Hear, O Lord, my voice with which I have cried to Thee, alleluia: my heart hath said to Thee, I have sought thy countenance; thy countenance, O Lord, I will seek.
Dominica post Domini Ascensionem
Epist.: 1 Pet. 4:7-11
Evang.: Jn. 15:26-16:4
Sometimes, we ask questions the answers to which are contained in the question itself. Usually we do this to test a person’s ability to pay attention. Who, for example, is buried in Grant’s tomb? Or, What color is George Washington’s white horse? The following question also appears to contain the answer: When we celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, what is it that we call to mind? If you were to answer, “The Passion and Death of the Lord”, your answer would be true, but inadequate, incomplete. If you were to answer, The Passion and Resurrection of the Lord, again, your answer, while true, would leave something more to be said. The complete answer may be found in the Canon of the Mass, just after the Consecration, beginning with the words, Unde et memores. There you will discover, that when we offer to the divine Majesty, from all of His gifts and presents, a pure Victim, a holy Victim, an immaculate Victim, the holy Bread of eternal life, and the Chalice of everlasting salvation, we do so while calling to mind not only the blessed Passion of Our Lord, not only His Resurrection from the grave, but also His glorious Ascension into heaven.
When we assist at holy Mass, we may be in the habit of imagining ourselves at the foot of the Cross, in the company of our Blessed Mother, St. John the beloved disciple, and St. Mary Magdalene. That we should so imagine certainly corresponds with the nature of the Mass, since the Sacrifice of Calvary and the Sacrifice of the Mass are one and the same Sacrifice, differing only in the manner in which it is offered: the one bloody and non-sacramental, the other sacramental and non-bloody. Yet even as we call to mind the Passion of Our Lord in this way, and even though the celebration of the Holy Eucharist necessarily entails the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Calvary, nevertheless, it is the Risen Lord who is made present under the species of bread and wine, and it is the Risen Lord whom we receive in Holy Communion.