Fr. Louis Guardiola, C.P.M.
What is sacrifice?
Sacrifice is the highest form of adoration in which a duly authorized priest in the name of the people offers a victim in acknowledgment of God’s supreme dominion and of total human dependence on God. The victim is at least partially removed from human use and to that extent more or less destroyed as an act of submission to the Divine majesty. Thus sacrifice is not only an oblation. Where an oblation offers something to God, a sacrifice immolates or gives up what is sacrificed. In sacrifice the gift offered is something precious completely surrendered by the one making the sacrifice as a token of humble recognition of God’s sovereignty.
The New Testament Sacrifice of the Mass instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ at the Last Supper, is the central act of worship and prayer of The Catholic faith. The Mass is a late form of the Latin “ Missio” (sending out) from which the faithful are sent out to put into practice what they have learned from the Mass, the Eucharistic liturgy and the homily with the graces they have received from all these.
The Council Of Trent defined the Mass as, “The same Christ who offered Himself once I an bloody manner on the altar of the Cross, is present and offered in an unbloody manner.” Consequently, the Mass is a truly a propitiatory sacrifice which means that by this oblation, “The Lord is appeased, He grants grace and the gift of repentance, and He pardons wrongdoings and sins, even grave ones. For it is one and the same victim. He who now makes the offering through the ministry of the priests and He who then offered on the Cross. The only difference is in the manner of the offering” (Denzinger 1743).