He who was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power, stood unrecognized among the many who went to the Jordan to be baptized. We praise your humility. We praise your meekness. Glory to you, O Lord! The Sinless among sinners; the Pure One among the defiled. You, the purifying fire which is never quenched. You, the fire that purifies the waters. We praise your power. We praise your purity. Glory to you, O Lord. Water is defiled when we immerse in it. But it was purified when the Lord Jesus descended into the waters. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Glory to you, O Lord! He, the meek and humble One, descended into the waters and further descended into the waters of suffering and death. We descend into the waters with him. Like sheep led to the slaughter, we follow the Lamb wherever he goes. Glory to you, O Lord!
We ought to get back the dimension of the sacred in the liturgy. The liturgy is not a festivity; it is not a meeting for the purpose of having a good time. It is of no importance that the parish priest has cudgeled his brains to come up with suggestive ideas or imaginative novelties. The liturgy is what makes the Thrice-Holy God present amongst us; it is the burning bush; it is the Alliance of God with man in Jesus Christ, who has died and risen again. The grandeur of the liturgy does not rest upon the fact that it offers an interesting entertainment, but in rendering tangible the Totally Other, whom we are not capable of summoning. He comes because He wills. In other words, the essential in the liturgy is the mystery, which is realized in the common ritual of the Church; all the rest diminishes it. Men experiment with it in lively fashion, and find themselves deceived, when the mystery is transformed into distraction, when the chief actor in the liturgy is not the Living God but the priest or the liturgical director. - Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Chile, 1988)
Do we still need sacred space, sacred time, mediating symbols? Yes, we do need them, precisely so that, through the "image," through the sign, we learn to see the openness of heaven. We need them to give us the capacity to know the mystery of God in the pierced heart of the Crucified. - Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Spirit of the Liturgy )