Josemaría Escrivá Obras

We must remember that all of us priests, saints or sinners, are not ourselves when we celebrate Holy Mass. We are Christ, who renews on the altar his divine sacrifice of Calvary. In the mystery of the eucharistic sacrifice, in which priests fulfil their principal function, the work of our redemption is continually carried out. For this reason its daily celebration is earnestly recommended. This celebration is an act of Christ and the Church even if it is impossible for the faithful to be present.

The Council of Trent teaches that in the Mass is performed, contained and sacrificed, in an unbloody manner, that same Christ who once and for all offered Himself in a bloody manner on the altar of the Cross... thus the Victim is one and the same; and He who is now offered through the ministry of priests is the same as He who offered Himself on the Cross; only the manner of offering is different.

The fact that the faithful attend or do not attend Holy Mass in no way changes this truth of faith. When I celebrate Mass surrounded by people I am very happy; I don't need to think of myself as president of any kind of assembly. I am, on the one hand, a member of the faithful like the others; but, above all, I am Christ at the Altar! I am renewing in an unbloody manner the divine Sacrifice of Calvary and I am consecrating, in persona Christi, in the person of Christ. I really represent Jesus Christ, for I am lending him my body, my voice, my hands and my poor heart, so often stained, which I want Him to purify.

When I celebrate Mass with just one person to serve it, the people are present also. I feel that there, with me, are all Catholics, all believers, and also all those who do not believe. All God's creatures are there — the earth and the sea and the sky, and the animals and plants — the whole of creation giving glory to the Lord.

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