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Jesus used bread for He is the "Bread of Life" (cf. John 6:35) and wine for He is the "true Vine" (cf. John 15:1). The fruit of the vine becomes the fruits of Redemption, made possible by Christ's death, a death which totally made it possible for every one of God's children to be redeemed. The only difference between the Sacrifice of the Cross and the Sacrifice of the Mass is that on the former Jesus physically shed His Blood, while in the latter there is no physical shedding of blood nor physical death because Christ has already been immolated once. By His death He gained for us the merit and, through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, applies to us that merit and reward of His Bloody Death through the unbloody oblation of His Body and Blood during Mass. It is very similar to what one would see on video tape. What was taped happened at the moment it was being filmed. When it is being played over and over, no matter how many times, it is a re-enactment of the event. Though it cannot happen again, we are reliving it as though it were. So also the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for Jesus continues to offer Himself as a Sacrifice in order to unite us with Him, to give us a gift worthy to be offered to God (cf. Mal 1:11), "a clean oblation" and allow us the opportunity to share in the merits of His eternal sacrifice on the Cross. The fruits of attending Mass worthily and in the state of grace are that He not only answers our heartfelt prayers, but we gain even more of the merits of Christ for our souls as well as gaining temporal blessings.
When we consider these things, isn't it sad that so few attend Daily Mass? Isn't it even sadder that so many Catholics attend Sunday Mass without truly realizing what they are partaking in? We need to re-emphasize the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, to instill in all the Catholic faithful the value of the Mass which is infinite because it is the renewal of Christ's death. Therefore to attend Mass devoutly is the greatest prayer we can offer. There is no more holy and divine act that can be performed here on earth than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We need to let all our brothers and sisters know that all who participate in the Mass, both here on earth and in Purgatory, reap the general fruits since the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered for everyone. This not only includes all who are present, or assist, especially the priest who represents Christ, but also the person for whom it is being offered as well as the souls in Purgatory - the Church Suffering.
Our Lady is constantly reminding us of the importance of Holy Mass, always drawing us closer to her Divine Son Who is ever present in the Tabernacle but never closer to us than during Mass and at Holy Communion for this sacrifice is accomplished at this special time when the species of bread and wine, now Our Lord's Body and Blood are consumed just as His Sacrifice was accomplished when He cried out, "It is Consummated!" and then expired on the Cross. It is so vital to remember that the Mass is not a remembrance or memorial of His death as our protestant brethren assume, but an actual renewal, in the separate consecration of the bread and wine, of the death of Jesus - the separation of His Body and Blood. Isn't it interesting that our protestant brethren waited sixteen centuries before denying the true presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. They denied it and introduced a different doctrine, one which goes against all that Christ intended. We can't help but wonder how, then, they can explain the powerful meaning of Christ's Own words in John 6: 54-59.
That is also the principle of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist for the word "sacrament" signifies a means unto holiness. "A Sacrament," the Catechism tells us, "is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace." Of all the Sacraments, the Holy Eucharist is the most outward sign instituted by Jesus and which we can receive daily. Shouldn't that prompt us to commit to receiving Him more frequently? After all, it is the greatest Sacrament. That's why the Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, Soul and Divinity, is called the "Blessed Sacrament!"
We're also announcing a very, very special promotion from Easter Wednesday to Pentecost so please tell your friends. Anyone who signs up for an ANNUAL PASSPORT will receive FREE the full trilogy set of the Meditative Lessons of the Rosary: COME, LET US ADORE HIM - on the Joyful Mysteries, IT IS CONSUMMATED! - on the Sorrowful Mysteries, and MY LORD AND MY GOD - on the Glorious Mysteries. Each book is over 100 pages with inspirational Meditative Lessons encompassing the Mysteries and more. They retail for $9 each and the full set goes for $25. That's over 300 pages worth of edifying and contemplative reading that you'll want to share with friends. And we want to share it with our friends - our subscribers. Thus, to show our gratitude for the phenomenal growth of the Daily CATHOLIC over the last several months and to enhance subscriptions, we are offering the FULL TRILOGY SET FREE with an ANNUAL PASSPORT. That's a phenomenal offer and people may think we're crazy, but it's our way of saying thank you and giving back something to those who support this apostolate. For current subscribers who have already paid and would like to receive this very special offer, we'll be happy to send you the trilogy of books if you e-mail us by Easter Wednesday - April 15, 1998 with your full address and password. You will not need to add the $3. That's our way of saying thank you! For new subscribers in the United States and U.S. Territories add $3.00 for shipping and handling and you'll receive the books by Priority Mail. If one deducts the $25 from $36 it would mean one can receive an ANNUAL PASSPORT for only $11. a year!!! That's well-under a nickel an issue, especially when you factor in the back issues and prorate your annual subscription it comes to 400 issues for $11. That's two and three quarters cents an issue. It's been decades since anyone has offered anything like that. In fact, we'd venture to say no one has ever offered a daily publication for that low a price! Unfortunately it's a little higher for Canada, all foreign countries, and overseas, because the costs of sending Global Priority is much higher so add $10 to the offer. We'd like to make it less, but U.S. Postal regulations dictate that the costs range from $7.50 to $12. for overseas. However, once they have a chance to read these inspiring books, our oversees subscribers will realize it is well-worth the additional ten dollars. The sign-up forms will reflect these offers and mailing prices beginning Easter Wednesday. This is a tremendous offer that few can pass up. We thank you all for helping the Daily CATHOLIC grow so quickly and ask for your help in passing the word, letting others know of this very, very special offer.
Many consider Christmas the time of gift-giving, but we are making this gift offer because we truly believe this time of year at Easter is the greatest Gift-giving of all. Afterall, Jesus gave us Himself in the Holy Eucharist - a Gift that keeps on giving in graces day after day after day; He gave us the opportunity to be with Him forever in Heaven by being the Lamb immolated on the Cross; and He gave us everlasting hope for Eternal Life by rising to destroy death. In this special time of trilogies, no greater Gift could anyone receive!
Thus goes one of the most beautiful songs often heard during Good Friday services. The somber key in which the song is written appropriately enfolds the grave and heart- rending words.
Last week I wrote about why Jesus chose to suffer to save us. The two main reasons are: 1) to show us how terrible sin is, and 2) to show us how much He loves us.
So now, as we gather near the end of this Lenten Season and are in the midst of HOLY WEEK, we are brought by means of the Catholic Churchís rich liturgy, to commemorate and re-live in our hearts and prayers, the great Price of our Redemption.
It is imperative that in order to experience real Christian joy on Easter, Christians must delve profoundly into the sufferings of Our Lord. Or put another way, -- in proportion that we meditate and appreciate the sufferings and death of Jesus will we have joy on Easter. Meditating on the Passion and Death of Our Lord is a prerequisite for a deep joy on Easter Sunday.
No matter how many times we have lived through Lenten Seasons, there is always something more to learn and appreciate about the Price of our Redemption. It follows, as well, that as we come to know and appreciate more deeply what happened on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, the more we are convinced of Godís Infinite love for us. Therefore, our joy on Easter is more real, more spiritual, more refined because our Faith in Godís Love for us is more real, more spiritual, more refined.
"God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son."
Suffering for us in this life is inescapable. Everyone suffers. Some more than others. Some mostly physically, others mostly emotionally or psychologically. Some suffer in all of those areas.
Our Lord did too. He was like us in all things except sin. Jesus shows how to suffer, how to accept suffering and that in itself, suffering is not an evil, but a key to our own sanctification and salvation. Suffering is meritorious for ourselves and others -- perfected and sanctified by Our Lordís sufferings.
Mother McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, once said: "Without the cross, the real crown cannot come." And set as an example for us, Our Lordís life and death precipitated and bears witness to this truth.
To arrive at Easter Sunday, we must pass through Holy Week. We must take time to remember at great depth, the price of our salvation. Then our joy on Easter will be real CHRISTIAN joy.
HE IS RISEN! HE HAS CONQUERED SIN AND DEATH! WE HAVE HOPE! OUR HOPE AND HELP ARE IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!
Alleluia! Jesus, Our King reigns. He wears the crown and will share it with us! Have a Blessed and Joy-filled Easter. God is with us. Amen!
Death of Edward IV, King of England. His brother Richard becomes the "Protector" of Edward's son - twelve year-old Edward V.
Maximilian I is crowned King of Germany during the reign of Pope Innocent VIII