The Three Things We Believe In

st albans psalter road to emmaus

When the Lord Jesus walked with Cleopas and the other disciple on the way to Emmaus on Easter Sunday, He chided them for their lack of faith. “How foolish you are!  How slow of heart to believe!” [Spanish]

How slow of heart to believe. Are we slow of heart to believe?

To believe in God means to trust Him completely. We humble ourselves before the One in Whom we believe. We are all of us defenseless children, before the One in Whom we believe.

When we believe in God, we fulfill ourselves. He made us in His image and likeness. If we put our deepest trust in anyone or anything else, other than God, we will be betrayed. But if we love God with childlike hearts, we find the solid bedrock of absolutely reliable Truth.

If we are not foolish and slow of heart, we believe not just in God, but also in the Christ of God. We believe in the Son sent by the heavenly Father. By virtue of our faith in God, we can behold Christ, our brother, for Who He truly is: the eternal Son of the eternal Father, our divine Savior.

Velázquez cena in emmaus

The Christ offered Himself, in the sacrifice of pure divine love, for our sakes, on the cross. He rose from the dead. And He took His seat in the glory of heaven, where He reigns as High Priest and King. We do not hesitate to trust this King of Love, and to rely on Him completely.

We have to. We need Him. We need air, food, and a roof over our heads. We need Jesus Christ more.

Not only that. We Christian believers, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, recognize Christ in the breaking of the bread. Faith in Almighty God. Faith in God’s Son, the Christ. Faith in the Mass.

The Church did not make up the Mass; Christ made up the Mass, and by doing so, He made the Church. The Church did not make up the sacred priesthood; Christ made up the sacred priesthood, and by doing so, He made the Church. The Church did not say ‘This is my Body,’ and ‘This is my Blood;’ Christ said ‘This is my Body,’ and ‘This is my Blood,’ and by doing so, He made the Church.

chaliceLord Jesus gathered His Apostles, entrusting His divine Body and Blood to them by His infallible words, and then He offered that same Body and Blood on the cross. His own words make clear the inseparable connection between the Mass and the cross:  “This is my Body, which will be given up for you;” “This is my Blood, which will be shed for you.”

In other words, to believe in the Mass is to believe in the Redemption, and to believe in the Redemption is to believe in the Holy Mass. The Mass and the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus are the same thing. The Church did not make this up; Christ made this up, and in doing so, He made the Church.

The dejected disciples on the road to Emmaus did not understand the Holy Eucharist that Jesus had instituted. They thought that Jesus’ condemnation and death involved a terrible tragedy. They didn’t realize that it was a religious sacrifice, that it was the sacrifice of divine love. They thought their beloved rabbi had suffered a crushing defeat. They didn’t realize that, on the cross, love triumphed. Jesus gave Himself to the Father, for us, with perfect love.

Pope St. John Paul II put it like this:

The sacrifice of our redemption is so decisive for the human race that Jesus Christ offered it and returned to the Father only after he had left us a means of sharing in it, as if we had been present there.

Namely, the Holy Mass.

So: No, not foolish or slow of heart to believe. No. We believe! We believe in God. We believe in Christ. We believe in the Mass. And we long, with everything we have, to unite again at the holy altar.

4 thoughts on “The Three Things We Believe In

  1. I Believe and am so grateful for our Lords gift to us. So wonderfully put Father Mark. Thank you.

  2. What a treasure we have in the Holy Mass! These past several weeks have been extremely difficult for me without the sacraments of Confession and receiving Jesus in Holy Communion. I am much more appreciative of this awesome gift from our Jesus and will no longer take it for granted. St. Padre Pio once remarked that the world could sooner survive without the sun than it could the Mass! Thank you Father Mark for saying “YES” to the priesthood and for the manner in which you say the Mass with the utmost care and reverence.

  3. Thank you, Father Mark. I have come to understand during tthis time of physical separation from my Church community and the Sacraments…by the grace of God I am immersed in the totalaitfy of the life of Jesus. From His humble birth to His death on a cross… His is the ultimate gift of unconditional love for me personally. If I do not see it as such I have missed the message. Every lash that ripped His flesh,, every insult He bore, every horrendous pain He suffered was for me. I am not excluded from the Passion but am a major part of it. I rejoice that my sin binds me to Him for only my transgressions weave the tapestry of my life with His. He came not for the saved but for the sinner. I claim this as truth and wear His mantle of mercy, grace and love humbly. Or at least that’s my intent and I pray He sees this in my heart. The disciples who lived with Jesus 3 years had a hard time believing how all of this could be true. Their anxiety brings much hope to me.

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