the sacrifice of praise, and the praise of sacrifice
"Must I give up...?" —Judges 9:9, 11, 13
In the parable, the olive tree, fig tree, and vine all realized that they had to give up something very significant if they were to answer God's call to lead. Giving up, that is, sacrificing, is the essence of God's plan. Pagans for centuries intuited that human sacrifices were essential to redeeming the human situation. The Jews corrected this, but emphasized vicarious, animal sacrifices. Finally, Jesus brought about the salvation of all men by the final, all-sufficient sacrifice of Himself on the cross (Heb 10:12).
Jesus' sacrifice is divine, for He is both the Priest and the Victim. Because it is divine, it transcends time and space. The sacrifice of the Mass is the perpetuation of Jesus' once-and-for-all sacrifice on Calvary.
The Lord calls us to live the sacrifice of the Mass by living lives of sacrifice. Consequently, "I beg you through the mercy of God to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God" (Rm 12:1). Through Jesus, "let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which acknowledge His name. Do not neglect good deeds and generosity; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind" (Heb 13:15-16). Lives of sacrifices are the only lives of love. Sacrifice whenever the Lord gives you this privilege.
Prayer: Father, prevent me from being brainwashed by the world. May I see the immense, critical value of sacrifice in Jesus.
Promise: "In Your strength the king is glad; in Your victory how greatly he rejoices!" —Ps 21:2
Praise: Mary, small town girl, said yes to Jesus and was raised up to be Queen of heaven and earth.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, February 13, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 20, 2001