Sermon at St Mary's Ryde

I am very grateful to Peter Clarke for this Photo and for his summary of my sermon at Mass yesterday at St Mary’s Church, Ryde:
In his sermon at Mass Father reminded the congregation that we commemorated the seven sorrows of Mary. It reminds us that, like ourselves, Mary had sorrows and tribulations in her life as well as joys and happiness. Father mentioned someone he knew with a severe illness, who knew that death was imminent. He sought to strengthen his faith by coming to daily Mass, and to prepare himself for death and to meet his Maker. Mary shares in many of the sorrows with which we can identify; bereavement, especially, like her, losing a son. Parents often find heartache when their children lapse and lose their faith.

We must remember that at Mass we offer ourselves in union with the Divine Victim. It is at Mass that we can associate ourselves with Our Lady who stood at the foot of the Cross and witness the agony of her Son. She offered her own life in union with her Son and in this way she was a Co- Redemptrix for our salvation.

It is therefore important that we appreciate what is really happening in the Mass. Our understanding can be clouded in the jobs that we sometimes do (e.g. readers, offertory, ministers etc). There is the tendency to think that the Mass is a communal gathering of the faithful. It is far more. It is the participation with the priest in the perfect sacrifice of Christ for our salvation. For this we should prepare ourselves before and give thanks to Almighty God afterwards. This must therefore curtail any noise and chatter in the Church. We should be talking to God rather than our neighbour in the pew.

Let us remember that our participation in the Mass is based upon the four ends for which our Blessed Lord offered the sacrifice of His life for our salvation:
  • To give due adoration and praise to God the Father.
  • To give Him thanks for the graces that we have received.
  • To ask for forgiveness for our sins.
  • To ask for the graces that we need to perseverance in our Faith and in our Catholic life.
In the Liturgy, we are never "going back" but always looking forward to the New Jerusalem, the worship of the heavenly city at which we are present when we participate in Holy Mass.

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