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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Friday, October 28, 2011
31st Sunday of the Year – 30th October 2011
Special Offers

The word Eucharist comes from the Greek and means thanksgiving, and we are a Eucharistic community which gives thanks to God for Christ’s self-offering for the salvation of all.
The Mass is thus the ultimate act of worship when united with Christ we lift up our hearts to the Father and give Him thanks and praise. In the Eucharist, Christ’s gift of His life to the Father is made present and we give to God all that He gave to us, all that we are and have, uniting ourselves with Christ in that sacrifice and we are accepted in Him by the Father. Our sharing in the Eucharist should make us a sacrificial people who lift up and lay down their lives in love for God and one another. This understanding is one of the reasons for the changes in the new translation of the Missal at the offertory. Previously the priest spoke of the goodness of God through which we have, “bread to offer.” Now he says, “for through Your goodness we have received the bread we offer You: fruit of the earth and work of human hands it will become for us the bread of life.” This subtle change gives a sense that we are in the act of offering it and that we are offering it to God. The same is true of the prayer over the wine, the implication once again being that this is a dynamic action of the whole community gathered rather than their passivity while the priest does his “thing.” If you think about it like that, then why do we have an offertory procession? That very action expresses that participation of the faithful in the Eucharist and the willingness of all of us to enter into this holy exchange with God. That is why the invitation known as the orate fratres has changed too – “Pray brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father.” This implies that more than one sacrifice is being offered. Yes, the Mass is a single sacrifice offered by all present. But as the apostles teach us, all of us are meant to be members of a holy people offering spiritual sacrifices to God through Christ (1 Pet 2:5) Therefore, each baptised member of the assembly is offering a sacrifice in keeping with his or her role within the Church. Hence the response has changed with addition of one word, “for our good and the good of all His holy Church.” It is a more faithful translation of the Latin but it gives a greater depth to the dialogue and echoes the description of the Church in the Creed. In other words, the reason that the Lord will hear the prayer and accept the sacrifice of the humble priest has to do with the holiness of the whole Church which offers and benefits from this great prayer. We all have something to offer and as Blessed John Paul II once wrote, “No gift or talent is too small to be used.” As you attend Mass, don’t see it just as the work of the priest for as St Augustine reflected, “With you I am a Christian, for you I am a shepherd.” Rather, reflect on what you bring and offer with Christ.
Go and play football on Sunday and really have a game of two halves.

Fr Kevin

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:06 am