•Congratulations to our students on completing their Third Quarter Oral Exams! Report cards will be emailed home on Wednesday, March 21.
•The next Moms’ Prayer Group Rosary will be on Sunday, March 25, at 7:00 PM, in the Perpetual Help classroom.
•Looking ahead: Students are dismissed for Easter Vacation on Good Friday around 4:30 PM (after the Good Friday service). All parents are welcome to attend the Good Friday service, which begins at 2:00 PM in the abbey church.
•The non-refundable tuition down payment for next school year is due on March 20. Contact Mrs. Toni Aeschliman if you have any questions.
•Congratulations to our baseball team on their recent victory over TVT, 17-4!
•The next baseball games are: Tuesday, March 20, at 3:00 PM, at St. Michael’s; Friday, March 23, at 3:00 PM, at St. Michael’s.
This is My Body which shall be delivered for you: this chalice is the New Testament in My Blood, says the Lord: do this, as often as you receive it, in commemoration of Me….For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink this chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord, until He comes.
These words of St. Paul make up the Communion antiphon for today’s Holy Mass. They are words which we have all heard countless, maybe even thousands of times; but, as so often happens, we can grow a bit too accustomed to the awesome mystery which they express.
Beginning today, Passion Sunday, and continuing for the next two weeks until Easter Morning, the Church focuses her attention more intensely than ever on the supreme sacrifice of our Blessed Lord on the Cross. In fact, during this time, Mother Church covers with violet cloth all of her statues, so as to take our minds off of any images of Christ in His glory and place our focus on His Passion and Death. The Church, the Mystical Bride of Christ, is now in a state of mourning, wearing the sorrowful color of violet, as she contemplates her Spouse Who suffered and died for her.
Imagine what it must have been like to stand there at the foot of the Cross, to see the Divine Son, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Word Incarnate—to see Him offer Himself up to His Eternal Father for the sins of the whole world. Imagine what it would have been like to be united in prayer with Him at that very moment, as He raised up to heaven the most perfect act of adoration possible. Imagine what it would have been like to stand at the very Fount, the Source of all holiness and grace, to be right there with all the angels, as they beheld their Creator performing the perfect act of love for His creatures—an event greater than even the creation of the universe itself. Imagine all that…and then consider what you are doing right now: You are present at that very same sacrifice, with the very same Priest, the very same Victim. The Mass is the Sacrifice of the Cross.
The Council of Trent states the following regarding this great mystery of Calvary: In this divine sacrifice which is accomplished at Mass, that very same Christ Who was offered once and for all on the altar of the Cross in a bloody manner, is contained and immolated in an unbloody manner …It is really one and the same Victim; it is the same Priest Who now offers through the ministry of the priests, Who once offered Himself on the Cross, the only difference being the manner of offering...Although He was once and for all to offer Himself through death on the altar of the Cross,” Christ, during the Last Supper, offered to God His Father His own body and blood under the species of bread and wine, in view of leaving to His Bride the Church a visible sacrifice, by which the bloody sacrifice of the Cross would be re-presented, and its memory perpetuated until the end of the world and its salutary power applied for the forgiveness of the sins which we daily commit…The fruits of this bloody offering are received in abundance through this unbloody offering.
If this sounds a bit confusing, it’s only because human words are incapable of expressing the depths of this Mysterium Fidei, this Mystery of Faith. Mere human reason must be aided by supernatural light in order even to begin to grasp what it is that Christ has left us: the Mass and the sacrifice on Calvary are one and the same sacrifice of Jesus Christ Himself.
Christ suffered once and for all, as the Letter to the Hebrews teaches us; He does not physically suffer and die every time Mass is offered. On our altars He is now in His glorious state, as He is now in heaven. But He does have a priesthood which shall not pass away, as that same Letter to the Hebrews explains; and He continually makes intercession for us, offering Himself in one eternal oblation to the Heavenly Father.
The Crucifixion, which happened almost 2,000 years ago on Calvary, is seen by God not as something of the past—because for God there is no past or future, all is present to Him; the one perfect sacrifice of Christ is forever before the eternal vision of the Father. Yet God wanted us to share in that sacrifice in a real way, so He instituted the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, whereby, at the moment of Consecration, that same sacrifice is rendered present to us, or better, we are made present to it—sharing in it, witnessing it not, it is true, in a physical manner, but in a spiritual, mystical, sacramental manner, but one which is real and true nonetheless. At that moment space and time give way to an act which is mystical and eternal. When you behold the Lord immolated and lying upon the altar, says St. John Chrysostom, and the priest bending over the sacrifice and praying…do you think that you are still on earth? Does it not rather seem that you are taken into Paradise and behold with the eye of the soul the things that are done in Heaven? [De Sacrificio III] From the rising of the sun to its setting, wrote the Prophet Malachy, My Name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is a sacrifice and a pure oblation offered to My Name. The Mass is the one perfect sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.
In the coming days, especially next Sunday, when we will hear the entire Passion and Death recounted for us, take time to contemplate this Mystery of our Faith, this Mysterium Fidei. Ask our Heavenly Father for the grace always to participate at Mass with the greatest reverence, attention and devotion. For you stand now at the Foot of the Cross. You are truly present at the one sacrifice of Christ, Who, now glorious in heaven, comes to us on this altar, and allows us to share in His eternal oblation to the Father, that same oblation made on Calvary. Domine, non sum dignus! “O Lord, I am not worthy!”
•For the health of the following students who are suffering from various medical issues: Andrew Burnham, Daniel Johnson, Vincent Nguyen.
•For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.
•For all the students and families of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.
•For all faculty and staff of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.