Exuberance for God’s good news

By | September 6, 2012

You have just received some great news, how do you respond? Most likely it is with exuberance. In part, our very excitement is based on the way the news was presented. The delight that was evident in the person’s voice, the expression of their face, that gradual build up to their “big news” all elicited a joyful response from us. We would find it unusual if someone simply responded to good news in a monotone voice of, “oh how nice.”

The Gospel gives a perfect example of how good news is proclaimed and received. When Jesus cured the man with a speech impediment, the man, as well as the crowd around him, proclaimed what Jesus had done. Those who heard this good news were “exceeding astonished” and you can be sure there was excitement in their voices.

This Gospel also serves as a reminder to us of the good news of the liturgy. Every Mass contains the Liturgy of the Word. The Scriptures are proclaimed, not read to us. This proclamation comes from lectors, deacons and priests who have come to love the Scriptures so deeply, to hear God’s word spoken so clearly, that they cannot contain themselves. They joyfully and confidently share this word.

We, the assembly, listen attentively to these marvelous stories of how God has protected us, guided us and provided for us through his son Jesus. Unfortunately, many of us, week after week, respond with the monotone, “oh that’s nice.”

When is the last time you paid attention to how the church tries to inspire our listening to the word? Prior to the Gospel, we even have a pep rally so to speak, that literally gets us on our feet. As an exuberant version of the Alleluia is sung, the Book of Gospels is carried in procession. At times, it may be accompanied by candles and incense.

At the conclusion of each reading we hear “The Word of the Lord” or “The Gospel of the Lord.” In a sense, the church is saying to us, “So what did you think of that?” Our minds and hearts should be filled with exuberance as we fill the church with our “Thanks be to God.” My parish of Most Blessed Sacrament sits near the edge of Lake Winnebago and our pastor often encourages us to “respond with such vigor that they hear you on the other side of the lake.” I wish that same exuberance for God’s good news to each of you.

Zahorik is director of worship at Most Blessed Sacrament Parish in Oshkosh.

Related Posts

Scroll to Top