The Mass is the feast to which we, the good and the bad, are invited

Sunday, 10/12/14

We are like the good and bad people the Lord gathered in to take part in his feast. You must see that our Mass is a feast we share with Jesus. Pardon me for harping on what I think should be going through our minds when we take part in the Mass.

We all know that the Mass grew out of the Last Supper, but perhaps we fail to see how closely our Mass follows the Last Supper. Let me enlarge on that. At the Last Supper Jesus, as the host, led the diners through the stages of the traditional table blessing that was known as the Brakha.

In the first stage of the Brakha Jesus asked the Apostles to join him in recalling the favors they had received from God. In the same way in our Eucharistic prayers the priest begins by saying something like, “Calling to mind what God has done for us.”

In the second stage of the Brakha the host asked the diners to join him in calling down God’s Spirit upon them, and the priest does that in the Mass.

The third stage of the traditional blessing was called the Pleasing Gift, or in Greek, the Eucharist. At that point the host asked the diners to be one with him in an act of  obedience by which they completely subjugated themselves to God, making themselves into one pleasing gift to God. The only real way for us to take part in the Mass is for us to join Jesus as parts of the one pleasing gift to God.

That act of joining Jesus in obedience is the essence of our sacrifice.

In the First Century Christians followed a handbook called the “Teaching of the Apostles.” It had this to say about our sacrifice.

Offer the Eucharist, having first confessed your offence, so that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one who has a quarrel with his neighbor join you until he is reconciled, lest your sacrifice be defiled.

Note that is not exclusively Christ’s sacrifice, and it is not the priest’s sacrifice; but it is your sacrifice, or it is nothing for you..

It is precisely at that third stage of the Brakha that Jesus comes to us under the form of bread and wine. He comes to us not to be adored by us, but only that we might be physically one with him in the Pleasing Gift, in the Eucharist.    

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