So there we have it!!
This will all sound very familiar
Maybe you learned something
Maybe you have been reminded of something
Did we know the depth of this?
Paragraph 1348 says, “All gather together. Christians come together in one place for the Eucharistic assembly. At the head is Christ himself, the principal agent of the Eucharist. He is high priest of the New Covenant; it is he himself who presides invisibly over every Eucharistic celebration.”
There are some really moving images, paintings, and drawings that depict the Mass
They pull back the veil and we see the priest, the servers, the altar, the bread and wine
What we do not see is THE HEAVENLY HOSTS
We don’t see the Great High Priest Jesus Christ Himself who presides, invisibly, over every Eucharistic celebration
We don’t see God the Father receiving the gift of His Son by the Power of the Holy Spirit
We believe that Jesus Christ, the One High Priest, is the principal agent of the Eucharist 🤯 🤯
He is present NOT ONLY in the Eucharist
He is present AS THE GREAT HIGH PRIEST
Representing Him is what the bishop and priest do
They act in the person of Christ the Head
They act IN PERSONA CHRISTI CAPITIS, which is the Latin term
The lay faithful act in the person of CHRIST THE BODY
WHICH IS REMARKABLE!!
Paragraph 1348 continues, “All have their own active parts to play in the celebration, each in his own way: readers, those who bring up the offerings, those who give communion, and the whole people whose ‘Amen’ manifests their participation.”
Don’t ever forget this…
YOU get to exercise your baptismal kingdom priesthood every time we get to worship
Remember that the heart of religion is WORSHIP
And the heart of worship is SACRIFICE
Then we have the Liturgy of the Word
Paragraph 1350 says, “The presentation of the offerings (the Offertory). Then, sometimes in procession, the bread and wine are brought to the altar; they will be offered by the priest in the name of Christ in the Eucharistic sacrifice in which they will become his body and blood.”
In every Catholic Church, there is a piece of furniture that we cannot treat like a table
It is UNIQUE
Only in Catholic and Orthodox Churches can this piece of furniture be found
That piece of furniture is the ALTAR
What happens at an altar?
Yes, we get to come to the table for the Last Supper
The altar is the place of SACRIFICE
The heart of every Catholic Church is the altar
The Tabernacle is incredibly important, where the presence of our Lord resides and abides
Where the sacrifice happens is at the altar
Remember, the heart of religion is WORSHIP
And the heart of worship is SACRIFICE
So we bring the bread and wine to the altar
Paragraph 1350 continues, “The presentation of the offerings at the altar takes up the gesture of Melchizedek and commits the Creator’s gifts into the hands of Christ who, in his sacrifice, brings to perfection all human attempts to offer sacrifices.”
Every religion in the world is the attempt to give God what YOU THINK GOD WANTS
Here is what God has done in the New Testament
What Jesus has indicated in us
“DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME”!!
PARTICIPATE IN THIS SACRIFICE!!
PARTICIPATE IN HIS SACRIFICE!!
PARTICIPATE IN THAT ONE SACRIFICE ONCE-FOR-ALL!!
The sacrifice that we get to participate in a non-bloody way every time we go to Mass
That is why it is one of the incredible, amazing gifts of the Mass
We get to receive the body and blood, soul and divinity, of Jesus Christ our Lord
Jesus promised in John Ch 6, “The bread I will give is my flesh for the life of the world and if you feed on me you will live forever.”
THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE PROMISE!!
IT IS BEYOND IMAGINING!!
Who would even know that you could POSSIBLY desire to have this intimacy with our God Himself?
He comes to us as food under the disguise of bread and wine
The action of the Eucharist and the Mass is not just simply the receiving of Holy Communion
The action of the Mass is the OFFERING OF THE SACRIFICE THAT JESUS OFFERED ONCE-FOR-ALL
Whenever we do that we get to worship God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for His praise and glory
We get to participate in this amazing way
We will talk more about this tomorrow
When it comes to getting our hearts and minds ready
THE SACRAMENTAL SACRIFICE: THANKSGIVING, MEMORIAL, PRESENCE is tomorrow
The sacrament of salvation has happened in Christ and we get to participate in it in the Eucharist
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE GIFT!!
GET THIS IN YOUR HEAD FOR DAY 185!!
We get to hear more and more about the sacrifice of our Lord
St. Justin Martyr described the Mass to the emperor
He is quoted again in Paragraph 1355
This is the exclusive and inclusive love of God
God’s love is incredibly inclusive in the sense that there is no one who has ever lived, is living, or will ever live, for whom Jesus Christ did not suffer and die to redeem
Our Lord offered the sacrifice for EVERYONE
At the same time, God’s love is exclusive as well
He has an exclusive claim on us
Because of that, we have to respond
Because of God’s inclusive love, He wants all of us to be part of His Family
He wants all of us to be part of His Body
He wants all of us to have unity with Him and with each other
In our response to that, He makes an exclusive claim on our lives
If we don’t allow Him to do that, then we MAY NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE EUCHARIST
Does that make sense?
St. Justin Martyr says in Paragraph 1355, “...’we call this food Eucharist, and no one may take part in it unless he believes that what we teach is true, has received baptism for the forgiveness of sins and new birth, and lives in keeping with what Christ taught.’”
There is this UNITY THAT HAS TO BE PRESENT
I have responded to God’s exclusive claim on my heart because He has included the whole world in His love
God makes an EXCLUSIVE CLAIM
If I have not responded to that exclusive claim, then I may not participate in the Eucharist
Whether you are Catholic or not Catholic…
God’s invitation for you is for you to be FULLY UNITED IN THE BODY
FULLY UNITED IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH!!
If over the course of talking about the Eucharist, talking about what we believe as Catholics, has touched the hearts of any Christian who is listening to this who doesn’t happen to be Catholic, that is part of the invitation
The Church was ONE once
GOD WANTS THE CHURCH TO BE ONE AGAIN!!
We experience this division at every Mass when we cannot extend the offer of Communion to all those who are not Catholic or who are not practicing Catholics
GOD WANTS ALL OF US TO BE CATHOLIC!!
If you are listening to this, it is an invitation from the Lord to take that step
To look at Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults or the Order of Christian Initiation for Adults
Look at your local Catholic Church and say, “I believe the Lord is calling me to investigate even more fully.”
The Lord has made Himself clear
You know that He wants you to be Catholic
Maybe you want that too
DO NOT BE AFRAID!!
YOU ARE MADE FOR THE EUCHARIST!!
THE CHURCH IS NOT WHOLE WITHOUT YOU!!
SO TAKE THAT STEP!!
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!