Today’s ✠Challoner Meditation: February 23rd On the blessed Eucharist as it is a sacrifice of propitiation

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by


Consider first, that the sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ is also a sin-offering, or a sacrifice of propitiation, for obtaining mercy and pardon for our sins. The debt man contracted to divine justice by sin was infinite, and nothing that any one pure man, or even all mankind put together, could do or suffer for the expiation of sin, could bear any kind of proportion with that debt, or go any part of the way towards the cancelling of it; much less could the blood of oxen or goats, used in the ancient sin-offerings of the law, have any virtue in them to wash away sin. Therefore did the Son of God take a body and blood for us, to substitute this new victim in the place of those old ones, Psal. xxxix. This body and blood he offered in sacrifice upon the cross for the sins of all mankind; with this he paid our ransom and completely redeemed us; this same he has bequeathed to us in the sacrament and in the sacrifice of the blessed Eucharist, in which, as our priest and victim, he daily appears before his Father in our behalf, and presents his passion and death to him, to obtain the forgiveness of our sins. Thus the sacrifice of the Eucharist is truly propitiatory, in virtue of that blood of the New Testament, the fruit of which it applies to our souls.

Consider 2ndly, what an advantage it is to our souls to have here daily celebrated amongst us, this propitiatory sacrifice, in which the Lamb that taketh away the sins of the world presents to his eternal Father, upon our altars, under the mystical veils that represent his death, his body as broken and slain for us, and his blood as shed for our sins, and with this body and blood intercedes to obtain mercy and pardon for us. What sinner can despair of the forgiveness of his sins, (if, like the prodigal child, he desires to return home to his true Father,) when he sees here before him, bleeding as it were upon the altar, the victim by whose blood all our sins were cancelled; when he sees the great high priest of God and man offering a sacrifice for the remission of his sins? ‘O let us go, therefore, with confidence to this throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in seasonable aid.’ Heb. iv. 16.

Consider 3rdly, my soul, how much occasion thou hast for this sacrifice of propitiation. Alas, how great is the debt thou owest to divine justice for thy numberless sins! Recount to thyself, O sinner, in the presence of thy God, ‘all thy years in the bitterness of thy soul,’ Isaia. xxxviii. 15. See how very early thou didst incur the dreadful guilt of mortal sin, by turning away from God to follow vanity, and thereby breaking through thy baptismal engagements, profaning God’s temple within thee, affronting the Spirit of God, and treading under foot he blood of the Son of God! Reflect how much thy sins have been multiplied, after so bad a beginning, every day from that time to this very hour. Ah! ‘What shalt thou offer to the Lord, that is worthy? Wherewith shalt thou kneel before the high God?’ Mich vi. 6. Neither holocausts nor thousands of rams, nor yet thy own blood, can expiate thy guilt. The blood of Christ alone can do it, and with this thou kneelest before the Most High, when thou assistest at the sacrifice of the altar, where this blood is applied to thy soul. Neither is it applicable to thy soul alone, but the inexhaustible treasures of mercy,, which are laid open in these sacred mysteries, give us a confidence to join all here in a body, with our great advocate and high priest at our head, and to plead for mercy, through this same blood, or our brethren also, both living and dead, that we may obtain for them all the remission of their sins, and a discharge of all the debts of punishments due to their sins.

Conclude to embrace this great means of obtaining mercy and grace, by assisting daily, if it lies in thy power, at this propitiatory sacrifice, with a contrite and humble heart, and making on this occasion a confession of all thy sins, at the feet of Jesus Christ, who is here both priest and victim; if thou art diligent in this practice, the blood of Christ will infallibly obtain for thee the remission of thy sins.

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