Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Febreuary 15, 2010
Mass offertory creates a holy communion
Yukon Bishop Gary Gordon told Nothing More Beautiful audience our lives are taken to the altar
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON - The Offertory of the Mass is when each of us join our lives to Jesus Christ in our own act of self-offering, the bishop of the Yukon said Feb. 4.
In the Offertory, said Bishop Gary Gordon, we do much more than put money in the collection plate. "Our lives, the total fabric of our lives - all of our loves and hopes, our sorrows, our hurts, our sinfulness - are offered during the Offertory with Jesus to the Father.
"There's nothing else that we can bring when we come to the Mass but our lives," Gordon said at a Nothing More Beautiful session at St. Joseph's Basilica.
Gordon, a bishop since 2006, was the catechist at the evening's session that focused on Jesus Christ: Lamb of God and Bread of Life. Sister Annata Brockman, a long-time pastoral associate at the basilica and former school principal, was the witness at the Feb. 4 event.
When our lives are taken to the altar and offered up with Jesus to the Father, Gordon said, "It creates a holy communion.
"We become an acceptable offering, like the Lamb, to the Father. And God our gracious Father accepts us and in turn gives us his Son in Holy Communion."
Our involvement in the Mass, he said, is not passive. It is "a full, active, conscious participation in the very life of Jesus Christ."
"Just imagine! My life in the Lamb of God participates in taking away the sins of the world."
THE BEAUTY OF CHRIST
The five Nothing More Beautiful sessions for 2009-10 are focusing on the general theme Encountering Anew the Beauty of Christ. The remaining two sessions will be held April 15 with Vancouver Archbishop Michael Miller and American author George Weigel and on May 27 with Cardinal Marc Ouellet and Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus.
Each session features the two talks in a setting of the prayer and song of Vespers.
In her witness testimony, Brockman told of her childhood and call to religious life in Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
She recalled that after becoming a sister of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul (Halifax) she served as a teacher in Cranbrook, B.C. There, she found it easy to experience the loving presence of God.
But then she offered to God that, if he wanted, he could take away that feeling from her and give that experience to "others somewhere in the world who are finding it difficult to cope with their situation."
"From that moment this conscious awareness of God's loving presence within me left me and I have not experienced it again in these last 50 years.
"I know that my love for God does not depend on feelings or emotions, but on my decision to love God, and Jesus our Lamb of God and Bread of Life."
PROFOUNDLY MOVING TALKS
At the end of Vespers, Archbishop Richard Smith praised "the two profoundly moving talks here tonight."
(Sister Annata's testimony from Nothing More Beautiful is published on Pages 10-12; Bishop Gordon's will be printed in next week's WCR. Their presentations can also be seen on Salt + Light TV on Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m. or on the Salt + Light website, www.saltandlighttv.org.)
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