Monday, April 21, 2008

The Holy Mass

"And heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of great thunders, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord our God the Almighty hath reigned. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give glory to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath prepared herself. And it is granted to her that she should clothe herself with fine linen, glittering and white. For the fine linen are the justifications of saints. And he said to me: Write: Blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb."

This is from the book of Revelation. Most people read this and think that it is referring to the end of the world. But read it more carefully. Do you recognize anything?

Anyone who was commissioned as a Eucharistic Minister at Kellenberg had to memorize the phrase "This is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world, happy are those who are called to His supper." That sounds remarkably like "Blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb."

And if you study Church history and teaching you'll find that the Holy Mass is actually a celebration of Christ's marriage to His bride, the Church.

No marriage is considered valid unless it has been consumated, and the bride and groom have become "two in one flesh". Christ's marriage to the Church must also be consumated. This is done when we, the Church, His bride, consume the Flesh and Blood of the Bridegroom, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Back in the day, in the time of the earlier Church, when a bishop came to celebrate Mass the church building itself would be dressed up like a bride, covered in white cloth, with a crown on top of the building.

Many people in the Church have not taken the time to study the Church's history and teachings and therefore do not truly appreciate what the Mass is.

Every Sunday during Mass we say the Great Amen. You may not have ever heard of this. You may have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about. But I swear there really is a part of the Mass where the entire congregation says the word Amen. Amen is the Latin word for "I believe". The entire congregation is proclaiming that they believe that this is the Flesh and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. But you'd never know it. Even the people who are saying this word don't realize they are doing it.

In another chapter of Revelation St. John says: "And all the angels stood round about the throne, and the ancients, and the four living creatures; and they fell down before the throne upon their faces, and adored God, saying: Amen. Benediction, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, honour, and power, and strength to our God for ever and ever." This is what St. John was seeing: the Great Amen during the Holy Mass. But we haven't quite lived up to that have we?

It's up to us to bring this vision to life. Not just in the Amen but in every aspect of Mass.

Flip through Revelation sometime. See what other allusions you can find to the Holy Mass.

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