Traditional Mass

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Continued . . .

19--With regard to the resemblances and differences between the Sacrifice of the Mass and that of the Cross, quote the words of our Holy Father, Pius XII, in his encyclical, Mediator Dei, paragraphs 91 and 92.

He says: "It is the same Priest, Jesus Christ, but in whose holy person His sacred minister acts. This minister, from the priestly consecration that he has received, is assimilated to the Great High Priest, and enjoys the power of acting with the might and in the name of Christ Himself." {Cf. St. Thomas, Summa Theol., III, q. 22, a. 4.} That is why in his priestly action, he lends, as it were, 'his tongue to Christ; he offers Him his hand.' {St. John Chrysostom in Ioann, Hom. 86, 4.}

"It is the same Victim--the Divine Redeemer--in His human nature and with His true Body and Blood.
"The mode of offering is, however, different. On the Cross, Christ offered Himself and His sufferings to God in their entirety; and the immolation of the Victim was effected by a bloody death freely accepted. On the altar, on the contrary--because of the glorified state of Christ's human nature--'death has no more power over Him.' (Rom. 6:9.) {Knox.} Consequently, the shedding of blood is no longer possible. Nevertheless, Divine Wisdom has discovered an admirable means of showing forth the Redeemer's Sacrifice by external signs symbolic of death. Indeed, by the transubstantiation of the bread into the Body, and the wine into the Blood of our Lord, Christ's Body becomes actually and truly present; as likewise does His Blood; and the Eucharistic Species under which they appear are symbolic of the violent separation of His Body and Blood. Thus the real death on Calvary is recalled in every Holy Mass, for the separation of the symbols clearly indicates that Jesus Christ is present in the state of victim."
[From 'Your Mass and Your Life', to be continued . . .]