Why we must love the Mass

As COVID restrictions are gradually lifting, the faithful are returning to Holy Mass in person. One catechism states: “The Mass is the same sacrifice as the sacrifice of the cross because in the Mass the victim is the same, and the principal priest is the same, Jesus Christ.”

Father Patrick Gearon explained: “On Calvary Christ gave external expression to His inward willingness to die, and He gave it by His real death. During Mass, Christ gives external expression to this same continued inward self-immolation, His inward readiness to die. And He gives expression to it by taking on the appearance of death. This appearance of death is called His Mystical Death.”

This mystical death is brought about by the double consecration of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. Father Patrick wrote, “Now, after the words of Consecration have been spoken, what have we? The bread is changed into Our Lord’s Body, and the wine is changed into His Blood. Since it is a living Body, then, in some wonderful way, Our Lord’s Blood is there hidden in the Host. And since the Blood is living Blood, in some wonderful way, Our Lord’s Body is also in the Chalice. But we are dealing with appearances. It appears that the Blood of Christ is really separated from His Body. So we have the appearance of death, and this appearance of death is used by Christ to express outwardly His inward willingness to die. And since the words of Consecration bring about this appearance of death, then those words are said to be a sword slaying Christ mystically.”

On the cross, Christ merited all the graces for our salvation and sanctification, and at the Mass he applies those graces to us. St. Lawrence Justinian pointed out that there is no prayer or good work so great, so pleasing to God, so useful to us as the Mass. The saint wrote, “No human tongue can describe the immense favors and blessings which we receive from the Mass. The sinner obtains pardon, the good man becomes more holy, our faults are corrected and our vices uprooted by hearing Holy Mass.”

St. Josemaría Escrivá wrote, “The humility of Jesus: in Bethlehem, in Nazareth, on Calvary. But still more humiliation and more self-abasement in the most sacred Host – more than in the stable, more than in Nazareth, more than on the cross. That is why I must love the Mass so!”

The altar resembles the manger in Bethlehem and the tabernacle resembles the holy house in Nazareth. Father Patrick wrote, “Whilst Our Lord lay there in the manger, He was praying all the time, although no mortal ears could hear His voice. And whilst He is on the altar, He appears to be lifeless but He is praying all the time, although no human ear can hear His voice.”

“During Mass, after the priest has placed the ciborium in the tabernacle, Our Lord will be leading a hidden life in the tabernacle. So much so, that with truth we could write the word ‘Nazareth’ over every tabernacle in which the Blessed Sacrament is kept.”

The saints taught that angels are present at Holy Mass. St. Gregory said, “The Heavens open and multitudes of Angels come to assist at the Holy Sacrifice.”

According to St. Augustine: “The Angels surround and help the priest when he is celebrating Mass.” St. John Chrysostom said, “When Mass is being celebrated, the Sanctuary is filled with countless Angels, who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the altar.”

St. Josemaría Escrivá observes: “Many Christians take their time and have leisure enough in their social life (no hurry here). They are leisurely, too, in their professional activities, at table and recreation (no hurry here either). But isn’t it strange how those same Christians find themselves in such a rush and want to hurry the priest, in their anxiety to shorten the time devoted to the most holy sacrifice of the altar?”

( BY FATHER ANTHONY HO /bccatholic )

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