So there we have it!!
We are introducing this incredible reality of the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ
Let’s go back to the Book of Exodus….
Actually, let’s go all the way back to Genesis…
Remember, in Genesis there were the two sons of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel
What did they do?
The first thing we see them do is offer sacrifice
Remember the heart of religion is WORSHIP
The heart of worship is SACRIFICE
Abel’s sacrifice is accepted and Cain’s sacrifice is not accepted
It’s not that God doesn’t love Cain
We don’t know what it is
All we know is that it is
God speaks to Cain and protects him even after he’s slain his own brother
There is something about Abel’s sacrifice that is right and accepted and something about Cain’s sacrifice that is not accepted
So the heart of every human being is, what does God want?
Now let’s jump to Exodus
The Hebrew people are enslaved in Egypt
God turns to Moses and tells him to go to Pharaoh and say, “Let my people go!”
Fr. Mike is telling the story of Moses and Pharaoh….let’s listen
The whole line should be, “Let my people go, so that they can go and worship me.”
The point of freedom in this life is being led to be able to worship God
It’s not just freedom FROM something
It’s freedom FOR something
So that they can enter the Promised Land and be that dynasty, become a worldwide blessing, that God can keep His promises
They also have freedom for worship
Ok Fr. Mike is continuing the story…
Moses doesn’t know how God wants to be worshiped yet
Pope Benedict XVI wrote about this in a book called “The Spirit of the Liturgy”
Moses wasn’t trying to trick Pharaoh
The truth is that we do not know what God is going to want and we want to give God what He wants
Our temptation is to give God what WE want to give God
True worship is when we ask God what HE wants
This is why in the Book of Exodus they had to take all of their stuff to be led from slavery and death into freedom and life
So that they can worship God as He wants them to worship Him
What does Jesus say on the eve of His Passion?
He takes bread, breaks it, blesses it, and gives it to His disciples
“This is my Body. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Same thing with the chalice filled with the fruit of the vine
“This is the chalice of my Blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, to be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.”
This is the key thing
We now know how God wants us to worship Him
And the Church has preserved this
Because this is the heart of everything
What saved us is the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ
The self offering to the Father
The sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross
We get to participate in that sacrifice at every Mass
Paragraph 1358 says, “We must therefore consider the Eucharist as: -thanksgiving and praise to the Father; -the sacrificial memorial of Christ and his Body; -the presence of Christ by the power of his word and his Spirit.”
We have not just been allowed access
That’s one thing if they let us through the door
You can come in if you want
We have been invited, and you might say commanded, into…
It matters to God whether you or I show up to Mass or not
It matters to God whether you and I participate in Mass
It matters to God whether you and I offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving or the sacrifice of praise
If we freely choose to not go to Mass that is a mortal sin
So we can look at it like a guilty thing
We can look at it like an obligation
What is at the heart of that?
IT MATTERS TO GOD!!
It matters to God whether we show up
You may think you’re just a person sitting in a pew, standing up and sitting down like everyone else etc.
When you are PRESENT then something is DIFFERENT
When you are ABSENT something is DIFFERENT
It boggles the mind how the infinite and eternal God, that it matters to Him whether we show up or not
Paragraph 1359 says, “In the Eucharistic sacrifice the whole of creation loved by God is presented to the Father through the death and Resurrection of Christ.”
That includes you and me
The sacrifice of praise to the Father is offered through Christ and with Him to be accepted in Him
That’s what we say at every Mass
“Through Him, with Him, in Him. In the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Almighty Father forever and ever.”
Through Jesus, with Jesus, in Jesus
In the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor on heaven and earth is offered to you, Father in Heaven
You and I get to part of that
WHAT A GIFT!!
You might struggle to get there
You might struggle to stay there
You might struggle to show up
You might struggle to focus
That’s where we are called to be
We are invited, nay commanded, to be
If you wrestle with that…
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!