The Mass is much more than our way to receive Holy Communion.

Thursday, 4/14/16

In the Gospel Jesus said, “The bread that I will give you is my flesh for the light of the world.”

He was speaking about the Holy Communion that we go to Mass to receive.

But we must be cautioned against seeing the Mass principally as our way of receiving Holy Communion. Rather, we must treasure the Mass as the repetition of the Last Supper. The Mass, just like the Last Supper, is the beginning of the sacrifice by which Jesus saves the world.

St. Augustine tells us that a sacrifice it an act of entirely submitting the self to God. That was what Jesus did at the Last Supper. The table-prayer that Jesus offered as part of the Last Supper was a sacrificial prayer.

That prayer was known as the Berakah, and it had three parts.

At the First Part of the Last Supper’s Berakah, Jesus asked the diners to join him in recalling the favors they had received from God.

As the Second Part of the Last Supper’s Berakah, Jesus asked the Holy Spirit to come upon the diners to unite them with him and with each other. As well, it asked him to inspire them to offer complete obedience to God.
 At the Third Part of the Berakah Jesus gave his body and blood to the diners so that they could be physically as well as mentally united with him in as they offered themselves to God as one Pleasing Gift, or Eucharist.

This Berakah is repeated at the Mass, and to receive its full benefit, we must join Jesus in subjecting ourselves completely to God as part of the same Pleasing Gift.

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