For more information on prefaces in general, see The Eucharistic Prayer (2) and The Eucharistic Prayer (3)

This preface is used on weekdays in Ordinary Time.

The proclamation of the mystery of Christ

The life of Our Lord is mysterious, and that doesn’t mean it simply contains things whose explanation is beyond us, like an unsolved crime. The mystery of Christ includes a crime—his Passion and death at the hands of evil men—but it goes way beyond it. The Christian and New Testament understanding of mystery is the saving plan of God that is revealed by Our Lord. If something needs to be revealed, then it needs someone to reveal it, which is why Our Lord, before his Ascension, commanded us to proclaim the Gospel everywhere. Our Lord has revealed it to us so that we can reveal it to others. He is the mystery.

“His Death we celebrate in love, his Resurrection we confess with living faith, and his Coming in glory we await with unwavering hope.”

As believers, our difference in lifestyle from non-believers can be traced back to the mysteries of Christ.

If we strive to show what true charity is through our love for the Lord and for others it is because we know and proclaim that Our Lord died for us, on the cross, out of love for his Father and for us. Through our charity, we proclaim Christ’s charity.

If our actions and attitudes are shaped by our belief that death does not have the last word, and is not the end of our existence, it is because we believe, just as our ancestors in the faith have taught us, even to martyrdom, that Our Lord rose from the dead and promised that, in him, those who believe will also be raised one day in glory, just as he was. In faith, we proclaim that Christ has risen from the dead.

Lastly, bolstered by his love for us and our faith that he has conquered death through the Resurrection, our life is characterized by an unshakable optimism and trust in the Lord that no matter how dire things may seem, everything will work out. Every tear will be dried (see Revelation 7:17, 21:4). Our hunger for justice will be satisfied (see Matthew 5:6), along with all the other promises Our Lord made in the Sermon on the Mount, the promises we call the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12). In hope, we trust Our Lord and know he will keep his promises.

It’s no coincidence that soon after the Beatitudes Our Lord taught us that we are the light of the world and that our light is meant to shine: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). That light is Christ, and that’s the way we can proclaim his mystery.

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