospel reading. If the Church is built with the Altar turned east, the reading should be done on its south site, which signifies the Holy Land. Our Lord once announced to the inhabitants of this land the sentence: "Therefore I say to you, that the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a nation yielding the fruits thereof." (Mt 21:43). Moving the Missal to the north site of the Altar, signifies that true religion was eagerly accepted and adopted by pagan nations instead of Jews. The sign of the cross made on the Missal before reading means that the very words of the Crucified will be read. Crossing of the forehead, mouth and hearts shows that we are determined to accept teaching with humble minds, courageously preach it and zealously live it. 'Credo' ends first part of the Mass and is a joyful and beautiful spoken testimony of our Faith. "Who, for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven" - how unconceivable is love of Our Redeemer for us, for so miserable and sinful human beings. How wonderfully and symbolically all these is presented in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and offers a great consolation to our hearts: "If thou didst know the gift of God" (John 4:10)