March 1, 2015

Message for Sunday, March1, 2015: Lent Series: Week 2

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
2nd Reading: Romans 8:31B-34
Gospel: Mark 9:2-10

No. 1. "The Mass is at the same time, and inseparably, the sacrificial memorial in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated and the sacred banquet of communion with the Lord’s body and blood." — Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 1382

No. 2. "The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross." — Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 1366

No. 3. "The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ’s Passover, the making present and the sacramental offering of his unique sacrifice, in the liturgy of the Church which is his Body." — Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 1362

No. 4. Sacrifice: The word sacrifice is derived from two Latin words:
> “Sacer” which means “sacred”
> “Facer” which means “to make”
> A sacrifice is “an offering to God to make holy”

No. 5. What is need for sacrifice?
> Something to sacrifice = victim
> Someone to offer the sacrifice = priest
> Something to offer the sacrifice on = altar
> Sacrifice is not complete until it’s consumed = fire, consumption (eat)

No. 6. Cain and Abel
The setting: Adam and Eve deliver Cain and Abel. In thanksgiving Cain offers sacrifice (burnt offerings) to God in thanksgiving. “In the course of time Cain brought an offering to the Lord from the fruit of the ground, while Abel, for his part, brought the fatty portion of the firstlings of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering.” — Genesis 4:1-5

No. 7. Noah
The setting: After 40 days and 40 nights of continuous rain, God has cleansed the earth. The very first thing Noah does is offer sacrifice. “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and choosing from every clean animal and every clean bird, he offered burnt offerings on the altar.” — Genesis 8:20

No. 8. Young Isaac is familiar with sacrifice as part of his life
Abraham said to his servants: “Stay here with the donkey, while the boy and I go on over there. We will worship and then come back to you.” So Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two walked on together, Isaac spoke to his father Abraham. “Father!” he said. “Here I am,” he replied. Isaac continued, “Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” “My son,” Abraham answered, “God will provide the sheep for the burnt offering.” Then the two walked on together. — Exodus 22:5-8

No. 9. Moses, Pharaoh, and sacrifice
The setting: God has just called Moses. The very first time God asks Moses to go to Pharaoh, what is Moses asked to ask Pharaoh? “Let my people go.” Why? To offer sacrifice. “Then you and the elders of Israel will go to the king of Egypt and say to him: The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has come to meet us. So now, let us go a three days’ journey in the wilderness to offer sacrifice to the Lord, our God.” — Exodus 3:18

No. 10. Moses ratifies the covenant ... how? With sacrifice
When Moses came to the people and related all the words and ordinances of the Lord, they all answered with one voice, “We will do everything that the Lord has told us.” Moses then wrote down all the words of the Lord and, rising early in the morning, he built at the foot of the mountain an altar and twelve sacred stones for the twelve tribes of Israel. Then, having sent young men of the Israelites to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice young bulls as communion offerings to the Lord, Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls; the other half he splashed on the altar. Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people, who answered, “All that the Lord has said, we will hear and do.” Then he took the blood and splashed it on the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.” — Exodus 24:3-8

Recorded Sunday, March 1, 2015 at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in Thibodaux, Louisiana.

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© Fr. Mark Toups, 2015