Thursday, September 28, 2006


fragments from "With the Church - Meditations on Topics from Missal and Breviary" edited by Fr Goossens OFM, 1962

When the priest at the Offertory lifts up the paten on which lies the white Host, he at the same time lifts his eyes to the Cross. In a few moments, that which he will hold in his hands, that small white Host, will be Christ himself, the Victim offered on Calvary. In the prayer with which he offers the wine, the priest says, "We offer up to Thee, O Lord, the chalice of avail for our own and the whole world's salvation".
The Church's offering is that of the whole community and for the whole community; therefore he asks that all may share in its fruits. We, co-operating with the priest, present that same offering to our heavenly Father each day.
Christ died on the cross for the salvation of the world, not only for those who had lived before his coming, or during his earthly life, but for all men in all ages.
He offered His bloody sacrifice to His Father on Calvary. God's almighty power could, at that moment, have gathered all men round that cross, and let them return to the nothingness from which they came. But he chose another way: all were to share in the salvation brought by Christ's sacrifice. On the night before he suffered, the Saviour instituted the Blessed Eucharist: taking bread and wine into His sacred hands, He spoke the all-powerful words: "This is my Body....this is my Blood," and He added: "Do this in memory of me." Thus at the same time instituting the priesthood. Now the sacrifice which he was to offer a few hours later in Golgotha could be renewed in an unbloody manner on our altars, and men of all ages could have their share in its salvific fruits. As He offered Himself on Calvary for the salvation of the world so at every Mass He offers Himself by the hands of His priest for the same end. At every instant of day and night that unbloody sacrifice is offered to the Father by Christ Himself, as the prophet foretold:"No corner of the world, from sun's rise to sun's setting....where sacrifice is not done, and pure offering made in my honour."(Mal.1.11).
"For the salvation of the world;" thus also for those who do not know the Church: even for those who hate, mock at, and persecute her. Christ died, not only for His mother and the apostles, but also for His executioners and His unjust judges. The Mass is a source of conversion for heathens and heretics. Do we remember them when we hear Mass?
When, by Holy Communion, we have had our share in the sacrificial banquet, and Jesus dwells in our heart, do we pray Him for those who are not His sheepfold, offering ourselves for the conversion of infidels, as He did? Our prayer must be universal, not limited to the narrow circle in which we live and work. There are so many heathen, who have never heard of the one true God; they too must be brought to the Church. We can best help missionaries by offering Mass with them and for their intentions.
All day long, we can offer the Mass being said at the hour, somewhere in the world. It is good to have certain fixed times, such as the striking of the hour, or the beginning of an occupation, at which we renew our intention, saying, "Lord, I unite myself to your unceasing Sacrifice on the altar". What a flood of grace we shall thus bring to the work of the conversion of the world! Holy Mass, like Jesus' bloody sacrifice, will then be offered to the Father for the salvation of all mankind!
Heavenly Father, in union with Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, I offer myself to you with the Mass which is being offered at this hour, for the salvation of the world.
Mary, my Mother, remind me often during the day of the offering I have promised to renew.