12 short homilies on the Mass

Given during January and February 2012

66:59 audio of all 12 homilies

  1. Why do we attend Mass? (text) (5:41 audio)
  2. Meeting Christ in the Mass (text) (5:12 audio)
  3. Christ’s Presence in the Mass (text) (5:20 audio)
  4. The Real Presence of Christ in the Mass (text) (4:51 audio)
  5. Christ, our great high priest (text) (5:58 audio)
  6. A sacrifice pleasing and acceptable (text) (5:48 audio)
  7. Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice (text) (5:43 audio)
  8. Uniting heaven and earth (text) (5:45 audio)
  9. In the heart of the Trinity (text) (5:43 audio)
  10. One in Christ (text) (5:29 audio)
  11. The Eucharistic Prayer (text) (5:48 audio)
  12. Source and Summit (text) (5:37 audio) (more…)
Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 10:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Source and Summit

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12th in a series of short homilies on the Mass

The Mass is an amazing thing, like nothing else in the world. So you have come, and stood heart to heart with other faithful, joining all the angels and saints, and leading the entire universe. You have encountered Christ made truly present—the eternal high priest offering the one perfect sacrifice. You have united yourself with him, offering yourself also, and entered the heart of the Trinity.

Now what?

No matter how wonderful it is, the Mass, like this homily series, has to come to an end sometime. (more…)

The Eucharistic Prayer

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11th in a series of short homilies on the Mass

We read in the Gospel according to Matthew: “Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.'” (Matt 26:26) These four actions are distinctive—took, blessed, broke, and gave—so that we recognize them when the Gospel writers use them at other times (when Christ miraculously multiplies the loaves and fishes, and when he appears to the disciples on the road to Emmaus: Matt 14:19; Mark 6:41, 14:22; Luke 9:16, 24:30). And they are performed again in every Mass:

  • took, when the gifts are brought forward and the altar prepared;
  • blessed, in the entire Eucharistic Prayer;
  • broke, in the fraction rite;
  • and gave, in Holy Communion.
  • (more…)

One in Christ

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10th in a series of short homilies on the Mass

The Second Vatican Council observed that the world longs for unity—and yet we always find different forces and divisions that drive people apart. How can this unity ever be achieved? The Council wrote:

God… does not make men holy and save them merely as individuals, without bond or link between one another. Rather has it pleased Him to bring men together as one people, a people which acknowledges Him in truth and serves Him in holiness. (Lumen gentium, 9)

And the Church that Christ calls and forms becomes “a lasting and sure seed of unity, hope and salvation for the whole human race.” A seed: small, but containing within itself that unity; and, as it draws persons into it, bringing them that unity that they long for.

(more…)

In the heart of the Trinity

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9th in a series of short homilies on the Mass

In my last homily in this series, we saw that, in the Mass, we join with all the saints and angels in heaven, and lead all humanity and all creation back to the Father. All of heaven and earth united: what a place to be! And yet, the Mass takes us somewhere even deeper than that.

For our Lord Jesus Christ saves us by bringing us into himself: uniting us with him, joining us to him, making us like him. This is why St. Paul so often speaks of being “in Christ”; this is why he wrote, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2:20) And so, in the Mass, he brings us to the deepest place possible: to the heart of the Trinity. (more…)

Uniting heaven and earth

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8th in a series of short homilies on the Mass

When we come to Mass, where are we? And who is with us? This would seem like an obvious answer, right? We are in Bethesda; and we can look around to see the others, all 15 of them. But it’s actually not that simple.

In this series of homilies, we have considered how Jesus Christ is the great, eternal high priest, bringing God and man together in a way that no one else ever could; and how he offered himself as the one perfect sacrifice, infinitely pleasing to the Father. Because of who he is—true God and true man—and because of what he is doing—saving the entire cosmos—his act of sacrifice, which certainly occurred at a particular time and place, nevertheless resides outside of time; and it is accessible from all times and all places. (more…)

Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice

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7th in a series of short homilies on the Mass

We have seen, in this series of homilies, that our Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal high priest, who offered himself as the one perfect sacrifice to the Father. And he instituted the Eucharist to make himself truly present to us in his sacrifice: the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross contained and offered in an unbloody manner in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass (Council of Trent, cited in CCC 1367). In this way, we are able to offer to the Father a gift, a sacrifice, that far surpasses any other sacrifice we could ever offer—a gift infinitely pleasing to him.

But that’s not all. It is not only Christ that we offer in the Mass; it is also ourselves, his faithful. (more…)

A sacrifice pleasing and acceptable

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6th in a series of short homilies on the Mass

What do you give to the God who has everything?

In my last homily, we considered how Christ is the perfect, eternal high priest—unsurpassable in bringing us closer to God, and God closer to us. And as soon as we speak of a priest, we quickly speak of sacrifice, which is, fundamentally, giving something to God. As with any gift, we can ask an obvious question: What should you give to God? What does he want or need? (more…)

Christ, our great high priest

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5th in a series of short homilies on the Mass

In the Mass, our Lord Jesus Christ is made truly present to us, in the fullness of his being—in both his divine nature and his human nature—body and blood, soul and divinity. He is made to be here with us—though under sacramental appearance—disguised, as it were, under the appearance of bread and wine. And that presence alone would be enough to make our encounter with him in the Mass the shining center of our day, our week, our entire life.

But that’s just the beginning. For our Lord makes himself present for a purpose—the purpose of drawing us into his one perfect sacrifice: as the great, eternal high priest, offering himself to the Father. (more…)

The Real Presence of Christ in the Mass

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4th in a series of short homilies on the Mass

In the Mass, we encounter our Lord Jesus Christ, made truly present. In my last homily in this series, we took note of two of the ways in which he is present. First, in the assembly of the baptized—each of whom he has joined to himself and made a member of his Mystical Body. Second, in the person of the minister—the priest or bishop changed by ordination to be able to act in the person of Christ the head. The Eucharistic assembly, body and head, is complete.

And the Lord is present “in his word, since it is he himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 7) (more…)