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Thomas Luter

Lent



In the Psalter reading appointed for this day, it is clear that the psalmist believes that communicating with God is central in his life.  We see words and phrases like, “confess”, “praise”, “give thanks”, “make supplication”, “vindicate me”, “go to the altar of God”, “sing to the Lord”, “extol His holy name”, “help me”, “transgressions are forgiven”. This is worship.

The reading from Titus tells us, “God saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we have done…but through the waters of re-birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” This is worship.

And in the Gospel of John, Nathaniel in a moment of unmitigated joy and praise at meeting our Lord exclaims, “Rabbi, you are the son of God!” You are the King of Israel!”  This is worship.

Perhaps I am not saintly enough to see the face of Jesus in the homeless person on the street corner. Perhaps I have not tried hard enough to feel the electric charge that one gets from speaking to someone they don’t know over the lettuce display at the grocery store. Maybe Holy Hospitality is distant to me because I didn’t attend the workshops. Don’t get me wrong, I love humanity. Certainly I am seasoned enough to know that all of creation is my brother on this journey and loving is a far better social condition than hating.   But my path has shown me that I become more holy the more I participate in the sacraments of the Church, its liturgies of wonder, and the healing balm of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The more I take from the storehouse of grace available to me in the traditional church, the more I come into to the presence of the Holy and the more likely I am to be open to where God will send me and to whom I will minister.  Ministry proceeds from worship – it is not worship. 

If it were the other way around, I would be participating in a kind of social exchange theology where I get love because I love people. The source of love is the ‘Source of Love’ which has been made available to Christians for a couple thousand years in the Holy Church. I have always found myself doing more good for my fellow journeyman and loving more during those times when I have been actively participating in God-things.

The storehouse of attainable grace in the church catholic is limitless - all immaculately dressed in ritual that defines who we are and what we are to believe.