The Lord Jesus, before feeding us with His Body and His Blood at the table of the sacrifice, feeds us first with the Word of God. Through the readings, we hear directly from God who speaks to us.
The first reading is taken from one of the books of the Old Testament. It is important to meditate on these books because by these words, God was preparing His people for the coming of Christ, as well as preparing us to listen to Jesus. The first reading is always directly related to the Gospel reading.
After the first reading, we read the psalm. The psalms have always been very important in the history of the Church. When we pray with the psalms, we pray with the words of God. These are the words He puts in our mouths so we know how to express ourselves in prayer. With the psalms we learn to pray, we learn to speak with God.
The second reading is taken from the New Testament: the letters of Saint Paul, or the Catholic Epistles or the book of Hebrews, or the Apocalypse. They are the writings of the Apostles. We hear the preaching and writings of the men Jesus instructed to minister to us when He left. These men were filled with the Holy Spirit and committed to spreading the Good News. There is much insight and wisdom to be gained from these books of the Bible.
Now in the Gospel, He speaks directly through His Son Jesus Christ. It is the most important aspect of the liturgy of the word. We hear directly from Jesus’ speaking, teaching, and healing. The word gospel means “good news” and this good news is not just a message, it is Jesus Himself! The best news that ever existed! It is a very important moment, which is why we stand and we sing with joy the Alleluia. The Gospel is proclaimed by the priest. To begin, we trace a cross on our forehead, mouth, and chest to symbolize that we receive the Word of God in our mind, we confess it with our mouth, and we keep it in our heart.