Through Him, with Him and in Him

     The Mass is not just a religious service. It is the flowing of Christ’s love to each and everyone one of us. We attend the Mass and we hear words from the Old and New Testament. These readings are the Divine Word and their purpose is to dispose us to get ready for the greatest event on earth.

Though each of us hears the same words that everyone else hears, the meaning, the significance of those words uniquely touches us. Christ is speaking to each of us and we hear those words as they are meant for us. They touch us, they surround us, they permeate us… but only, if we let them. For Christ will never force Himself on us. He respects us and our free will. His infinite love for us makes it impossible for Christ to treat us with anything but respect. And so, we hear the word of Christ, if we listen. We understand what Christ is saying to us, if we wish to converse with Him. These Readings prepare us for the Sacrificial Banquet that is to come.

Because we love Christ, because we wish to be united with Him, we too want something of ours to be offered on the altar to our God. In times past, the pagan riturals offered sacrifices of animals. This was their showing of gratitude, of subservience to the god(s) that they felt, were over them. As Christianity was introduced, the concept of sacrifice took on a whole new meaning. Christ is the Lamb of God, the sacrifice par excellence. He offered Himself up because of our sins, for our redemption. At the Last Supper, He told His Apostles, holding the unleavened bread, “This is My Body”. And, again, with the cup of wine, “This is My Blood”. His sacrifice on the cross, for us, would not be just a single moment in time. His institution of the Sacrament of the Eucharist would be with us forever. And so, as best we can, we offer our prayers, our struggles, our lives to be united with His Sacrifice on this altar of Love.

We have heard His Word, we have professed our belief in His sacrifice. And so, the priest raises both the Chalice, now of Christ’s Blood, the Bread, which is Christ’s Body and the priest says aloud, “Through Him, with Him, and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever” At this moment in time, all time stands still, the Heavens, the earth, the angels, the saints, the congregation, even nature itself cries out, “AMEN”. Yes, I believe. Yes it is. Only through Christ, and With Christ, and In Christ can all glory and honor be given to God, our Father. And so, we strive with every ounce of strength within us, every twitch of our muscles, our very fiber, we strive to unite with Jesus, to become one with Him, so that whatever good we do, can honor our God and Father in Heaven.

It is only logical, that desiring this unity with Jesus, we humbly proceed to receive Him in the Eucharist. The entire congregation moves in a single file, and one at a time, receive their Christ, their Redeemer. The people filling the church have now become the Living Body of Christ. Each person shares the heartaches, the joys, the sorrows and the happiness of everyone in the church. We are united with Christ and each other. How long we remain united with each other… that too, depends on us.