My latest reflection was posted today for Loyola Press’s 3-Minute Retreat! You can view the retreat on the 3-Minute Retreat web site or Facebook page. (It really does only take three minutes!)
When the gifts are brought to the altar at Mass, there is more going on than meets the eye. While the bread and wine which will become the Body and Blood of Christ are carried forward, we also bring our own hearts to be cleansed and purified. In the third Eucharistic Prayer the priest asks on our behalf that Christ œmake of us an eternal offering to the Father. It is not just the bread and wine that are changed on the altar! We, too, are made more Christ-like through the offering of ourselves. By practicing what we celebrate “ by extending to our brothers and sisters the same forgiveness shown and commanded by Jesus “ we demonstrate this change to the world.
Fr. Ron Cochran of St. Luke Catholic Church in El Cajon, California, celebrated this evening’s Mass for the NCCL conference in Atlanta. He gave a very nice reflection on this Sunday’s readings and, most helpfully, laid out his four main points:
If we have faith in Christ, we will allow God to work through us.
We can’t allow God to work through us unless we have died to ourselves.
We offer spiritual sacrifices by offering ourselves on the altar with Christ.
We do service so that we have something to bring to and offer on the altar.
I will definitely be mulling over these reflections and how they apply to my work with the diocese during the next four days of catechetical goodness!