Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the King of the Universe! With the Father and the Holy Spirit he created the universe to be a place of glory for God and his people. When our first parents, Adam and Eve, did not recognize the Lordship of God over their lives they disobeyed God and sinned by eating the forbidden fruit. After this “Original Sin” – their fall from God’s sanctifying grace – all of creation fell under the influence of Satan, a once good angel who freely chose not to serve God.
Thus, the external glory of God was tarnished because of the weakness and disorder within the human soul and all of creation. Yet, God’s personal glory was untouched, and all things are still ordered to his glory in seed form, or some immature form on earth awaiting to be made mature and fruitful with God’s saving grace, a grace that he promised to Adam and Eve’s future progeny. God promised them that a woman would give birth to a child who would crush the head of Satan.
Thus, God the Father sent his Eternal Son into the world to redeem it. His Eternal Word humbly entered the womb of Mary in order to take on our human nature, our human flesh. He was named Jesus, a name which means, “God saves his people.” Jesus was born for us to bring about the Kingdom of God, to reclaim the human family by restoring it to God’s sanctifying grace through baptism into himself – he who is the divine and royal head of his Catholic Church.
Jesus is the “Messiah”, a word in Hebrew that means “anointed one”, which is translated as “Christ” in the Greek language. Jesus is the “Christ” for he was anointed by the Holy Spirit at his Baptism, not because he needed baptism to remove original sin, but rather to make the waters of baptism holy for us.
We see another dimension of God’s humility, for he used an imperfect man, John the Baptist, so that all his disciples would follow him through the waters of baptism by the hands of an imperfect man, the priest or other authentic minister.
Every time we celebrate the Holy Mass, the Holy Eucharist, we celebrate Jesus as the King of kings, Perfect priest and offering, and Perfect prophet of God Almighty, in whom we have been baptized. We share in those three roles when we honestly live our Catholic faith. Jesus works through us to bring about the forgiveness of venial sins (and mortal sins in the confessional) at Holy Mass to reorder our lives back to God’s glory, which is our being united more and more to God and one another through the saving truth and grace of Jesus Christ, fully found in the Eucharist.
The very word “Eucharist” comes from the Greek word meaning “Thanksgiving”, and we who are growing in faith grow in giving “thanks.” By receiving Jesus in his word and sacraments with grateful, worthy and humble hearts, God is bringing to perfection his uniting love within our soul and the souls of our brothers and sisters in Christ. I look forward to celebrating Holy Mass, the Holy Eucharist, at every opportunity with you and your family, especially on Sundays and other holy days of obligation. Thanksgiving Day is a National Holiday, and not a holy day of obligation, but I will celebrate Holy Mass at St. Columbkill, Thursday, November 24, 9:00 a.m., immediately after Adoration/Confession which begins (per usual), at 8:00 a.m.
I also want to remind you that there is an Ecumenical Thanksgiving Prayer Service at St. Luke Lutheran Church beginning at 6:45 p.m. on the evening before, Wednesday, November 23.
At Mass we offer ourselves and our thanks to God the Father through, with and in Jesus Christ who is the Perfect Thanksgiving to God the Father. It is through Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe, that we receive the supernatural gift of God’s saving grace, and the natural gifts of good food, health, family and friends which makes our journey to heaven a time of great thanksgiving.
Peace in Christ,
Fr. Thomas McCabe