We can all admit to glazing over the words at Mass from time to time, hearing the words but not taking them in. Priests and Seminarians do it too. But the words of the Preface are among some of the most striking words said during Mass, and sadly we sometimes miss them.

One of my absolute favorites is:

“For in the mystery of the Word made flesh, a new light of your glory has shone upon the eyes of our mind, so that, as we recognize in Him God made visible, we may be caught up through him in love of things invisible” (Christmas I).

The Bread of Life teaching is illuminated in this Preface. “Word made flesh”: God becomes man, God gives us His flesh as food for eternal life. In effect, when we celebrate Eucharist, we eat His Word made flesh.

The “new light…upon the eyes of our mind” allows us to recognize Christ in the Eucharist, even though the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist contradicts both our senses and our reason.

And finally, as we become more closely united to Christ through the Eucharist, we are “caught up”, not as if in a net, but in awe and wonder of the love God has for us, that He would give up His Only Son to save us.

Through the jumble of words said in a Mass, may our attention be on those that bring us closer to Him, words said either out loud by the priest, or by the Lord in the silence of our hearts.

Seminarian Walter Flynn