The introit antiphon is far more appealing than the ultramontanism of the right wing Catholic immersed in 18th century’s suffocating pieties in which silence rules. Do they ever imagine themselves “cry(ing) out with joy to God” much less to all the world. They would rather remain in silence, head covered and bowed behind the closed doors and windows of the church. God forbid someone should cry out with joy inside a church. Doesn’t Jesus himself say that should he be silenced, even the stones with shout? Please, no shouting in Church.

The alleluia antiphon speaks of asking Jesus to open the Scriptures for us that our hearts will burn within us. Rather, there’s a crowd who want just the opposite; that Jesus should rather calm their hearts in silence, to say nothing of the fact that they’re really not wanting the Scriptural truths opened to them, because they’ve already made a religion dog their own so very far from Jesus’ own proclamations and teachings of abundant joy.

The communion antiphon then completes the message this weekend, Jesus as Eucharist. Today there’s an enormous cultural erosion of this belief; many Catholics have in fact become Protestants, considering gate Eucharist as something symbolic, allegorical, or memorial. Eucharist, the divine and holy presence of Jesus, is what people want.

IN one of the many movies about Elizabeth I, a privy councillor gives her advice at a critical point in the challenges to her authority, as she comes to maturity in the kind of queen she should be. He tells her, “Mean need to see and touch the divine, and they need this from you.” This becomes a defining moment in how she will proceed in presenting herself in the crisis to her people. And she wins the day.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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