The Celebration of the Christian Mystery
applied to man, the word “blessing” means adoration and surren-
der to his Creator in thanksgiving.
From the beginning until the end of time the whole of
God’s work is a
From the liturgical poem of the first
creation to the canticles of the heavenly Jerusalem, the inspired
authors proclaim the plan of salvation as one vast divine blessing.
From the very beginning God blessed all living beings,
especially man and woman. The covenant with Noah and with all
living things renewed this blessing of fruitfulness despite man’s
sin which had brought a curse on the ground. But with Abraham,
the divine blessing entered into human history which was moving
toward death, to redirect it toward life, toward its source. By the
faith of “the father of all believers,” who embraced the blessing, the
history of salvation is inaugurated.
The divine blessings were made manifest in astonishing
and saving events: the birth of Isaac, the escape from Egypt (Pass-
over and Exodus), the gift of the promised land, the election of
David, the presence of God in the Temple, the purifying exile, and
return of a “small remnant.” The Law, the Prophets, and the
Psalms, interwoven in the liturgy of the Chosen People, recall these
divine blessings and at the same time respond to them with bless-
ings of praise and thanksgiving.
In the Church’s liturgy the divine blessing is fully revealed
and communicated. The Father is acknowledged and adored as the
source and the end of all the blessings of creation and salvation. In
his Word who became incarnate, died, and rose for us, he fills us
with his blessings. Through his Word, he pours into our hearts the
Gift that contains all gifts, the Holy Spirit.
The dual dimension of the Christian liturgy as a response of
faith and love to the spiritual blessings the Father bestows on us is thus
evident. On the one hand, theChurch, unitedwithher Lord and “in the
blesses the Father “for his inexpressible gift”
adoration, praise, and thanksgiving. On the other hand, until the con-
summation of God’s plan, the Church never ceases to present to the
Father the offeringof his owngifts and tobeghimto send theHolySpirit
upon that offering, upon herself, upon the faithful, and upon thewhole
world, so that through communion in the death and resurrection of
Christ the Priest, and by the power of the Spirit, these divine blessings
will bring forth the fruits of life “to the praise of his glorious grace.”