Ave Maria Meditations
The Holy Mass, a renewal of the sacrifice of the Cross.
To help us to meditate today on the unity that exists between the Sacrifice of the Cross and the Holy Mass, let us fix our attention on the interior oblation that Christ makes of himself, with a total self-surrender and loving submission to his Father.
The Holy Mass and the Sacrifice of the Cross are one and the same sacrifice, although they are separated in time. There is made present once again, not the sorrowful and bloody circumstances of Calvary, but the total loving submission of Our Lord to his Father’s will. This internal offering of himself is identical on Calvary and in the Mass: it is Christ’s oblation. It is the same Priest, the same Victim, the same oblation and submission to the Will of God the Father.
The external manifestation of the Passion and Death of Jesus goes on in the Mass, through the sacramental separation, in an unbloody manner, of the Body and Blood of Christ through means of the transubstantiation of the bread and the wine. In the Mass, the priest is only the instrument of Christ, the Eternal and High priest. Christ offers himself in every Mass in the same way as he did on Calvary, although now he does so through a priest, who acts ‘in persona Christi’.
This is why every Mass even though celebrated privately by a priest, is not a private action, but the action of Christ and of the Church. In the sacrifice that she offers, the Church learns to offer herself as a universal sacrifice, and applies the unique and infinite redeeming virtue of the sacrifice of the Cross for the salvation of the whole world.
Christ himself, in each Mass, offers himself up, thus manifesting his loving surrender to his heavenly Father. This is expressed now in the Consecration of the bread and, separately, in the Consecration of the wine. This is the culmination,the essence, the very nucleus, of the Holy Mass.
Our prayer today is a good time to examine how we attend Mass and how we take part in it. Are you at Mass with the same dispositions that Our Lady had on Calvary? Do we realize that here it is present the same God and the consummation of the same sacrifice? Perfect Love, a total identification with God’s will, will demand an offering of oneself, a desire to co-redeem.
to be continued…