So there we have it!!
THE SACRIFICIAL MEMORIAL OF CHRIST AND OF HIS BODY, THE CHURCH
The sacrifice is the memorial of Christ’s Passover
Remember the word ANAMNESIS doesn’t mean it’s like Memorial Day or Thanksgiving Day
It’s more like Passover
Whenever it was recalled in the Old Covenant by the Jewish People, they are PRESENT once again to the saving work of God in the Exodus
So whenever the Passover is celebrated, it’s not just a memorial of what God did for our ancestors
It is what God has done and IS DOING FOR US
THIS IS WHAT GOD IS DOING FOR US!!
So when they celebrate Passover, they are celebrating their deliverance from slavery and death in Egypt to a place of life and freedom
Paragraph 1364 says, “In the New Testament, the memorial takes on new meaning.”
The sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross is the same sacrifice
When Jesus at the Last Supper said, “This is my Body given for you,” and of the cup, “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my Blood.”
That is the SAME sacrifice, the SAME self-offering, the SAME self-gift of Jesus on the Cross
That is why we really believe in this is ONE DIVINE ACTION
From the beginning of the Last Supper all the way through the trial, arrest, passion, scourging, agony, the way of the Cross, the Crucifixion, the death of Jesus, His descent to the realm of the dead, and His Resurrection…
THAT IS ALL ONE ACTION!!
THAT IS ALL CHRIST’S SELF-OFFERING TO THE FATHER!!
THE WHOLE THING IS ONE SINGLE SACRIFICE!!
Because of that, when we celebrate the Mass, we are participating in that ONE SINGLE SACRIFICE
IT IS TRULY PRESENT TO US!!
Yes, Christ’s Body is present to us
That same body that lived, breathed, walked the earth, suffered, died, rose from the dead, is the same body in the Eucharist
ALSO THE SAME ACTION
Is the Eucharist a noun?
Yes, that is the Eucharistic species
The Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus
THE EUCHARIST IS ALSO A VERB!!
This is the action of the sacrifice of our Lord God, Jesus Christ, to the Father
At the Mass, the Eucharist is a sacrifice because it re-presents the sacrifice of the Cross because it is its memorial and it applies the fruit of that
The heart of religion is WORSHIP
The heart of worship is SACRIFICE
We get to participate in the very heart of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ, God Himself, gave to us every time we celebrate the Mass
We also get to participate in the fruit of that offering where God gets to be glorified and the world gets to be sanctified
At every Mass, the Father is glorified
At every Mass, the world is sanctified and the body of Christ is strengthened
When we choose to skip Mass and think it’s no big deal…
If we realize our importance and realize that in some mysterious crazy way it matters to God whether we are there or not
When we don’t show up and participate in the Mass, we don’t utilize our kingdom priesthood the Father is just that much less glorified
The world is just that much less sanctified
Not because Christ’s offering was insufficient
But because He invites us to participate in His work
We get to do that
Paragraph 1368 says, “The Eucharist is also the sacrifice of the Church.”
Yes, we have Christ’s presence in the bread and wine
We haven’t talked about the term TRANSUBSTANTIATION
It’s an old term going back hundreds and hundreds of years
It refers to the fact that the substance of what we are talking about is changed
Substance being kind of a more technical philosophical work of the essence of that thing
So you have bread and wine-that’s the substance of that is bread and wine
And then in the Mass, that bread and wine is transformed and is now a NEW SUBSTANCE
It’s now a NEW ESSENCE
It still has the ACCIDENTS or APPEARANCE of bread and wine
If you were to examine it under a microscope, it still looks like bread and wine
If you were to drink enough of this after consecration, you could get drunk because it would have the same effects
The substance, the “what it isness” is now something different
It is now not a WHAT
It is now a WHO
It is now the BODY AND BLOOD, SOUL AND DIVINITY OF JESUS CHRIST
So that is Christ present in the Eucharist
We affirm this
Christ is also present in the sacrifice of the Church
Fr. Mike read a book called “The Priest is Not His Own” by Venerable Fulton Sheen
Let’s listen to his story…
Jesus wasn’t just the priest who offered the sacrifice
He is also the VICTIM WHO WAS OFFERED
He is also the SACRIFICE THAT IS BEING OFFERED
Ok back to Fulton Sheen…
If you are going to be a priest of Jesus Christ, you also have to BE THE SACRIFICE
You also have to be willing to LAY DOWN YOUR LIFE ON THE ALTAR
This is true of ministerial priests
It is also true with regards to kingdom priests like us
United with the ministerial priests and the Great High Priest, Jesus, we get to offer up the sacrifice
We also have to be willing to unite our sufferings and our lives with Jesus Christ
We have to be willing to be a sacrifice with Him
Paragraph 1368 continues, “With [Jesus], she herself is offered whole and entire. She unites herself to his intercession with the Father for all men. In the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of his Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer, and work, are united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so acquire a new value. Christ’s sacrifice present on the altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with his offering.”
You get to be part of the salvation and redemption of the whole world
Remember, the Body of Christ is offered
And if you are a member of His Body, that means WE ARE OFFERED
In The Mass we are called to participate fully
We are called to join our hearts with the heart of the ministerial priest whose heart is hopefully conformed to Jesus, the Great High Priest
We are actively offering that sacrifice
So what does this mean?
Right now, wherever you are, you can offer whatever you are experiencing and unite it with Christ’s self-offering on the altar
ALL OF IT CAN BE USED
ALL OF IT CAN BE GIVEN
Because you have been crucified with Christ
You have died with Christ in Baptism
Now it is no longer YOU who live but CHRIST who lives in YOU
So as often as you do anything, all of those things can be united to Christ’s sacrifice in the Mass
All of them can be transformed
For two ends…
For the glory of God the Father
For the salvation of the world
You get to have your whole life conformed to that
Even if you find yourself stuck
If you find yourself sick
If you’d love to evangelize but you’re stuck at home
God can even use that because you have died with Christ and now you live with Him
Every moment of your life can be an offering united with Jesus in the sacrifice of the Mass, which is the sacrifice of Calvary for the glory of God the Father and the salvation of the world
SO LET’S DO THAT!!
Let’s take whatever it is we are going through…
Whether it is joy…
Whether it is success…
GIVE IT TO THE LORD!!
The highs and the lows…
The peaks and the valleys…
Can be used for the Father’s glory and for the salvation of the world because you are part of the Body of Christ that is offered to the Father in every single Mass with Jesus our Great High Priest and Eucharistic Sacrifice
WHAT A GIFT!!
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!