Grace to you!
Yesterday, we reflected on the blessed assurance we share in Christ, the High Priest of the New Covenant. This New Covenant wasn’t like the Old Covenant, as the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us.
In this New Covenant, God unites with us through Christ and the sacrifices offered are not by us to God, but by Christ on our behalf back to the Father. He did that through the Sacrifice of the Cross, and we, his people, continue to reenact (memorialize) it in the most profound way through the Eucharist.
Observe all the rites of the Eucharist—the gestures, the prayers, the silence, the music and the posture. During the Mass, the priest offers to God the sacrifices of Christ. The attention isn’t the priest, nor is it the people. Sometimes, we tend to think the Mass is our social gathering and forget this crucial aspect of the mystery we celebrate.
In fact, at Mass, the priest and the people are brought in for the holy convocation where Christ is the host, the priest, the server, the gift served and the protocol of the service. In essence, the entire worship is Christ – all the way. Thus, within the Mass, there is no “now is the time for us to do our thing” since it’s about Christ-thing. Rather, we glory in the function of grace of this holy convocation, Christ bringing us to union with him, the Father and the Holy Spirit, even now on earth at the Eucharistic celebration.
Observe that the Eucharist is called a celebration, not service. We celebrate in Christ the greatest gift to humanity, grace of communion with the Trinity. Service is what we do. Celebration is what is done for us. It’s joy. It’s glory. It’s an abundance of happiness.
I love the image of priests looking towards the heavens facing the big crucifix hanging on the wall facing the altar. It reminds me of how a priest and people are brought to the Father through Christ.
Similarly, it reminds me of the imagery of the Letter to the Hebrews, which talks about the excellent ministry Christ enacts: “But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry which is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises” (Hebrew 8:6).
The Sacrifice of the Mass is by Christ himself. It is equally through Christ. It is what makes this so wonderfully unique and grace-filled.
The grace of the New Covenant is Christ himself. Those who participate in the Eucharist participate in this grace. Thanks be to God we have a New Covenant in his Son, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.