Two Hours before Mass

20 Aug

In every Mass we pray for three living human beings by name.

After calling forth a profession of faith from Simon Peter, Jesus said, “On this rock I will build my church.” He did not say, “On this rock you will build your church.” He said, “On this rock I will build my church.” It is the Lord’s church. He will build it. And He will protect it and preserve it.

In order to build, protect and preserve His church, Jesus entrusted to Peter, the chief apostle, and to his successors, the Popes, we believe, the keys to the kingdom, the power to loose and bind, and the authority to speak in matters of faith and morals.

It is the Lord’s church. He will take care of it.

Spiritual writers often mention a humble and humorous prayer that Pope John XXIII said when he was going to bed, no doubt feeling tired from the work of the day and overwhelmed by what remained to be done, “Well, Lord, it’s your church. You take care of it. I’m going to bed.”

With that same humility and trust, parents sending their children off to school, especially those sending their child off to college, pray a similar prayer, “Lord, I have taken care of your children that you have entrusted to me, trying my best to teach them by word, discipline and example. As I send them off, they will no longer be under my watchful eye, and will be out of the reach of my control, my influence and my protection. So, I give them back to you. They are your children. You take care of them.”

Oh, the three names, we mention at every Mass: Benedict, Dennis and Joseph. When we do that, we are reminding ourselves that we are a part of something bigger than us and our gathering, we are being grateful that the Lord is protecting and preserving His Church, and we are praying for our pope and our bishops who have a unique role and responsibility in the Lord’s church, of which we are a part. Perhaps our prayer for them, if nothing else, will help them sleep better.


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