ON THE ENDS FOR WHICH MASS IS OFFERED
“Do this for a commemoration of me.”–LUKE xxii. 19.
The Sacrifice of the Mass, my beloved brethren, is offered up for four great ends:
1. To give fitting, or, in other words, infinite praise and honor to Almighty God. (a) The natural law, written in the heart of man, directs that every inferior should pay homage to his superior; and, futhermore, that this homage should be always in proportion to the rank and dignity of the superior. Now, this being the case, we should pay to Almighty God, as the Supreme Creator and Ruler of the universe, as our first Beginning and our last End, infinite praise, infinite honor. Anything short of the infinite would not be sufficient, nor would it be adequately worthy of His acceptance. But, since all our human offerings, all our human acts, are, like ourselves, finite, how can we offer any infinite gift to our good and merciful God?
If all the creatures of this world, no matter how rich, or beautiful, or delightful they might be in themselves, were brought to the feet of Almighty God, and laid there as an offering, they would not be worthy His acceptance; for there is nothing worthy of God’s acceptance except God Himself. Jesus Christ, then, seeing this great want on the part of man, has, in a marvellous excess of divine love, supplied it by offering Himself, a God of infinite worth, to His Eternal Father in the Sacrifice of the Mass. In that Holy Sacrifice, dear Christians, we can give infinite praise and honor to God, by uniting ourselves to the offering made to Him on our altars by the consecrated hands of His priest. Nay, more, by every Mass that we offer, or get the priest to offer for us, by every Mass at which we assist, we can co-operate in the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ in our behalf; for, thereby discharging our first and chief duty to God, we acknowledge our total dependence on Him, and return Him fitting praise and honor. The accumulated worship of the Saints and Angels in Paradise, of the Archangels, the Seraphim, the Thrones, the Dominations, and the Powers, is unspeakingly grand and pleasing to Almighty God; but it is, as it were, nothing in comparison with the praise and honor given to Him by a single Mass celebrated by a poor, obscure priest in some hidden corner of this lower world. For the praise of all those celestial beings, great though it be, is only finite, whereas the praise given by a Mass is infinite! Continue reading