If you're not at least occasionally checking in on Fr. Z's blog (What Does the Prayer Really Say?), you're missing out on lots of good info regarding Catholics in the public arena, as well as some informative articles on, well, what the prayers really say!
Here is part of Fr. Z's article on this Sunday's prayers. (He is referencing the 1962 Missal at first, and then goes on to the 3rd edition just put into use last week.) His comments on the Gospel, I thought, were a very good illustration of how the words of the Mass are themselves sacramental, and how the words of the Gospel refer to more than just their "surface" meaning. Read the whole thing over at Fr. Z's blog; he has comments on all of the prayers, as usual.
In the Gospel reading from Matthew, the Lord responds to the question of the Baptist: “Are you he who is to come?” Jesus replies, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk…”.
Christ is describing not only what is physically happening in His presence, but also the spiritual coming of the Kingdom of God, the new Jerusalem.
The Jerusalem we desire is not just the place or Holy Church, or the Kingdom of heaven. It is also the state of our own soul. Listen to today’s
COLLECT (1962MR):Excita, Domine, corda nostra
ad praeparandas Unigeniti tui vias;
ut, per eius adventum,
purificatis tibi mentibus servire mereamur.
This ancient prayer was in the Gelasian and Gregorian Sacramentaries.
In the Ordinary Form it is the Collect for Thursday of the 2nd Week of Advent.
OBSOLETE ICEL (1973 – not making this up…):Almighty Father,
give us the joy of your love
to prepare the way for Christ our Lord.
Help us to serve you and one another.
They obviously didn’t want to split an infinitive, but would “we may be found to serve you worthily with minds made pure” have been better?
Remember, Father! If you don’t like the new translation, just use Latin.