Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Offering Christ to the Father

We have seen that Christ is the center of religion and the universe. The creation, over which Christ reigns, is willed by God for His glory. We are beings created solely for the praise and the glory of God.

How can such a frail creature as man offer acceptable praise to the Blessed Trinity? In this way. The Word of God was incarnated, became one of us, and to each one of us gave something of Himself in such a way that we are enabled through Him, with Him, and in Him, to fulfill our religious duties toward God, duties that may be summarized in two acts, as follows:

  1. Our continual offering of Jesus Christ to God the Father.
  2. Our offering of ourselves with Him and like Him in complete self-surrender and self-sacrifice, so as to become one with Jesus Christ.

For Christ alone can glorify God as He deserves. Christ, equal to the Father by His Godhead, lowered Himself to our level by the Incarnation. As man, Christ is able to bow before God and render Him true adoration in humility, submission, and obedience. As God, Christ offers His Father homage of infinite worth.

It is the Incarnation that empowers us to offer God to God in the Person of Jesus Christ. Hence the grandeur and incomparable superiority of the Mass over all other acts of religion.

Why so many Masses? In order that the thought of offering Him up to God the Father may be continually present to our minds, Christ has willed to re-present the offering up of His Sacrifice.

But the Christ who thus offers Himself in the Mass is not just "Jesus, the Son of Mary," but the total Christ--Christ complete, entire. That is, all the members of the Mystical Body offer themselves with Christ, their Head. Hence, the active role we should play in the Mass.

Pope Pius XII recalled this truth in his encyclical on the Mystical Body (Mystici Corporis): "In it, the priest not only represents our Savior, but the entire Mystical Body; and each of the faithful in particular. The faithful themselves, moreover, united to the priest in a common will and prayer, offer up to the Eternal Father the Immaculate Lamb brought down on the altar by the voice of the priest. They offer Him, by the hands of the same priest, as a most pleasing Victim of propitiation and praise, for the necessities of the whole Church. And just as the Divine Redeemer, dying on the Cross, offered Himself as Head of the human race, to the Eternal Father; in the same way, in this 'clean oblation,' He not only offers Himself as Head of the Church to the Heavenly Father, but in Himself He also offers His mystical members; since all--even the most infirm and feeble--are contained in His loving heart."

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