The key to the interpretation of reality: the liturgy.


The Second Vatican Council has emphasized a centuries-old teaching of the Church: the liturgy is the most important of all that she does (Sacrosanctum Concilium 7) to the point that it constitutes her being and self-consciousness.

Editorial : ID y EVANGELIZAD

This assertion is justified because the Church exists to make possible the incorporation of humankind into the divine life, perpetuating for this purpose the Grace that is born of the Incarnation, of Christ’s Passover, and Pentecost. The Church is the sacrament that allows this supernatural current of divinization redemption to be realized in every time, age, and human space. And this happens, principally, in the liturgy, which is the celebrative, objective, and common actualization of the incarnational-paschal-pentecostal mystery. There is nothing outside the liturgy with its capacity to actualize the memory of Christ and his salvation. There is nothing like it to be able to anticipate the desired future, making it present in the liturgical celebration. There is nothing like it to form the Body of Christ, both in synchronic communion (with our contemporaries) and in diachronic communion (with our ancestors and those to come).

The rhythm, development, and language of the liturgy (also called Rite) is the most suitable for a profound knowledge of God, the world, and human being since it is not based on a separate faculty (neither isolated knowledge nor feeling nor pure faith alone) but operates through Christian knowledge, which is of all men and women and, is realized in repentance, listening, admiration, singing, and silence. In this way, we move away from elitist intellectualism and secularist and spiritualist reductionism.

All the above is corroborated by history. Indeed, the most important fact in the development of the Church -from its earliest beginnings- has been the centrality of the cultic celebration of the Risen Christ within the community. Around the Sacrifice of Christ on the Altar (prolonged in other liturgical acts that sanctify the hours of the day) the Church grows, and it is there that it becomes aware of its identity and mission. The liturgy makes the Church. In this sense, it is not correct to present the liturgy as if it were a simple aid or help for something more important, be it personal sanctification, the realization of a community project, or the building of the Kingdom. The liturgy is what constitutes everything else, which springs from it and is consummated in it, or else it is not of Christ (SC 10).

In truth, all reality (human, social, cosmic) and not only the Church, has a constitutively liturgical structure. Because everything, absolutely everything, has been created by and for Christ (Col 1:16) and – as we have said – He is revealed and given to us in the liturgy.  Therefore, liturgical symbology is the main grammar that can help us to elaborate a new method of analysis of reality, a new politics, a new development of Christian culture, and also an ecclesial renewal based on true synodality as the people of God who walk together announcing the risen Lord until he returns and which has nothing to do with the petty-bourgeois models of representative or participatory democracy.

To celebrate the liturgy in its entirety (in the double sense of ritual fidelity and personal-community experience) is the main challenge we face today to return to the centrality of Grace and of the specifically Christian contribution to our world. The failure to do so in recent decades has led to a very serious crisis from which we are still suffering.