At Mass, Jesus seeks to bring others with him to salvation, pope says

IMAGE: CNS/Paul Haring

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — If people really understood that participating at Mass is
witnessing Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection, then maybe they
would stop taking pictures, talking, making comments and acting as if it were
some kind of show, Pope Francis said.

“This is Mass: to enter into Jesus’ passion, death,
resurrection and ascension. When we go to Mass, it is as if we were going to
Calvary, it’s the same,” the pope said Nov. 22 during his weekly general

If people realize that Jesus is truly present in the
Eucharist and is letting himself be broken and pouring out his love and mercy for
everyone, “would we allow ourselves to chitchat, take pictures, to be on
show? No,” the pope said.

“For sure we would be silent, in mourning and also in joy for being
saved,” he said.

The pope continued his series of audience talks on the
Mass, reflecting on what Mass really is and why it is so important.

The Mass, as a “memorial,” is more than just
remembering an event from the past, the pope said. It is making that event
present and alive in a way that
transforms those who participate.

The Eucharist is the focal point of God’s saving act, he
said; it is Jesus making himself present in the bread, “broken for us,
pouring out all of his mercy and love on us like he did on the cross, in that
way, renewing our hearts, our lives and the way we relate to him and our brothers
and sisters.”

“Every celebration of the Eucharist is a beam of
that sun that never sets, which
is the risen Jesus Christ. To take part in Mass, especially on Sundays, means entering into the victory
of the resurrection, being
illuminated by his light, warmed by his heat,” he said. Mass is “the
triumph of Jesus.”

As Jesus goes from death to eternal life during the Mass
celebration, he is seeking
also to “carry us with him” toward eternal life, Pope Francis said.

By spilling his blood, the pope continued, “he frees us from death and
the fear of death. He frees us not only from the domination of physical death
but also spiritual death — evil and sin,” which pollute one’s life, making it lose its beauty,
vitality and meaning.

“In the Eucharist, (Jesus) wants to transmit his
paschal, victorious love,” the pope said. “If we receive it with
faith, we too can truly love God and our neighbor, we can love like he loved
us, giving life.”

When people experience the power of Christ’s love within
them, then they can give themselves freely and fully to others, even their enemies, without
fear, he said.

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