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Our Help Is in the Name of the Lord
October 25th Readings Reflection: Wednesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
At the beginning of certain prayers and blessings, the Church prays a passage from the Psalm that we hear at Mass today: “Our help is in the name of the Lord, [W]ho made heaven and earth.” At the Tridentine Mass, the priest and servers pray this verse immediately before the Confiteor. The verse is especially fitting in light of today’s Gospel reading, in which Jesus warns us to be always prepared, “for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
As we approach the Feast of Christ the King, the Church gives us increasingly apocalyptic readings at Mass. These readings are usually very powerful and sometimes a little terrifying. Today’s Gospel warns us of the punishment we will face if we do not remain vigilant: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
Much is expected of us, for we know how God wants us to live from the teachings of the Catholic Church, her living Tradition, and Sacred Scripture. This knowledge is an immense gift, a blessing from our God, and we must treat it as such. It is not an easy task to live out this call to holiness, and in fact, it is impossible for us to do it on our own. Unless we continually rely on God’s grace to strengthen and sustain us, we will fail.
For this reason, the Church reminds us that “[o]ur help is in the name of the Lord.” There is a striking symbolism in praying this verse immediately before the Confiteor. Our help is indeed in the name of the Lord, and recognizing this should lead us to a humble acknowledgement of our sinfulness. Every time we fall, we must remember that God is our help and our salvation. Through the Church, we receive the saving effects of His Blood shed on the Cross, through which our sins are forgiven in the Sacrament of Confession. Then, in the state of grace, we can humbly approach the altar and receive the Body of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
Through frequent reception of the sacraments, we stay vigilant, preparing ourselves for Christ’s coming by remaining in the state of grace. In this way, we can joyfully greet Him when He comes—both when He calls us to our eternal home and when He comes again in glory at the end of time. May the grace of God prepare our hearts and help us to always remain vigilant, and may we always call upon “the name of the Lord” for help in all our needs.