ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS . In reflection #6 on Pope Francis’ 2022 Apostolic Letter, ‘Desiderio Desideravi,’ Latin for Jesus’ pre-Last Supper words: “I have earnestly desired [to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.”] [Luke 22:15] we consider how active we are in Sacred Liturgy. ‘Desiderio Desideravi’ dovetails so perfectly with my years-long series on the2022-2025 National Eucharistic Revival that this is Part #35 of my reflections on the Eucharist.

UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU WILL DO,” This phrase comes from the admonition given by a Bishop as he anoints a newly Ordained Priest’s hands: “Understand what you will do, imitate what you will celebrate, and conform our life to the mystery of the Lord’s Cross.” [Rite of Ordination to Priesthood] However, this directive applies to all worshippers; no one should be a spectator or mere observer at holy Mass. All are to join themselves to the bread and wine that the People Provide and
Offer, the Priest Consecrates, and God returns to us as Holy Communion. Through this holy exchange, what we offer WITH the bread and wine: our prayers, acts of service, and donations, are transformed into acts of worship. While bread and wine become Christ’s Body and Blood via the miracle of Transubstantiation, all our offerings also become vehicles of Christ’s Presence.

A CRUISE SHIP TO HEAVEN. Many analogies can help us better appreciate our Sacred Rites. One is the Church is like a cruise ship, which we ‘board’ in Baptism; Reconciliation rescues those who go overboard; the seasick are Anointed; the Ordained are the Captain and his crew. It is God the Father’s Ship; God the Holy Spirit sets the course; and God the Son, Jesus, provides the Food! Some have their own cabin, others cruise
with family or friends. And while [hopefully!] all will arrive at the same destination: heaven, the experience is different for everyone.

Some take advantage of every excursion or side trip to make the most of their journey; some taste the wide variety of foods; some experience the cultural events with which they are unfamiliar; some stick to the basics; some even stay in their cabin the whole time and have little, if any, interaction with others. Again, we are all headed for, and will hopefully arrive in, the same place: heaven … but what a difference the ride is for those who actively participate in the journey! It was not by accident that the revision of Sacred Liturgy was the first document issued by the Second Vatican Council. For it reaffirmed and set the course for living out its three main documents for how she sees herself. The Church is the Light of the Nations [Lumen Gentium], who devoutly listens to the Word of God [Dei Verbum] and recognizes as her own the Joys and Hopes [Gaudium et Spes] of all people. And the way she best communicates all this to all the world is through the Sacred Liturgy.

This is one reason why the Holy Father is so upset with those who reject or misinterpret the liturgical reforms of Vatican II. In his Letter, he cites this as the reason for placing restrictions on who can celebrate the Tridentine Mass [often called the ‘Old’ Mass or ‘Latin’ Mass] and how frequently and where it can be celebrated. He also calls for, if not demands, that all Priests and Seminarians – and all the Faithful, especially
those who serve in a liturgical ministry – be better educated in the true meaning of the Council’s revisions. For we must all understand what we are doing to benefit the most from the holy Mass!

This is also why our Parish PAYS the subscription fee for any PARISHIONER who wishes to enjoy the Catholic online media service, ‘Formed.’ Simply go online to and follow the instructions. Then avail yourself of countless movies, video conferences, talks, spiritual reflections on the readings and saints of each day. There are many things for those of every age, even religious cartoons for children. I guarantee you: the more you understand what we do, why we do it, its biblical basis and, as it has been handed on from generation to generation, its development – the more the holy Mass and all our Sacred Rites will mean to you! And the more it means to you, the more you will benefit from the graces it provides.

What have you done, are you doing, and will you do to better understand what we do? How will you become a
more active participant in it?


With God’s love and my prayers,

Very Rev. Michael J. Kreder, VF, KCHS