These quotes from Cardinal Avery Dulles are good food for thought about how the liturgy prepares us to recognize the work of God in the world, both in the world of the scriptures and in the world outside our windows:

“Throughout the Bible the events of salvation history are identified and interpreted by inspired prophets, priests, apostles, and evangelists. Without these highly selective and interpreted accounts it might not be possible to perceive the revelatory quality of the events themselves. Taken as naked, objective occurrences, the events do not disclose their own divine significance, at least to us, who are unable to reconstruct them in detail. Even to the ancient Israelites, much of their history seemed scarcely reconcilable with the promises made to the patriarchs and kings of old. Only the prophetic interpretation of current events, together with new promises of national restoration, sustained the faith of a pious remnant under conditions of adversity.” He goes on to describe the significance of scripture: “The words serve to identify the revelatory events, to interpret them, to preserve their memory, and to transmit them together with their saving significance.”

It’s worth remembering that the liturgical commemoration isn’t a consolation prize offered to those of us that couldn’t make it to the real events of salvation history.

Quotes from Avery Dulles, “Faith and Revelation,” Systematic Theology: Roman Catholic Perspectives, eds. Francis Schüssler Fiorenza and John P. Galvin (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991) 96, emphases mine.