The timelessness of the liturgy: we are contemporaries of Christ’s sacrifice

A new element has appeared that could not exist in the synagogue.  At the east wall, or in the apse, there now stands an altar on which the Eucharistic Sacrifice is celebrated.  As we saw, the Eucharist is an entry into the liturgy of heaven; by it we become contemporaries with Jesus Christ’s own act of worship, into which, through his Body, he takes up worldly time and straightway leads it beyond itself, snatching it out of its own sphere and enfolding it into the communion of eternal love.  …  We might put it this way: the altar is the place where heaven is opened up.  It does not close off the church, but opens it up—and leads it into the eternal liturgy. (The Spirit of the Liturgy, Ratzinger, 71)

Mingling of water and wine: mystery of Hypostatic Union and the Mystical Body

So, then, the mystery symbolized by this mingling of the water with the wine is first of all the union, in Christ, of the Divinity with the Humanity; from this mystery proceeds another also indicated by this prayer~our union with Christ in this sacrifice. The wine represents Christ, the water represents the people, as was said by St. John in the Apocalypse and was confirmed by the Council of Trent…. (Christ, the Life of the Soul, Abbot Colomba Marmion, 256)

“The Son of God became man so that we might become God”

Wine is poured in and mixed with a little water, accompanied by a prayer that draws attention to the mingling of human and divine nature in Christ, asking that we should share his divinity in the same way that he shares our humanity. … St. Athanasius…summed up the whole of our faith in the proclamation, “The Son of God became man so that we might become God.” (Know Him in the Breaking of Bread, Randolph, 108-9)

God becomes man. And man is the drop in an ocean of divinity.

God assumes human nature so that man can take part in the divine nature. The poor little drop of water, which sinks into the delicious, strong wine, appears to represent God’s becoming man. Man, that poor being, is taken up into the ocean of the Divinity. Man stands in God’s heart. (35-36)

[L]et us very simply sink into the abyss of God, let us plunge into the wine of his love! (On Love, Ratzinger, 40)

A dual consecration is a sacramental sign of Jesus’ separation of Blood and Body.

The dual consecration is necessary to realize the sacramental sign of Christ’s sacrifice, for it sacramentally re-presents the separation of Christ’s Blood from His Body.  Without the consecration of both species, Christ’s sacrifice would not be sacramentally realized. (Eucharist, Feingold, 198)

The Liturgy will transform us in Christ as we allow it to penetrate our soul, as we enter into it.

To learn the fundamental dispositions embodied in the Liturgy means to penetrate more deeply into the great mystery of the adoration of God, which is Jesus Christ.  The more consciously the spirit of Christ is grasped and lived in the Liturgy, and the more the Liturgy becomes for us an “imitation of Christ,” the deeper the transformation of an in Christ. (Liturgy and Personality, Hildebrand, 5)

Christ is present in the liturgy in several ways.

[C]hrist is always present in his Church, especially in her liturgical celebrations. He is present in the Sacrifice of the Mass not only in the person of his minister, “the same now offering, through the ministry of priests, who formerly offered himself on the cross,” but especially in the eucharistic species. By his power, he is present in the sacraments so that when anybody baptizes it is really Christ himself who baptizes. He is present in his word since it is he himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church. Lastly, he is present when the Church prays and sings, for he has promised “where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them” (Mt. 18:20). (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 7)

The liturgy is the highest form of worship.

[E]very liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the Priest and of his Body, which is the Church, is a sacred action surpassing all others. No other action of the Church can equal its efficacy by the same title and to the same degree. (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 7)

The liturgy is the summit of all the Church’s actions, the source of her power.

[T]he liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; it is also the fount from which all her power flows. For the goal of apostolic endeavor is that all who are made sons of God by faith and baptism should come together to praise God in the midst of his Church, to take part in the Sacrifice and to eat the Lord’s Supper. (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 10)

We worship as a Mystical Body. Christ is built in each of us and, together, we are built into Christ and grow in Him.

The sacred liturgy is…the public worship which our Redeemer as Head of the Church renders to the Father, as well as the worship which the community of the faithful renders to its Founder, and through Him to the heavenly Father. It is, in short, the worship rendered by the Mystical Body of Christ in the entirety of its Head and members. (Mediator Dei, Pope Pius XII: On the Sacred Liturgy, 20)

The Church grows “when Christ is, after a manner, built into the souls of men and grows in them, and when souls also are built into Christ and grow in him; so that on this earth of our exile a great temple is daily in course of building, in which the divine majesty receives due and acceptable worship.” (Navarre Bible, Eph 2:20-22, 382)

The liturgy is the center of our Christian life. The Eucharist contains Christ Himself.

[T]he celebration of the Eucharist is the true center of the whole Christian life both for the universal Church and for the local congregation of that Church. For the other sacraments, as indeed every ministry of the Church and every work of the apostolate, are linked with the Eucharist and are directed towards it. For the Eucharist contains the entire spiritual good of the Church, namely, Christ himself, our Passover and living bread, offering through his flesh, living and life-giving in the Spirit, life to men who are thus invited and led on to offer themselves, their labors and all created things together with him. (Eucharisticum Mysterium, 6)

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