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Ask Father: Why do we bless ourselves before the Gospel?

Ask Father: Just before the Gospel, we bless ourselves on our forehead, lips and heart with our thumb. Is this similar to making the Sign of the Cross?

Dear friend in Christ,

Yes! We bless those areas just before the Gospel with a little Sign of the Cross because hearing the Gospel must become a life-changing event for us. Each time we hear the Gospel proclaimed, it has the power to change us if only we are prepared to receive it. It has been said that a syllable of the Gospel is like a crumb of the Eucharist.

So, we bless our minds first. We are essentially asking Lord, prepare my mind. Help me to understand this Gospel.

Then, we bless our lips. It’s like asking: Lord, help me to speak this Gospel. Help me to do something about it. Give me the courage to tell people about Jesus.

And, finally and most importantly, we bless our hearts. Lord, let this Gospel sink deep into me. Let it penetrate my heart. Let it change me. Let this Gospel take root in me. Please, Lord, help me to receive this Gospel in the core of who I am.

Remember, the Lord speaks to hearts that are prepared!

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