Conversation Between the Divine and the Human

[The Liturgy of the Word] consists of proclaiming, listening to, and responding to the word of God. That is the core of the Liturgy of the Word. It is an extended experience of address and response, of call and response. This dynamic is part and parcel of all human life and interaction with others. The same is true of the dialogue with God that takes place in the Liturgy of the Word. One might compare it to human conversation. We use words to express ideas, feelings, hopes and dreams, to reply to them, and to set an appropriate course of action for the future. In human conversations words are addressed not only to the head but also and at times especially to the heart. That is why they are often accompanied by gaze, facial expressions, gestures, bodily postures, and touch – all forms of nonverbal communication that add a meaningfulness of their own to the words. Indeed, nonverbal expressions such as these “say” what words cannot say. Our conversations are also punctuated by sentences left unfinished and moments of silence that can be so expressive of what is beyond words. Conversation with God in the Liturgy of the Word is marked by these same qualities – words of address and response, bodily postures and gestures, and moments of thoughtful silence.

Gilbert Ostdiek, Mystagogy of the Eucharist: A Resource for Faith Formation (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2015), 44. ISBN: 978-0-8146-3719-7.

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Article by Andrew Doohan

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