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Some people wonder how we can believe that the Mass is a Sacrifice. At every Mass, by Divine power, Jesus Christ is made truly Present, under the appearance of bread and wine. He is God as well as man; and in being with Him now, we are also present to the events of His earthly life which - because He is God - always remain powerful and significant, including His Passion and Death. At Mass, those events are made effective for our salvation, through our union with Christ and His Church.
Christ died and rose again, to save sinners. He has called men, through the ages, to serve as priests in His Church, to save sinners. If, in their preaching, their celebration of the Sacraments, and their pastoral work, they are not saving sinners from the consequences of their sins, they are failing in their duty. It is not enough to be kind, yet to be off-hand about doctrine, feeble in efforts to draw people from sin to holiness.
Christ wants us to see this image, from Him, about the irreverence and silliness often seen in Church at what is a memorial of His Passion and Death! Those Catholics who wanted complete change in the Church after the Second Vatican Council tried to build a new road for everyone to follow, with changed doctrines and distorted attitudes; yet the one true Church continued to practice reverent worship, around them, and to teach truth in faith and morals.
Only because Christ suffered and died, as man, to conquer sin and death by rising up from the grave, has He made it possible for us sinners to follow in His Way. We who trust in Him, and go into the 'tomb' in our Baptism, and renounce sin, and carry our sufferings in patience, like crosses, know that our prayers are heard, and that Heaven awaits all who remain faithful.
Christ wants each of us to believe that His love for us is real and everlasting. He was willing to live on earth, and even to be mocked and put to death on the Cross, in order to save each of us from the consequences of sin. Every individual can say: "He went to the Cross, for my sake". We can believe, and respond with gratitude - or, with hard hearts, turn away.
There are times when we must make protests, for the sake of justice, but in most of our unavoidable sufferings we can look to Jesus in His Passion, for an example. He was mocked and assaulted, but did not respond with curses or self-pity. He trusted in His Heavenly Father, and kept silent. Out of love for us, He was willing to go through death in order to conquer death, and to give us the hope of Eternal Life.
Christ's attitude is one of eternal surrender to the Father's Will; yet Father, Son and Holy Spirit have one single, loving purpose: by the lifting-up of Christ, in His Death and Resurrection, to make a Way in which weak people can follow: people who have also surrendered to God's plans and have become Christlike, loving, obedient and dutiful, relying on Divine Grace.
In one picture is here encapsulated what God the Father has done for us by sending His Son to be out Redeemer. Christ came amongst us, as man, to rescue people stricken by sin, who cannot, by our own power, raise ourselves up to health and holiness and Heaven. He said: Repent; Be baptised: then He conquered sin and death by His death and Resurrection.
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