So last month I pointed out how our Catholic Mass fulfills Jewish Scripture. In this article I would like to point out how Mass brings us closer to God.
The Catholic Mass is a form of worship which includes many hymns, reading of scripture and prayers. We have bread and wine which is an offering to God. The ordained Priest says the prayers of Consecration after which the Holy Spirt will then turn the bread and wine being offered into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Just before that part of the Mass happens, we follow the Priest’s lead and say the words Jesus told us to say. He said we would not see him again until we say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'" Next the Ordained Priest says the prayers of consecration which brings the presences of Jesus into the Eucharist. Thus we can see him again as he said it would be in the form of Bread and Wine.
It is interesting to see how bread and wine has become the offering God prefers rather than the blood offerings made by the Jewish Priest before Christ came and instituted his Church. The Bible tells us this offering happened for the first time when the High Priest Melchizedek is first mentioned in the Bible. Abram has just returned from conquering three kingdoms. He is greeted by the High Priest Melchizedek and was blessed by him. He then made an offering of bread and wine. The Catholic Church sees in the gesture of Melchizedek a prefiguring of her own offering during Holy Mass. It is what Jesus did at the Last Supper when he offered the bread and wine and said, “This is my body and This is my blood”, he was to be the Sacrificial Lamb offered so that sins could be forgiven. He told the Disciples to eat and drink of it and then he said, “Do this in remembrance of me”. This was one of the most important parts of the ritual. This Passover celebration they were having contained different parts. There was singing of hymns, and drinking of wine at different intervals. Before the last drink of wine was taken which closed the celebration Jesus got up and the Apostles went with him to Gethsemane then to the Mount of Olives where he was apprehended. Note the last drink of wine had not been taken yet. So, the Passover celebration was not officially over.
Later that day when Jesus was dying on the cross he said “I thirst”. Wine was then given to him. After he had tasted it he said, “It is finished”. This was the missing wine drink which concluded the Passover celebration. After this Jesus gave up his spirit. At the same time the veil which covered the Jewish tabernacle where the Ark of the Covenant was kept tore in half. The parting of the veil symbolized God’s presence is available to all now. His sacrifice was for all so that we may have a way to be with him.
As a perpetual way to be in state of grace and get closer to God the act of reconciliation allows us to partake of the supper of the Sacrificial Lamb in the form of bread and wine. Through our Catholic faith we can do this every day.
Peace be with you all.
Your Friend in Christ,
Joe M. Govea, a devout Catholic whose duty is to evangelize