Posted by: frburke23 | January 28, 2013

Thought for Tuesday, Week 3 in Ordinary Time

Brothers and sisters:
Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come,
and not the very image of them, it can never make perfect
those who come to worship by the same sacrifices
that they offer continually each year.
Otherwise, would not the sacrifices have ceased to be offered,
since the worshipers, once cleansed, would no longer
have had any consciousness of sins?
But in those sacrifices there is only a yearly remembrance of sins,
for it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats
take away sins.
For this reason, when he came into the world, he said:

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, As is written of me in the scroll,
Behold, I come to do your will, O God.

First he says, Sacrifices and offerings,
burnt offerings and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in.

These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, Behold, I come to do your will.
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this “will,” we have been consecrated
through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.

==============================================

Thank you for all of your prayers during my trip to Mexico last week.  The Holy Spirit was definitely a part of our trip as we visited with some men who might possibly become seminarians and future priests for the Diocese of Joliet.  The weather was also beautiful, so the switch back to winter was a bit of a change.  But it is always good to be home!

The Book of Hebrews discusses Jesus as the High Priest in great deal.  And what do priests do?  They offer sacrifices.  So in the times before Christ, the priests would offer animal sacrifices repeatedly for the forgiveness of the sins of the priests and the people of the community.  But as the author says, “it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats take away sins.”  Therefore, Jesus came as the “Lamb of God” to “take away the sins of the world”.

Jesus is the High Priest and the Victim at the same time.  He is the One who offers the sacrifice, AND He is the sacrifice itself.  Isn’t that a beautiful image of how much God loves us?  God was willing to send His only Son in the flesh to offer Himself for us and for our sins. 

And Jesus’ sacrifice is good for all of eternity for the forgiveness of sins.  Some people say that at the Catholic Mass we crucify Jesus over and over again.  That is not true.  The Catholic Mass is a re-presentation of the ONE sacrifice of Jesus Christ at Calvary.  Each time we celebrate the Mass, we go back to Calvary and experience the Lamb of God offering Himself for the forgiveness of sins for all time.  We don’t re-sacrifice Jesus; He did it once and the effects of His sacrifice are eternal.

So when people say that the Mass is boring or “I don’t get anything out of Mass”, I think it is because we don’t understand what is going on.  If we truly realized that we are going to Calvary and sitting at the feet of Jesus, who offers Himself to us on the cross, who pours out His blood for us, who gives us His flesh to eat, we would never be bored again.  If we truly understood the magnitude of the Mass and the sacrifice of Jesus, we would never want to leave the Mass.

Not only do we go to Calvary with Jesus, but we also experience His resurrection at each Mass as well.  His Holy Spirit is present among us in several powerful ways – in the priest, in the Word, in the assembly, in the Eucharist.  There is so much happening at the Mass.  I highly recommend reading Scott Hahn’s book The Lambs Supper to get a true appreciation of the Catholic Mass.

Do I truly appreciate Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross?

Do I prepare myself before going to Mass as if I were going to Calvary and seeing the resurrected Christ?

Do I detest my sins because they are the reason Jesus went to the cross?

Have I studied my Catholic faith to understand the Mass and the beauty of the Sacraments?

Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke


Responses

  1. Fr. Burke, Thank you so much for our post every mornning. It really helps me get my day started off. Have a blessed week. Peace, Sandra Correro


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