In our first reading today we hear these beautiful words from St. Paul the Apostle in his letter to the Ephesians:
“Brothers and sisters, in Christ we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ.”
These words remind us that we exist and were given the precious gift of life in order to do one primary thing: to give honor, glory, and praise to God. During the celebration of the Eucharist we hear these profound words that precede what we refer to as the “Great Amen”: “Through Him, with Him, and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Almighty Father, forever and ever. Amen!”
How frequently I remind those gathered together that this great amen, this ‘yes, may it be so’, that is declared is meant to be that crescendo moment when we fulfill our very destiny, when we live out the reason we were created, namely, to give honor, glory, and praise to Almighty God. And how frequently we barely cry out this Great Amen because we are preoccupied with lifting the kneeler and getting ready to stand and recite another special prayer, the Our Father. Yet, so often this Great Amen is lost. We pass over this amazing opportunity when, as a praying community, we are all able to literally shout Yes, Yes, Yes and give glory to God!
And so, dear friends, the next time you are present for the celebration of the Eucharist please remember – lest the moment sneak up on you and passes by in a cacophony of clanging pews – that when you hear the words “all glory and honor is yours Almighty Father” be prepared to shout and to cry out with joy to the Lord, that Great Amen. For in this we give honor, glory, and praise to God; in this we fulfill the very reason we were given the gift of life itself!
Fr. Pat Brennan, C.P. is the director of Saint Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat and Conference Center, Detroit, Michigan.