I’m not sure why but today at mass, I decided to count how many times the congregation said “Amen”. I lost count once we hit double digits. This random activity made me think about the true meaning of this popular word.
So the research began. I stumbled upon this article which blew my mind. All along, I thought that “Amen” only meant “I believe”. Oh no no. Well, yes yes but it is so much more complex! So much more divine!
Our prayers usually close with it, it is used a lot in the Bible, we say it before we receive Christ in Holy Communion and if you are like me, you say it even when faith is not being discussed.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “In Hebrew, amen comes from the same root as the word “believe.” This root expresses solidity, trustworthiness, faithfulness. And so we can understand why “Amen” may express both God’s faithfulness towards us and our trust in him.“ (CCC 1062).
Allow me to repeat that. Amen may express BOTH GOD’S FAITHFULNESS TOWARDS US AND OUR TRUTH IN HIM. He is speaking to me even though I am the one to say this word? He showers down His faithfulness every single time? He reaffirms that I am placing my trust in Him? Uh huh!
Maybe I didn’t pay close enough attention in Religion class for 13 years but this is the first time I am hearing this beautiful truth. This wonder of a word is a conversation that displays total commitment each way. From my pew to His throne and back again, God has been saying, “I will be with you forever” without my awareness.
It is not only my response but reassurance that God hears every single thing I bring to Him. His continual communication with us is deeper than we realize. His constant attention to us must not be overlooked. May all the people say Amen with thankfulness and praise on their lips!
Amen is used in different contexts and furthermore, has a few different meanings. When Jesus says, “Amen, amen”, He is emphasizing the trustworthiness of His teaching (CCC 1063). The Eucharistic Amen is saying “I believe” to to the real presence of Christ, the priest ministering in persona Christi and the teachings of the Church. Lastly, “Jesus Christ himself is the “Amen.” He is the definitive “Amen” of the Father’s love for us.” (CCC 1065).
Maybe you feel like God does not reciprocate your prayers. But the power in Amen is enough to wipe away all doubt, hopelessness and loneliness. He is fully providing so much love and consolation especially when we come to His feet first. If one word can do this, we can only imagine the potential that lies in more!
“For however many are the promises of God, their Yes is in him; therefore, the Amen from us also goes through him to God for glory.” – 2 Corinthians 1:20