At that time, as Jesus was speaking to the crowds, behold, a ruler came up and worshipped Him, saying, “My daughter has just now died; but come and lay Thy hand upon her, and she will return to life.” And Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples. Now a woman who for twelve years had been suffering from hemorrhage, came up behind Him and touched the tassel of His cloak, saying to herself, “If I touch but His cloak I shall be saved.” But Jesus, turning and seeing her, said, “Take courage, daughter; thy faith has saved thee.” And the woman was restored to health from that moment. And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the crowd making a din, He said: “Begone, the girl is asleep, not dead.” And they laughed Him to scorn. But when the crowd had been put out, He went in and took her by the hand; and the girl arose. And the report spread throughout all that district. (Gospel for the Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost.)
Before going to the left side to read the Gospel, the priest stops at the center of the altar. He looks up at the crucifix. Then he bows low, with hands folded, and prays. The prayer he says asks God to prepare his heart and his lips to make the Gospel known.
The Missal, which was at the right side of the altar, has been carried to the left side. The Gospel is one of the parts of the Mass that changes each day. It is the second and the most important of the two instructions in the Mass of the Catechumens.
The people stand during the Gospel to show their respect for the word of God. The Gospel is taken from the Bible. It tells what Our Lord said and did. It tells what He taught. Our Lord never taught a single lesson that He Himself did not put into practice.
Before reading the Gospel, the priest says: “Dominus vobiscum” – The Lord be with you. And the server answers: “Et cum spiritu tuo” – And with you, too.
Then the priest is ready to read the Gospel. But first he makes four small crosses. You have seen him make a little Sign of the Cross on the book, on his forehead, on his lips, and on his breast. We also can make these little crosses on our foreheads, on our lips, and on our breasts. With the priest, we can ask God that our minds may know the teachings of Our Lord, that our tongues may make them known, and that our hearts may love them.
When the priest has finished reading the Gospel, the server says: “Praise be to Thee, O Christ.” At this time the priest kisses the book saying: “By the words of the Gospel, may our sins be blotted out.”
If you read the Gospel carefully, if you listen to the priest as he reads it to the people, you will learn how Our Lord lived, you will be reminded of lessons, many of which you already know. You will also learn new lessons about the things our Blessed Lord taught while He was on earth.
We should always try to find in the Gospel of the Mass a message from God to us. We should think about that message and plan what we can do about it right away. Sometimes it is not easy to put Our Lord’s teachings into practice. But we should recall the lesson in the Catechism on grace. Actual grace, if we will use it, helps us to do good and to avoid sin. And we know that one of the principal ways of obtaining grace is to receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!