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Pondering the Mass (1)

A protestant once said to me, "What I don't like about Catholics is that you put so much emphasis on the Mass, and yet do not seem to care about the actual cross of Jesus." If you know your Catholic theology you will recognize how self-contradictory that statement is. The Mass is not just a "thing" we do, nor is it (as I said before) a "worship service". The Mass is Calvary; it is the Sacrifice of Christ; it is where the Cross can be seen and experienced. With this is mind, I believe it important to make a few essential points about the Mass (as wise clergymen will say: "you must know the Mass in order to know Christ").

Point one: The priest is a tool of God. He is not there to be on display, or draw attention to himself. He is supposed to acknowledge his own unworthiness, and humbly submit himself to Christ as His representative. The priest offers his hands and voice so that Christ can use him to minister to the people. The actions he performs are divine; he has no authority to change them. The words he speaks are divine; he has no authority to ad-lib or decide to adjust them to what he thinks might be more fitting. He turns to the tabernacle when praying so that he reminds himself (and his people) that he is a humble servant. He asks God that he will be forgotten after the Mass is over, and that only Christ will be remembered.

More to come...


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