During Lent, the Church encourages us to pray, fast and give alms. Reading the scriptures more frequently is one way to deepen our prayer life. Another is to listen more closely to the prayers of the liturgy. You will discover that most of the prayers in our liturgy are based on scriptural passages. In fact, it is said that our entire liturgy is the Bible accompanied by ritual. For example, here are just some Scriptural connections found in our Nicene Creed:
I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth…
“In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1)
…I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages…
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” (Jn 3:16)
…begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father…
“The Father and I are one” (Jn 10:30)
….and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you”
…and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
“He was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures” (1 Cor 15:4)
…He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead…
“He is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:42)
…I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life…
“Now the Lord is the Spirit” (2 Cor 3:17) “But the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor 3:6)
…I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins…
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38)
…and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
“I know he will rise in the resurrection on the last day” (Jn 11:24)
In the liturgy, the Creed stands between the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist. This is because it sums up the faith we have heard in the scripture readings and reminds us that we are united in faith, i.e., in communion, before we receive Holy Communion. This week, we hand on the Creed to the Elect. Let us pray, along with them, for the grace to live our faith more deeply. Amen!