(4.31) Introductory Dialogue
Liturgical Prayer and Action
We all stand
Priest says: The Lord be with you.
We say: And with your spirit.
Priest says: Lift up your hearts.
We say: We lift them up to the Lord.
Priest says: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
We say: It is right and just.
Origin and Meaning
“The Lord be with you” and “with your spirit” is the same respective greeting and response that is used at the beginning of the mass.
“Lift up your hearts” is a call for us to leave our earthly worries behind and offer it to God in this very special moment.
“Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.”
Trials and Discipline
There are plenty of things that we can thank God for – his creations, his redemptive work, his continued guidance in our life and of things to come our way because God is our past, present and future.
“Let us give thanks” is a phrase that can be found in two Chapters: Jdt 8 and Letters to the Heb 12.
It is initially not a very easy reading because we are asked to give thanks not only for the blessings we receive -- but also for the trials, discipline and punishment that the Lord our God send our way. But when we reflect about it, discipline and trials are meant to transform us into something better and even holy – for God is also our Father and we are his children.
In Heb 12:5-6, it was said;
“My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when you are punished by him; for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves and chastises every child whom he accepts.”
Furthermore, “discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Heb 12:11).
As Judith told the elders who are speaking harsh words against God for their suffering against the enemies ;
“In spite of everything let us give thanks to the Lord our God, who is putting us to the test as he did our ancestors” (Jdt 8:25).
Perhaps we can all relate on this passages because trials, discipline and even punishment is part of life although some may get more than the others. When we look at Christ, he had to go through trials after trials and he even accepted suffering for the sake of our salvation. In spite of all that he has suffered, he sought peace and forgiveness with everyone.
Discipline, Trials, Peace and thanking God were part of the journey taken by the apostles who followed Christ. They are the gold standard on how we should see trials, discipline and even punishment.