How does the believer respond to good preaching? The faith of a believer should lead to a response of some kind. The bishops give two examples, then offer a third that is always appropriate.
 When one hears and accepts this vision of the world, this way of interpreting reality, a response is required. That response can take many forms. Sometimes it will be appropriate to call people to repentance for the way they have helped to spread the destructive powers of sin in the world. At other times the preacher will invite the congregation to devote themselves to some specific action as a way of sharing in the redemptive and creative word of God. However, the response that is most general and appropriate “at all times and in every place” is the response of praise and thanksgiving (Eucharist).
Our relationship is with more than a God of qualities, but with a God who claims us as children, as part of the Divine family.
 When we accept the good news that the ultimate root and source of our being is not some faceless Prime Mover, not a merciless judge, but a prodigally loving Father who calls us to share in his love and to spread it to others, we sense that it is indeed right to give him thanks and praise.
Sacrosanctum Concilium spoke of the Eucharist as source and summit. When we are troubled, weak, or in need in any way, the Eucharist is the source of grace, that place where we may find the “spark of faith” that sustains our lives and our expression of Christianity:
Although we have received this good news, believed in it, and sealed our belief in the sacrament of baptism, we need to rediscover the truth of it again and again in our lives. Our faith grows weak, we are deceived by appearances, overwhelmed by suffering, plagued by doubt, anguished by the dreadful silence of God. And yet we gather for Eucharist, awaiting a word that will rekindle the spark of faith and enable us to recognize once again the presence of a loving God in our lives. We come to break bread in the hope that we will be able to do so with hearts burning. We come expecting to hear a Word from the Lord that will again help us to see the meaning of our lives in such a way that we will be able to say, with faith and conviction, “It is right to give him thanks and praise.”
Note the definition of the Scriptures as a collection of documents that detailed believers interacting with the world:
 The preacher then has a formidable task: to speak from the Scriptures (those inspired documents of our tradition that hand down to us the way the first believers interpreted the world) to a gathered congregation in such a way that those assembled will be able to worship God in spirit and truth, and then go forth to love and serve the Lord. But while the task is formidable, it is not impossible especially if one goes about it with purpose and method. ‘
And in the next several posts, we’ll look more closely at this “purpose and method.” Meanwhile, any comments?
(All texts from Fulfilled in Your Hearing are copyright © 1982 USCCB. All rights reserved. Used with permission.)