|AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY CHOIR BRISBANE|
IN THE CHAPEL OF THE FORMER PIUS XII SEMINARY
BACKS TO THE ALTAR WHICH SYMBOLISES JESUS CHRIST
FOR THE SAKE OF THEIR PERFORMANCE
Let us recall that in ancient times The Name was in effect the person
for many purposes. So it is that we pray " Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord" that is He Who is the Lord.
Saint Paul tells us: " Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name,10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Yet to-day we tolerate on our TV and Movie screens the most casual and even vile abuse of the Holy Name of Jesus. And this escapes without even a flicker of protest. But even within the Church the honour that customarily was given to the Holy Name of Jesus among the Catholic faithful, the reverent bowing of the head whenever Our Lord's Name was mentioned, is rarely seen. Happily most Clergy still do bow their heads when required by the Rubrics in the Liturgy.
When we sing our hymns of praise .....are they really? Most often they seem to be songs about us, rather than hymns to God. How many of these creations of the 1960s and 1970s are to be found beginning " We....". It is all about us. We are this, we are that, we do this, we do that... We are celebrating ourselves rather than praising God.
And as the Priest faces us at Mass looking out across the Altar smiling at us, he is all too often concentrating on us, engaging us in his projection of himself. We form a closed circle as Pope Benedict XVI said, our beloved community contemplating ourselves. But Oops! Aren't we missing something here? Or Someone??
It is NOT all about us!
" Do this in remembrance of Me." Luke 22:19 It is all about Him!
And about His Father to whom much of the prayer is addressed though one would often struggle to understand that from the demeanour of the "engaging" celebrant.And when at the introduction to the Sign of Peace, the Priest prays - with the Blessed Sacrament on the Altar in front of him -
" Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your Apostles......"
is he reverently looking upon the Blessed Sacrament, or beaming out upon the congregation about to heighten the celebration of itself instead of spreading the Peace of Christ?
We surely have a long way to go before we add meaning to the words "....we praise thy Name..."