Week 2: Holy Mass as public prayer

By Archbishop Michael Jackels

Witness Publisher

We sometimes hear Holy Mass called liturgy, which comes from a Greek word meaning public service. By the way, charitable works are also referred to as liturgy, a public service of the Church.

For followers of Jesus, every liturgy is done in imitation of Jesus: doing what he did, because he did it, and for the same reasons.

With regard to Holy Mass, at the Last Supper Jesus commanded his followers to “do this” in memory of him.

We can understand “do this” as first of all referring to the liturgical celebration of the sacrament of the Eucharist.

“Do this” might also refer to our imitation of Jesus’ gift of self expressed in the Eucharist: giving himself up for our redemption, pouring out his life-blood for the forgiveness of sins.

And so “do this” would refer to our own gift of self, perhaps expressed by saying “sorry” for an offense, or forgiving those who offend us, or serving any other who is in any need.

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