Sunday, September 4, 2011
The Mass in Scripture: a review
In The Mass in Scripture, the author, Stephen Binz, used the traditional five steps of lectio divina
(listening~ a scriptural passage, understanding~ explanation of background history to help put the passage in context, reflecting ~ questions about how what was just discussed might change the experience of that part of the Mass, praying ~ a prayer is given with suggestions for how to continue in your own words, and finally acting ~ ways to apply the lesson in your daily life) to explain the scriptural influences for the format and prayers of the Mass.
The lessons are interesting, the pace is good, by using responses from the new missal the book gave me a preview of changes coming this Advent. Building well on themes of covenant, sacrifice, and celebration from the Old and New Testaments, the author does a good job of explaining why the Eucharist is both "a sacrifice and a banquet", giving me a better appreciation for why we speak of both offering the mass and celebrating together. It can easily be done as a group study; in addition to the reflection questions at the end of each section there are discussion suggestions for use in a group. I am curious what other topics are offered in the Lectio Divina series, and would recommend this one to anyone interested either in this type of bible study or in some of the scriptural roots in our celebration of the Mass.