26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Oct 12, 2017
The Second reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians today underlines for us what takes place at this and every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It told us that Jesus emptied Himself, and took the form of a slave, humbling Himself, becoming obedient to the point of death on the cross. At every Holy Mass this takes place, and this event being the Renewal of the Sacrifice of Calvary, the Gift of Redemption. The once and for all Perfect Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross that occurred in history, occurs in mystery at this and every Holy Mass that is offered. To further clarify this point, it means that participating at Mass, makes us all in a mysterious way present when Jesus offers His life in obedient sacrifice on the cross for the salvation of the world. It is like going backwards in time and being present on Mt. Calvary as Jesus dies for the forgiveness for the sins of the world on the cross. This is why missing Mass for the Sunday Liturgy or Holy Day is a serious mortal sin.
I tell everyone who confesses this sin of missing Mass through their own fault in the confessional that in doing so they missed an opportunity to give thanks and praise in gratitude for the renewal of the gift of redemption that happens at Mass-the event of all events of all time and history through which we are made present to as Catholic Christians. We can never thank Almighty God enough for this gift of redemption through which the Sacrament of love comes to us in Holy Communion-Jesus Truly Present in the Holy Eucharist. And the Catholic Church which Jesus Himself founded is obedient to His request in celebrating the Mass in His remembrance. Jesus said, "Do this in remembrance of me." And that simply is why we offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and do this every day except Good Friday.
Sacrifice is a word some people shy away from, yet, it should be at the center of who each and every one of us are as Roman Catholic Christians in considering what we celebrate in the Mass. Only true love is proven by sacrifice and that is why we as Catholics receive the most purest love in the Sacrament of love through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Did you know that the priest consecrates separately the bread from the wine to represent Jesus' death, the separation of HIs Body from His Blood. What a faith we posses! A faith that gives us everything through the sacrifice of love-the Almighty God Himself under the forms of bread and wine. What more could we want a gift of Heaven while still on earth. Jesus Truly Present in the Holy Eucharist.
This is why obedient sacrifice in following Church teaching should not be for us like the son in the Gospel who at first said he would be obedient and then did not; but, the one who was obedient even if it is difficult and asks for sacrifice. Since in Holy Communion, you and I receive God's love itself, this true love demands the sacrifice of our allegiance. To grow in our appreciation for the Church and the gift of redemption in the Mass through which we gain the graces we need to accept all the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church teaches.
May Almighty God give us all the grace to grow in our gratitude for our Catholic Faith, which give us the most means of not only attaining Heaven, but through which we are given Heaven on Earth receiving Jesus' True Presence in His Body and His Blood through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!