of the Church is that we may live from the life of the risen Christ.
When the Spirit encounters in us the response of faith which he has
aroused in us, he brings about genuine cooperation. Through it, the
liturgy becomes the commonwork of theHoly Spirit and theChurch.
In this sacramental dispensation of Christ’s mystery the
Holy Spirit acts in the same way as at other times in the economy
of salvation: he prepares the Church to encounter her Lord; he
recalls and makes Christ manifest to the faith of the assembly. By
his transforming power, he makes the mystery of Christ present
here and now. Finally the Spirit of communion unites the Church
to the life and mission of Christ.
The Holy Spirit prepares for the reception of Christ
In the sacramental economy the Holy Spirit fulfills what
was prefigured in
the Old Covenant.
Since Christ’s Church was
“prepared in marvellous fashion in the history of the people of
Israel and in the Old Covenant,”
the Church’s liturgy has re-
tained certain elements of the worship of the Old Covenant as
integral and irreplaceable, adopting them as her own:
— notably, reading the Old Testament;
— praying the Psalms;
— above all, recalling the saving events and significant realities which
have found their fulfillment in the mystery of Christ (promise and
covenant, Exodus andPassover, kingdomand temple, exileandreturn).
It is on this harmony of the two Testaments that the Paschal
catechesis of the Lord is built,
and then, that of the Apostles and
theFathers of theChurch. This catechesisunveilswhat layhiddenunder
the letter of the Old Testament: the mystery of Christ. It is called
“typological” because it reveals the newness of Christ on the basis of
the “figures” (types) which announce him in the deeds, words, and
symbols of the first covenant. By this re-reading in the Spirit of Truth,
starting from Christ, the figures are unveiled.
Thus the flood and
Noah’s ark prefigured salvation by Baptism,
as did the cloud and
the crossing of the Red Sea. Water from the rock was the figure of the
spiritual gifts of Christ, and manna in the desert prefigured the
Eucharist, “the true bread from heaven.”