Sunday, July 18, 2010


The Lutherans still name Sundays by their Introits – so Catholics definitely should!

According to my 1956 Dominican Diurnal, this Sunday is the 6th after the Octave of the Trinity; or, according to my Roman Missal, the 8th after Pentecost.

Suscepimus, Deus, misericordiam tuam...: a marvellous Introit (Ps 47:10-11,2), also used at Candlemas: "We have received, O God, Thy mercy, in the midst of Thy temple..." – how apposite especially for the feast of the Presentation, the Hypapante, the Coming of the Lord into His Temple.  But how true that we should sing in joyful thanks of this truth, that, gathering in the Christian temple that is Holy Church instantiated, we therein receive God's plenteous and rich mercy, even Mercy in Person, Jesus Christ.

The psalm-verse of the Introit, the first verse of Psalm 47, corroborates and reinforces this point: "Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to be praised, in the city of our God, on His holy mountain."  God's city is His Church, militant here on earth, but moreso it is the true Jerusalem that is above, the Church of the firstborn that is in heaven, the Church triumphant, of which we are members in potency – God grant that we attain to our full stature in Christ, and prove worthy to inherit eternal life as true members of His Son's Body made perfect in Him by grace.

The full Introit is a magnificent outburst of thankful confession and praise:

(We have received, O God, Thy mercy in the midst of Thy temple: according to Thy name, O God, so also is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth: Thy right hand is full of justice.
(Ps.  Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to be praised: in the city of our God, on His holy mountain.
(Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.
(We have received...)

God's right hand, or rather, the Father's Right Hand Incarnate, Jesus Christ, indeed is full of justice, righteousness overflowing to justify sinners, for whom He deigned to die and rise again "for our justification".  God's Name is Holy – and the Name of God the Son, Jesus, means indeed "God is salvation".  Right well the praise of the Lord extends to all the utmost ends of the earth!

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