Thursday, January 17, 2008
Toward the East
Our Holy Father, Benedict XVI, celebrates holy Mass in the Sistine Chapel on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on Sunday, 13 January, 2008. Together with the people he faces God: "versus Deum".
The Lord's Resurrection is a physical, historical, event which took place in the East. As well, His rising is a cosmic event which continues even now to promise new life to all of creation. Like the rising of the sun each day which conquers the darkness of night the life of the Son of God was triumphant, in His rising, over the darkness of the grave.
The priest does not possess a power which he is given that he might "lord it over" the people. Rather, he serves by leading all of the baptized forward to meet the Lord, above all, in the sacred liturgy. Priest and people always, together in the one Spirit, turn towards the Lord in the Sacrifice of the Mass whether or not the ages-old practice of physically facing east is used.
The Lord comes, in the liturgy and finally at the end of the world, and all of mankind will stand before him, facing Him together in adoration, falling down upon their knees. Let us already in faith meet Him thus, in adoration and love.