PARTICIPATING IN HOLY MASS - PRESENCE OF GOD
O Jesus immolated at every moment of the day on our altars, let me share in Your Sacrifice.
“The Encyclical Mediator Dei (Pius XII) exhorts all the faithful to “participate in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, not passively, carelessly, and with distractions, but with such ardor and fervor that we shall be closely associated with the High Priest.” It is not enough to be present at Mass; we must take part, “participate” in it. In Holy Mass, Jesus continues to sacrifice Himself for us, and to offer Himself to His Father, in order to obtain divine blessings for us. It is true that Jesus offers Himself through the ministry of the priest, but the priest makes the offering in the name of all the faithful, and they, in union with him - as the words of the Canon indicate: “for whom we offer, or who offer up to You this sacrifice of praise.” This means that the faithful also are invited to offer the divine Victim with the priest. Mediator Dei states it thus: “to unite their intentions of praise, petition, expiation, and thanksgiving with those of the priest, or better, the Sovereign Priest Himself.”
“Jesus sacrificed Himself alone on Calvary for our salvation, but on the altar, He wishes to associate us with His immolation; for, if the Head is sacrificed, the members must be sacrificed also. Let a poor creature offer in expiation to God his sacrifice and even his life. What value could this have? None, because we are nothing. But if this offering is united to Jesus’ offering, then it becomes, with Him, by Him, and in Him, an acceptable sacrifice to God the Father. What strength and generosity the soul will draw from this living, constant participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!
“O my Savior, in union with the offering and the sacrifice of Yourself which You made to the Father and in His honor, I offer myself to you to be a bloody victim of Your will, a victim immolated for Your glory and that of Your Father. Unite me to Yourself, O good Jesus, draw me into Your sacrifice, so that I may be sacrificed with You and by You. Consume me entirely in the sacred fire of Your divine love, and grant that hereafter my whole life may be a continual sacrifice of praise, glory, and love for Your Father and for You” (St. John Eudes).
Give me, O Lord, a better understanding of the value and meaning of Your Eucharistic Sacrifice.
“The heart of liturgical worship is the Mass. Just as the redemptive work of Jesus reached its culminating point on Calvary by His death on the Cross, so too, the liturgical action, which continues His work in the world, has its climax in the Mass, which renews and perpetuates on our altars the Sacrifice of the Cross. Jesus has willed that the precious fruits of redemption, which He merited on Calvary for the whole human race, be applied and transmitted to each of the faithful in a particular way by their participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. This fountain of grace which Jesus opened on Calvary continues to pour over our altars; all the faithful are obliged to approach it even daily, each time we are present at the Holy Sacrifice. Holy Mass is truly the “fountain of life.” By offering and immolating Himself continually on our altars, Jesus repeats to us, “If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink: (Jn 7,37).
“The august Sacrifice of the Altar,” says the Encyclical Mediator Dei (Pius XII), “is not merely a commemoration of the Passion and death of Christ, but is a true and proper sacrifice, in which, by immolating Himself in an unbloody manner, the Great High Priest renews His previous act on the Cross.” The Victim is the same, so is the Priest; nothing but the manner of offering is different – bloody on the Cross, unbloody on the altar. If we do not see in the Mass, as Mary did on Calvary, the torn body of Christ and the Blood flowing from His wounds, we do have, by virtue of the Consecration, the real presence of this Body and Blood. Moreover, as this divine presence becomes actualized under two distinct species, the bloody death on Calvary is mystically renewed by the real separation of the Body and Blood of the Savior.
“What shall I render unto the Lord for all that He has rendered unto me? I will take the chalice of salvation. Yes, O my God, if I take this Chalice, crimsoned with the Blood of my Master, and in utterly joyous thanksgiving, mingle my blood with that of the sacred Victim, He will impart to it something of His own infinity, and it will give You, O Father, wonderful praise. O Jesus grant that I may become so identified with You that I may ceaselessly express You in the sight of Your Father. What were Your first words on entering the world? ‘Behold I come to do your will, O God!’ May this prayer be like the beating of my heart. You made a complete offering of Yourself to accomplish the will of the Father; grant that will may be my food, and at the same time, the sword which immolates me. Thus, peaceful and joyous, I shall go to meet all sacrifices with You, my adored Master, rejoicing to be known by the Father, since He crucifies me with His son” (cf. E.T. II, 7-14).
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Recently we’ve had an issue with Mass intentions and errors. First and foremost, let me assure you that every effort is made to ensure that you are accommodated with your mass intention requests in accordance with the current guidelines. Sue, our Office Manager, makes every effort to do the very best that she can to meet the request of each parishioner. As office manager, she is responsible for receiving and processing the requests. She then provides the list of Mass intentions to Deacon Gary and me to be announced at the Masses. Please understand that we are all human and mistakes while rare are possible.
In the event there is an error or issue I would ask for your patience and understanding. You should realize that no one wants to make a mistake or cause upset to you or your family. Should there be an issue or error, please contact the office and discuss it with Sue. She’s the one who can help you and can answer your questions. Father and Deacon Gary only go by what is provided to them and will most likely be unable to answer your questions. Discussion of issues or concerns related to questions or errors should not take place during the Mass. Our focus at Mass should always be on the Lord and not other extraneous issues.
Thank you for your time and cooperation.
God bless you,
Father Mark Groeger is the Parish Administrator of Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.