We begin the Mass – as we begin almost every prayer and sacrament – by making the Sign of the Cross, using the exact words that Jesus taught us (Mt. 28:19) just before He ascended into heaven. By signing ourselves with the cross as we say, “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen,” we call to mind two central truths of our Faith: that God is a trinity of persons, and that our savior Jesus Christ died for us on the cross. No other gesture so clearly marks a person as a Roman Catholic than the Sign of the Cross.
Next, the celebrant greets the faithful with the words, “The Lord be with you,” to which they respond, “And with your spirit.” What a wonderful greeting, what a wonderful wish! What could possibly be better than having the Lord with us? And what could possibly be better than the Lord being with your spirit in the state of grace?
Have you noticed that the more enthusiastic and robust the response by the congregation (“And with your spirit!!!”), the better the homily will be minutes later?