A most unconvincing meme is the one suggesting Catholic liturgy has too much of people and not enough of God. I’ve seen variations on the theme from cardinals and bishops to skeptics on liturgical reform. How do such people reconcile with Scripture passages like this weekend’s Psalm, and its refrain:
We are his people; the sheep of his flock.
Granted, the entire text of the Psalm is about the praise of God. But the whole short piece addresses people, not God. Five verses of a psalmist telling people what to do: shout, serve, come, know, enter, give thanks, bless. And who is the object of God’s actions of making, possessing, shepherding? And beneficiary of everlasting faithfulness and–yes–mercy? We are, as the Lectionary has us sing it.
I’m as much a skeptic on too-much-people of this decade as I was on the discredited notion of voice-of-God in the last. Especially given the context of the Mass. The Mass makes it clear that we are focused on Christ.
That said, there are sometimes poor formulations during the liturgy. Sometimes the new translation clouds the message. And sometimes the homily or music is weaker than it could be. Somehow, I doubt the pre-1960’s preaching and hymn texts were one-hundred-percent spot-on every Sunday. So that’s not on Vatican II. It’s the human condition.
I think for this weekend, we can recognize that God is concerned about us. God wants to guide us on a path of faith, hope, and love. If the message is directed to our direction now and then, that’s okay.