In the first reading today from Hebrews 7 & 8, the sacred author talks about the once for all sacrifice of Christ. “He has no need, as did the high priests, to offer sacrifice day after day, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did that once for all when he offered himself.”
Some people make the charge against the Catholic Church that we violate that Scripture because of the Mass. We refer to the Mass as a sacrifice. They say that the sacrifice of Christ was once for all, never needing to be done again. And you know what? They are right! But they misunderstand what the Mass truly is.
At Mass, we do not sacrifice Christ over and over again. That is ridiculous. Rather, the Mass is a participation in the once for all sacrifice of Christ. It is not a representation of Christ’s once for all sacrifice, but a re-presentation. Each time we go to Mass, we become part of that once for all sacrifice with all eternity! That’s powerful! The Catechism of the Catholic Church, number 1368, says this, “Christ’s sacrifice present on the altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with his offering.”
Father, we thank you for the gift of the Mass. May we fully participate in the sacrifice of Christ and be united with His offering. Amen.
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