Gospel’s impact not based on delivery but receiver – priest

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TACLOBAN City, May 24, 2015 -– Just as how Christ’s message dwells in every one who hears it, the effect of the homily and eadings from Scripture depends not on how they are uttered but on how they are received.

“The result of the message is not on how good you read or pronounce, but how the listeners contemplate on the message,” stressed Fr. Oscar Lorenzo, resident parochial vicar of the Sto. Niño Parish, during a Mass to celebrate the commissioning of parish lectors.

Fr. Gwen Lovelino Padagdag, priest in-charge of the liturgical ministry of the Sto. Niño Parish, leads the commissioning of the lectors. (Photo: Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros)

The message not the messenger

“Faith comes by hearing,” he said, emphasizing the role of the Holy Spirit in making the message work upon everyone who hears God’s words as delivered by the priest or the lector during Holy Mass.

Pope Francis in one of his homilies in Rome also reminded the faithful to focus on the message and not on the messenger, citing for instance John the Baptist and Jesus Christ whose messages were rejected because of who they were thought to be.

Lorenzo, however, said in his homily that spreading God’s message is not the mission solely of those who take part in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass such as the clergy and the lectors, but of every follower of Christ.

Sending out missionaries

“This is why at the end of the Mass the priest says ‘Go forth, the Mass is ended’,” he said explaining that every baptized Christian is being sent on a mission to proclaim God’s message.

The Sto. Niño Parish lectors undergo training to better proclaim God’s word besides the required formation, recollections and retreats.

Lectors are also encouraged to regularly avail of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to make themselves worthy of this apostolate inside and outside the church by being in a state of grace, especially when serving as readers during Mass. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros/CBCP News)

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