32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time


Letter to the Hebrews

The letter to the Hebrews, part of which we read in the second reading today is one of the hardest letters of the New Testament to read. But it's message is simple, consoling and at the heart of our faith and therefore this Holy Mass.

We read "It was not as though Christ had entered a man-made sanctuary which was only modeled on the real one: It was heaven itself, so that he could appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf".

The sanctuary and the sacrifice

The man made sanctuary is the Temple in Jerusalem where every year the high priest went into the sanctuary to offer the blood of animals as a sacrifice to God for his sins and the sins of the people. But Jesus, says the author of the letter, doesn't go into the man made sanctuary to offer sacrifice but into the very presence of God and the sacrifice he offers isn't the blood of some animal, it's his own blood, he offers himself in sacrifice on the cross.

Jesus only needs to do this once, he is God, his sacrifice is the perfect sacrifice, and because it is an act of Jesus who is God, it is a sacrifice which is eternal, beyond space or time, always present and effective. Yet at the same time Jesus is a man, his sacrifice is done on our behalf by one of us and it is an historical event done at a particular time and witnessed by others.

Holy Mass

This is the heart of mass. At mass Jesus, Risen from the dead, is present under the appearance of bread and wine. But the Risen Jesus cannot be separated from the Jesus who offers himself in sacrifice on the cross. Remember when he appeared to his disciples Our Lord still had the marks of the nails in his hands and feet. At mass the grace of the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to be united with the Risen Jesus as he offers to the Father the eternal perfect sacrifice that is our salvation.

This is why Holy mass is so special, so important, so necessary for a Catholic life. At mass we enter with Jesus the sanctuary of heaven, we enter into the Divine presence of Father, Son and Holy Spirit and with Jesus offer the perfect sacrifice that saves us.

Baptism

The foundation of this is baptism. In baptism God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, gives us a new birth, a new life, by the power of the sacrifice of Jesus our sins are removed and forgiven, the gifts of faith, hope and love are given to us to make it possible for us to know and love and follow Jesus and above all to unite ourselves with him at Holy Mass, offering with him the sacrifice of love which is at the heart of Divine Life.

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Contact

Parish Priest: Fr Ian Farrell
Address: St Joseph's Presbytery, Portland Crescent, Manchester, M13 0BU
Call or text: 0757 528 8370
Email: ian.farrell@dioceseofsalford.org.uk

 
 

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