Ave Maria Meditations
The Holy Mass and Personal Surrender
On Calvary, Our Lord, Priest and Victim, offered himself to his heavenly Father, shedding his Blood, which became separated from his Body. This is how he carried out his Father’s will to the very end. It was the Father’s will that the Redemption should be carried out in this way. Jesus accepts it lovingly and with perfect submission. This internal offering of himself is the essence of his Sacrifice. It is his loving submission, without limits, to his Father’s will.
In every true sacrifice there are four essential elements: and all of them are present in the sacrifice of the Cross: priest, victim, internal offering and external manifestation of the sacrifice. The external manifestation must be an expression of one’s interior attitude. Jesus dies on the Cross, externally manifesting (through his words and his deeds) his loving internal surrender. “Father, into thy hands I commend my Spirit.” Jesus is both Priest and Victim. “Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning.”
The Sacrifice of the Cross is a single sacrifice. Priest and Victim are one and the same divine person: the Son of God made man. Jesus was not offered up to the Father by Pilate or by Caiphas, or by the crowds surging at his feet. He surrendered himself. At every moment of his life on earth Jesus lived a perfect identification with his Father’s will, but it is on Calvary that the Son’s self surrender reaches its supreme expression.
We, who want to imitate Jesus, who want only that our life should be a reflection of his, must ask ourselves to-day in our prayer: do we know how to unite ourselves to Jesus’ offering to the Father and accept God’s will at every moment? (We can ask Our Lady) : My Mother and Lady, teach me how to pronounce a yes which, like yours, will identify with the cry Jesus made before his Father: “Not, my will but God’s be done.”
To be continued…