Saying ‘I do’ at Mass

By | February 11, 2009

The Scriptures for this weekend recount how, after Jesus healed the Leper, the man was so ecstatic, so grateful, he had to go into the village and tell all the people what had happened.

This weekend is also Valentine’s weekend, and in many of our parishes you will see or hear married couples publicly proclaiming what God has done for them.

Perhaps couples will have an opportunity to renew their vows, or you will hear a marriage blessing offered. You might witness the longest married couples in the parish being recognized, or see a newly married couple bring up the gifts.

In any case, as they celebrate their commitment to the sacrament of marriage, we will experience something similar to what the leper felt. These couples in the midst of happiness, love, and even the trials and hard times, want to publicly tell others about the love God has instilled in their lives. They want to say yet again, ” I do” to those promises they made on their wedding day.

“I do” should also be the words of anyone who attends Mass, not just on Valentine’s weekend, but each time we gather. Do we not come to encounter our beloved, the Lord Jesus, in Word and Eucharist?

Throughout the Mass, are we not asked to respond “I do?”

As we listen to the scriptures and reply “Thanks be to God” our heart responds “I do; I do believe what I have just heard, I do promise to try and live those words out in my life.”

As we recite the Creed we are also saying, “I do.” I do believe in all that church has been, is now and will continue to be.

At the time of the collection, as we offer our monetary gifts, we are saying “I do.” I do believe and support the mission of the church.

As we offer our gifts of bread and wine, we are given the opportunity to say “I do” to ordinary things becoming extraordinary.

During the Eucharistic Prayer our Holy, Holy, Holy, Great Amen and Memorial Acclamation reiterate our love, our “I do” for Jesus present before us.

At Communion, our “Amen” is our “I do” to the Lord who desires to be intimately united with us in Communion.

And our final “Thanks be to God” is our “I do” to all we have experienced at that liturgy. It is our “I do” to the way God has worked in our lives, our “I do” to how we will keep liturgy alive in our life as we tell others of the great deeds God has done for us.

When we come to Mass, God is there ready and waiting to have a love affair with us. Are we ready and willing to say “I do”?

Zahorik is director of worship at Most Blessed Sacrament Parish in Oshkosh. She has a master’s in liturgical studies degree from St. Mary University in Winona, Minn.

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