December 20th, back in 1952, was the day I was ordained a priest up in Omaha. My folks had taken the train up for it; and on the way back we stopped over for a two-hour visit with cousins in Kansas City.
My four sisters and their husbands, along with my brother and his wife, were in my home parish for my first Mass the next day. They have all passed on, after having raised great families.
As for the six priest buddies ordained with me that day, they too have passed on in line with the saying that, “The good die young.”
It’s been wonderful offering Mass almost every day. Let me tell you what has enriched it for me the last twenty years. A priest friend, Monsignor Joe James, had me read a book that pointed out how deeply the Mass is rooted in the Last Supper.
It said that Jesus at the Last Supper followed the traditional three-part table blessing that was like a mini-sacrifice. Jesus started it by thanking the Father for his many favors. He went on to asking the Father to make his presence known among them. He concluded then by asking all present to join him in offering themselves to the Father as one pleasing gift. (Eucharist was Greek for a pleasing gift.)
It was just at that third part of the table blessing that Jesus gave his Body and Blood to the others. As they were joining him in offering their hearts as a pleasing gift to the Father, he wanted them to be even physically one with him in offering themselves as one Pleasing Gift to the Father.