Living the Liturgy

Our participation in liturgy is our participation in, and continuation of, the work that Jesus began during His earthly ministry. However our work does not begin and end only with liturgical celebrations. Through our baptism, each of us has been called to participate in Jesus’ ministries as priest, prophet, and king. In the role as priest, we are called to pray continuously and to worship God, and we fulfill this largely by participating in the various liturgies celebrated by the Church. As prophet and king, we follow the example of Jesus by proclaiming the Good News of salvation to the world, and by serving our neighbours, especially those who are in the greatest need. For most of us, it is not possible to proclaim the Gospel as we imagine missionaries would do in foreign lands. Neither is it practical to devote the entire of our daily lives to volunteer work with the poor and needy. The call to continue Jesus’ work as prophet and king can seem too impossible, too exacting, and too unrealistic. Such extreme measures, however, are not required of all the faithful, although some do choose to minister in such a manner. Instead, it is in the way that we live our daily lives that we join in Jesus’ prophetic and royal missions. The Second Vatican Council called all Christians to incorporate their faith into their everyday lives, so that their lives become a witness to the Gospel. We must also live in such a way that we are serving our neighbours and supporting those who work with the poor and needy. In addition some are called to serve in the parish, through either liturgical or the many non-liturgical ministries. Each of the faithful must decide how they are being called to serve and how they can offer their service. The Liturgy is the source and summit of our lives as Christians. As the source, liturgy nourishes us with Word and Bread, strengthens our unity to Christ and to His Church, and sends us into the world to live as the Children of God. As summit, liturgy directs all of our actions back to itself, inspiring us to live according to the Good News that we have received. We must not celebrate liturgies as isolated and unconnected moments in our lives, but rather live our lives as extensions of liturgy.