The Bible tells about many sacrifices. Abel offered the finest lamb of his flock to God. Noe offered sacrifice when he came out of the ark. Abraham was ready to obey God and to offer even his son in sacrifice. When an angel stopped Abraham, he offered a ram. From the time of Moses, the priests of the Jews offered sacrifices for the people.
Saint Paul said that the sacrifices offered by the Jews were a shadow of the good things to come. Saint Paul was speaking of the perfect sacrifice. In this sacrifice Jesus, the Son of God, was and would be the victim.
Jesus offered to God the Father His sufferings and death on the cross. This is called that sacrifice of the cross. On the cross Jesus gained merit and made up for the sins of men.
Every day Jesus makes the same offering that He made on the cross. He again offers Himself to God the Father. He offers His sufferings and death on the cross. He does This In the Sacrifice of the Mass. Our Lord applies to us the merits of His death on the cross. No better victim, no greater gift, could be offered to God. The victim in the Sacrifice of the Mass is Our Lord Himself.
The Mass is the same sacrifice as the sacrifice of the cross. There is only one difference. The way in which the sacrifice is offered is different. On the cross Our Lord shed His Blood. In the Mass there is no shedding of blood. There is no death. Jesus offers Himself to God under the appearances of bread and wine.
The first Sacrifice of the Mass was offered by Our Lord at the Last Supper. He did it in this way. He changed bread and wine into His body and blood. He offered Himself to God the Father. He said: “This is My body which is given for you; this is My blood which is shed for you.”
Jesus made the apostles priests at the Last Supper. At that time He gave them the power to change bread and wine into His body and blood. He said: “Do this in Remembrance of Me.” And the priest does this every day in the Sacrifice of the Mass.
When I pray the Mass with the priest, I offer Jesus to God the Father. I also offer myself to God the Father. During Holy Mass, God the Father wishes to give me a gift. He wishes to give me His Son in Holy Communion. This gift is food for my soul. Our Lord Himself said: “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you.” Our Lord meant the life of grace which I must have to belong to the kingdom of God.
Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!