[St. Peter’s Parish Lenten Retreat ~ 23 March 2019]
“Present your bodies a living sacrifice..” Romans 12:1. God calls us through His Word to share as living sacrifices with Christ.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms this vocation as we read: 1323 “At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.’” & 1368 The Eucharist is also the sacrifice of the Church. the Church which is the Body of Christ participates in the offering of her Head. With him, she herself is offered whole and entire. She unites herself to his intercession with the Father for all men. In the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of his Body. the lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer, and work, are united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so acquire a new value. Christ’s sacrifice present on the altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with his offering.
In the catacombs the Church is often represented as a woman in prayer, arms outstretched in the praying position. Like Christ who stretched out his arms on the cross, through him, with him, and in him, she offers herself and intercedes for all men.”
Within the specific vocation we have we are called to fully be these living sacrifices in Christ. The degree of our surrender to Christ, in love and faith, will determine the fullness of victory and joy we experience in His resurrection. The season of Lent allows us to grow in our conversions, our embrace of Christ and His holy Cross and to grow in our sharing of His Passion and resurrection. And it is in the Paschal Celebration, the Sacrifice of the Mass we find the steps of renewed conversion and consecration to our Lord.
II LIVING SACRIFICES ~ Elements of our call
Quietly let yourself enter and be with the disciples, with Jesus in the Upper Room on the Night of His Passion . This was in the short hours before He went to the Garden of Gethsemane and shared the Sacrifice of His Passion on the Cross. The other Gospels give us the account of the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist. John’s Gospel give us insight into the Heart of the Savior as He lives His redeeming passion. [John 13-17]
You will note that this outline on the graces of Sarifice follow the Liturgy of the Mass. Jesus was sharing so much more than was realized with the disci[les then, and with us now.
1) Cleansing – The Washing of the Feet, the Cleansing of self/ego
the service of God and others
The Penitential Rite
John 13:1-16, 34-35 Note: About failure, of self, of others John 13:36-38
2) Listening, Lectio Divina, to God’s Word.
Hearing, living His new commandment, Love one another
FAITH, listening in love
PRAYER ~ Responding to God’s Word
John 14:1;12-14; 23-24; 15:7-13
3) Preparing the Gifts ~ What do we bring to God?
Talents, blessings and sorrows and weaknesses
John 15:5, 16-17
4) Invocation and Epiclesis
Seeking and trusting the Promise, the power, the Presence of the Holy Spirit
John 14:26-17; 16:7-12
I Cor. 11: For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”  For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Wheat – Crushed and milled
Wine – Harvest and Crush
Entering the Wounds of Christ
John 20:Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.”  Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
Communion – Eternal bonds
6) Praise and Thanksgiving
7) Further Steps:
Let us present ourselves as livings sacrifices to God
Allowing His cleansing
Listening in faith and love to His Word
Presenting our gifts
And in receiving His Body and Blood
sharing His sacrifice for His Kingdom,
For the praise and glory of God.