Mass11 – The Creed and the Intercessions | #136

Fr. Joel Homilies

I Believe

The Liturgy of the Word ends with two more ‘words’, the Creed and the Intercessions. The Creed can look and sound like a dry and formulaic recitation of a bunch of old doctrines. Not true! The Creed is a living and active thing, but it only makes sense when we see it in connection with the Scriptures. In just a few short words (224 to be exact), the Creed summarizes the basic outline of the entire Bible. If you want to review the Creed, you can find it in the Breaking Bread missal on page 12. The Bible teaches us that there is one God and he is Father and creator. He is also Son and Redeemer, and Spirit who gives us life. These three persons are the great actor in the history of the world. The Creed teaches us that human history is not a series of random events. The little bits are part of one great complex and dramatic story. History is “His story” – it tells the tale of God and man, and the dramatic battle between good and Evil. The Creed not only summarizes the Bible but it also summarizes the world we live in, both its past and its future.

When we start using the new Mass translation this Advent, you will notice that the Creed has changed a lot. The translators have been very careful and precise. They went over every possible English word to find the words that best translated the Latin. What we believe makes us who we are; we need to be very careful to say it clearly. The biggest change is from “we” to “I”. The word Creed comes from the Latin word Credo, which means, “I believe.” In the current English translation we say, “We believe…” It’s true that we all believe this, but that is not what the Latin had in mind. The Latin used “I” because it is also challenging each believer. It is easy to hide in a crowd and mumble along with everyone else. Do you really believe this? God is the center of history; is He the center of my life? The Creed challenges each and every one of us.

The Nicene Creed in the Mass 2.0

Present Text

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
one in Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he was born
of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered, died, and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

 

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son
he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.

 

We believe in one holy catholic
and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism
for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the
resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

New Text

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.

God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit
was incarnate
of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son
is adored
and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy,
catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism
for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

See http://usccb.org/romanmissal/samples-people.shtml

Lord, Hear our Prayer

The Gospel, the Homily, and the Creed all challenge us. They explain to us what God expects from us and ask if we believe God and if our actions match our beliefs. If we have listened carefully, we have probably felt ourselves challenged. So the obvious thing to do now is to turn to God in prayer. In what is known as the Prayers of the Faithful or the Intercessions, we ask God for help for ourselves and our world. This moment reminds us of what great love a Christian is called to have. We pray for our neighbors and people half-way around the world. We pray for our Church and other churches. We pray for all those in need. We lift up those of little faith. This is a moment for us to reach out to the whole world, gather it up, and offer it to God. The Intercessions are an act of love.

They are also an act of Priesthood. During this part of the Mass, the People exercise their own Priestly function. As you know, the priest’s job is to pray and sacrifice for the People of God. But every Christian is called to pray and sacrifice for the World. As the priest brings Jesus to the Christian people, so the Christian people bring Jesus to the world. The Intercessions prepare God’s people for the job you will face the rest of the week: to pray and offer sacrifices on behalf of the whole world. Don’t be afraid; God is with you.

Today’s readings [19th Sunday in Ordinary Time] show Peter doing the impossible — walking on water. He can do it as long as he continues to believe in Jesus. When the wind whips up, Peter starts to lose his faith, and he sinks. This same thing happens to us. Here in Church we strengthen our faith in Christ. During the rest of the week, we struggle to continue to believe. This is why we need to return to church every week and repeat once again: I believe.

(7 Aug 2011)

The Hubble Deep Field Image (the best I could find on the web)

Hubble Deep Field (2004)

More  amazing pictures at HubbleSite