Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: First Eucharistic Prayer and pre-destination
First Eucharistic Prayer and pre-destination QUESTION from Father Paul July 26, 2001
Father, accept this offering from your whole family. Grant us your peace in this life, save us from final damnation, AND COUNT US AMONG THOSE YOU HAVE CHOSEN.
I was questioned by a parishioner recently about these words from the first Eucharistic Prayer. If we are praying that we may be among those whom God has chosen, doesn't that imply that there are those whom God HAS NOT chosen? Are there those who are pre-destined by God, those whom He has chosen?
I had no immediate response. And as I have tried to research the theology behind this portion of the Eucharisitc Prayer, I have not been able to find anything that would definitively answer my parishioner's question. Can you help?
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on July 31, 2001
No, that line does NOT necessarily imply that there are those who are not chosen (or predestined) by God, it is possibly the case that ALL are chosen by God.
But if ALL are chosen by God, why bother to pray that we are among them? Because we are not to take this for granted.
This question would be most properly addressed to a theologian, of which I am not. So, I can only provide an amateur answer. I do NOT guarantee that it is an official interpretation of the passage, rather it is my best understanding of it.
I think that because Christ shed his blood for all, then all are chosen to be spared from final damnation. Whether we choose to take advantage of His sacrifice is another matter.
We pray that we be among those chosen to give due honor to God. Another example would be for the forgiveness of sins... we are promised that our sins are forgiven by the death of Christ, yet we are taught to pray for it unceasingly. I think that it is a wonderful expression of piety to continue to pray for these things, I think it shows our sincerity and seriousness of our faith, and I think that it is a wonderful habit that will keep us from taking our relationship with our creator for granted.
I welcome follow-ups to this answer.
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