Sunday Reflection – 9 December – The Second Sunday of Advent
Pope Pius XII and Mediator Dei
The question remains, then, of just how one participates actively “in the most holy mysteries and in the public and solemn prayer of the Church”. Pope Pius XII situates active participation in a personal and corporate adhesion to the sacrifice of Christ who, in every Holy Mass, exercises His priesthood and offers Himself as a spotless victim to the Father.
One comes to Holy Mass, then, not after the manner of a consumer looking seeking spiritual gratification but, rather, as an offerer bearing to the altar the oblation of his own life, as a royal priest set over all created things in order to raise them heavenward in the Great Thanksgiving (Eucharist) and as a victim, a sacrificial lamb ready to be made over to God in Christ. In Christ and in the members of His Mystical Body are the prophetic words of Abraham to Isaac wondrously fulfilled: “God Himself will provide the lamb” (Genesis 22:8). Pope Pius XII writes:
“All the elements of the liturgy, then, would have us reproduce in our hearts the likeness of the divine Redeemer through the mystery of the cross, according to the words of the Apostle of the Gentiles, “With Christ I am nailed to the cross. I live, now not I, but Christ liveth in me.” Thus we become a victim, as it were, along with Christ to increase the glory of the eternal Father.
Let the faithful, therefore, consider to what a high dignity they are raised by the sacrament of baptism. They should not think it enough to participate in the eucharistic sacrifice with that general intention which befits members of Christ and children of the Church but let them further, in keeping with the spirit of the sacred liturgy, be most closely united with the High Priest and His earthly minister, at the time the consecration of the divine Victim is enacted and, at that time, especially when those solemn words are pronounced:
“By Him and with Him and in Him is to Thee, God the Father almighty, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honour and glory forever and ever”; to these words in fact the people answer, “Amen.”
Nor should Christians forget to offer themselves, their cares, their sorrows, their distress and their necessities in union with their divine Saviour upon the cross.”