Theirs (is) the worship (Romans 9:3)
Paul begins his long meditation on the mystery of Israel’s rejection of Christ by listing some of the blessings God has given his fellow Jews: “adoption. . . covenants, . . . the law, . . . the promises” (Romans 9:3). And in the middle of this list is a curious phrase: “the worship.”
How unique—and yes, how blessed—was Israel’s worship! Unlike their pagan neighbors, who devised their own kinds of sacrifices to please their many gods, the people of Israel had the privilege of offering God the kind of worship the he desired. Following the commandments God gave Moses, they offered sacrifices of love and communion, of repentance and reconcilia-tion with God. They worshipped God for his salvation. They praised him for his greatness and power. The fact that he had chosen them and made a covenant with them proved that he loved them deeply and wanted to form them in his image!
For our part, we have the privilege of worshipping God every time we celebrate Mass. Like the Israelites, we can praise him for his glory. We can thank him for saving us from sin and opening heaven for us. We can worship for his promise never to leave us or abandon us.
Of course, we don’t slaughter sheep or cattle, and we don’t burn barley or wheat. That kind of worship played its part in the past. On the cross, Jesus offered one, perfect sacrifice to God and sealed an everlasting covenant with us through his blood. Now, when we gather to worship, we do it by recalling Jesus’ sacrifice, by receiving him in the Eucharist, and by pledging ourselves to live out the covenant he has so freely made with us.
So set your heart on worshipping the one true God at Mass today. His love for you is everlasting, and his salvation is eternal. It is a privilege and an honor to come into his presence with praise!
"Lord, we praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you!”
(July/August Edition/The Word Among Us))