Dt 4:1-2.6-8; Ps 15; Jas 1:17- 18.21-22.27; Mk 7:1-8.14-15.21-23
CREATED FOR TRUE WORSHIP
PART 1: CONTACT POINT: WORSHIP
What is Worship? Video Clip gives us what worship is to some people. Ikaw, what is Worship for you? Sample responses: “Worship is breathing …a lifestyle …anything we do that says to God: You are God!” Here’s a sentence completion test:
Worship for me is….
When I worship, I …
God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in Spirit and Truth – Jn 4:24
Worship [from Middle English worshipe, worthiness, honor, homage] paid to God, to Jesus Christ, to His saints, to the beings or even to the objects which have a special relation to God.
There are several DEGREES of HOMAGE:
1º Latria if homage is addressed directly to God, it is superior, absolute, supreme worship, or worship of adoration, or, according to the consecrated theological term, a worship of latria. This sovereign worship is due to God alone; addressed to a creature it would become idolatry.
2º Dulia When homage is addressed only indirectly to God, that is, when its object is the veneration of martyrs, of angels, or of saints, it is a subordinate worship dependent on the first, and relative, in so far as it honours the creatures of God for their peculiar relations with Him; it is designated by theologians as the worship of dulia, a term denoting servitude, and implying, when used to signify our worship of distinguished servants of God, that their service to Him is their title to our veneration (cf. Chollet, loc. cit., col. 2407, and Bouquillon, Tractatus de virtute religionis, I, Bruges, 1880, 22 sq.).
3ºHyperdulia As the Blessed Virgin has a separate and absolutely super eminent rank among the saints, the honor paid to her is called hyperdulia (for the meaning and history of these terms see Suicer, Thesaurus ecclesiasticus, 1728).
¨ And then there is SIMPLE HONOR which must be given to all those in honorable positions as the Pope, the Vicar of Christ (His Holiness), the dignitaries in the Church (Eminences), the dignitaries in the civil order as kings, governors, judges, police and the like (Excellency, Honorable, etc.)
¨ ABSOLUTE AND RELATIVE HONORS. When honor is given directly to the person involved, the honor is called absolute. When it is directed to an image of the person it is called relative honor. To demonstrate this: What is the difference between a Crucifix and the Holy Eucharist? Answer: On the Crucifix we see Jesus, but he is not there.In the Eucharist we do not see Jesus, but He is there. In short, Christ is present relatively on the wood of the crucifix, and in the Eucharist He is presentabsolutely. Thus, to images we give relative honor, and to the persons we give absolute honor.
¨A point in order: We give relative adoration (latria) to the images of God. We give relative super veneration (hyperdulia) to images of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We give relative veneration (dulia) to the images of the angels and Saints (other than the Blessed Virgin Mary).
PART 2: CONNECTED: WORSHIP AND MISSION
Religion that is pure and undefiled before [our] God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world. Jas 1:27
Worship when it’s connected to mission. Clearly, worship without Mission does not make sense.
St. James (Jas 1:17- 18.21-22.27) gives us a threefold approach to pure worship.
♥¨ First and most important is to help the helpless.
Caring for the hurting and hungry, the helpless in the world is pure worship. Mother Teresa, aiding the poorest of-the poor, modeled this category.
We extend our hands in worship when we reach out to the profoundly retarded, the acutely depressed, those burned out or drowned out by drugs and alcohol.
Contact your local Church for programs for these and many other needy people. As part of the Church we support and share in this special worship.
♥¨ The second way to worship is to care for widows in their distress.
Widows are not as helpless as orphans, and they’re not all in distress — but many are and need our help. Many widows and widowers need encouragement, advice, and temporary financial assistance.
They need transportation to the store, doctor or to church. Widows have not only lost a spouse; they have lost youthful strength, clear eyesight, hearing, sharpness of mind and mobility of body. They might survive on their own but our outstretched hands can bring them many beautiful blessings. In doing so, we worship God.
♥¨ Thirdly, we are to walk through life carefully so that we do not become entangled in the evils of the world.
Here a warning is in order: Don’t become so concerned about keeping yourself unspotted by the world that you forget about the orphans and the widows. Whoever and wherever we are, there’s opportunity to put the worship of good works into effect in our own neighborhood.
We should never minimize the profound value of formal worship at church and private prayers at home. But according to St. James, our prayers will get a hearing before God only after we have tried to help the orphans and widows in their distress.
PART 3: DIALOGUE: WORSHIP AND RELATIONSHIPS
This a Greek short film made in 2007. Father and son are sitting on a bench. Suddenly a sparrow lands across them.
It is very tempting to love Liturgical Worship and forget the Object of our Worship: God. In fact, if God can be taken for granted, how much more can rituals blind us to our neighbours and their needs!
If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 1 Jn 4:20
Worship is not just reading from the good book! True Worship is not just the Liturgy of the Word! True worship is reading, listening to, and living the Word of God! Worship challenges us to live His Word and apply it in our Relationships. If our Worship does not make us better Christians, does not improve our Interpersonal Relationships, then our Worship, perhaps, does not make sense!
“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable, or well pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2 ♥