Father Martis is fond of telling those he speaks to (and I am paraphrasing here) that the Mass isn’t some trendy entertainment that wows us. It is a solid, rhythmic, almost plodding event that lends itself to, indeed demands, continual reflection and observation by those participating. And because of this we are constantly surprising ourselves with insights and understanding – and this lasts for our lifetime.
It is an amazing place to be kneeling behind father during the consecration of the bread and wine. I don’t see his face as he leans forward and says the words of consecration; it gives me a profound feeling of the divine coming upon the altar, through father. As I look over his right shoulder and watch as he lifts up the up consecrated host and then the Chalice containing Christ I am very aware of the offering Christ is making to His Father on our behalf – the sight is very tangible and powerful. At this point in the Mass I am always humbled by the intimate relationship my God has with me.
But, back to Father Martis’ description of the Mass – this week I have come to realize just how ‘Marian’ the act of consecration is. This past Wednesday we celebrated the Solemnity of the Virgin Mary into Heaven, and today we hear Jesus tell those following Him “I am the living bread that came down from heaven.” Last evening, as I looked up at Jesus’ body in the appearance of bread being elevated by Father David; I was struck with our Holy Father’s words concerning the Solemnity of the Assumption ‘“Mary was “taken up” to the very place from which her Son had “come down.”’ Jesus comes down to us, through Mary, He gets His physical body through His mother, and it is this body that he feeds us with. From this body, from the flesh created within Mary we can receive eternal life. “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” We hear Christ tell us.
But last night it dawned on me; in a very special way, we are also receiving Mary. Through her fiat her flesh brings to life the human form of God. In the same way that parents say that their children are the flesh of their flesh, her very being is part of the Eucharist along with her son, as her prayer is one with her son, and her love for each of us is one with her son. While still looking at the elevated Christ I was surprised and humbled by the intimate relationship Holy Mary has with me. Her intimate union with her Son continues in the Eucharist and through His grace it flows to us as well.
With all of this going through my mind last evening; I thought it is no wonder that Christ lifted to Heaven the body of the woman who gave Him His.