Now This is Communion

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Jesus Last Supper Eucharist Mass

There is an estimated (at least) 350,000 Catholic Masses celebrated every day on planet Earth. It is celebrated in every nook and cranny on the planet, by every race and nationality, and using every language. And each of these Masses is celebrated (generally) using the same scripture readings and the same prayers.

Every single one of these 350,000 Masses is actually doing exactly what Jesus said to do in scripture (Luke 22:19, 1 Cor 11:23-29) when he said “Do this in memory of me.” Catholics live that out as a Church over 350,000 times a day. That means there are 4 priests saying those precise words, “Do this in memory of me,” every single second of every single day.

Every one of these Masses is literally and continually making present Christ’s (once and for all) sacrifice on Calvary for all mankind. At any second you can join your own prayers to one. And we don’t only worship in union with those still living here on Earth, we are also joined by heaven’s saints and angels at every Mass.

When you participate in a Catholic Mass, you are participating in the same celebration as these other 350,000 daily Masses all over the world (you wanna talk about a “mega-church”?). We are all joined in the same readings and prayers and we partake of the same, specific Eucharist. And the rest of the time, when we are living out our faith outside of Mass, there are (literally) a billion other Catholics around the world continually offering it up on our behalf.

Now that’s unity (John 17:11). That’s communion.

27 comments Add comment

Angelica Quinonez August 30, 2010 at 11:02 am

And this is a fantastic post! Thanks for the perspective, Matt.

Chris Wright August 31, 2010 at 2:11 am

Great post! Hits the solidarity button.

Craig Stewart August 31, 2010 at 11:17 am

It reminds me of a favourite good work of mine.

“Our Lord told St. Gertrude that the following prayer will release 1000 souls from Purgatory each time it is said:

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most previous blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.”

A simple and pious woman elucidated something from this prayer that all my philosophical training could not first comprehend. That when these 1000 souls are released, they begin to pray for you up in heaven. Now thats communion!

Marc Cardaronella August 31, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Not only that, but we’re joined to all the saints and angels in heaven who are continually worshipping the Blessed Trinity night and day! Now that’s communion!

Matthew Warner August 31, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Marc – most definitely! I should have included that for sure. In fact, I updated the post since you mentioned that. Thank you for noting this oversight! Peace!

Brian Sullivan August 31, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Matt, could you clarify something, please? Are you taking about all the rites of the Catholic Church in the 350,000 figure or just the Roman rite?

caroltollefson August 31, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I KNEW IT! !!!!!!!!

Tim Carpenter August 31, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Very cool! Thanks for putting that into perspective. If you don’t mind I would like to copy this to put into a handout to use when I teach about Mass in RCIA and in other adult education opportunities. I’ll give credit to you and the website.

Matthew Warner August 31, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Go for it! Thanks!

Kaisar August 31, 2010 at 4:37 pm

I love being Catholic!!!!

Jim August 31, 2010 at 6:01 pm

When I was on my parish assignment during seminary formation, this was exactly (although I didn’t have numbers) how I explained why we use liturgy, have set prayers, etc. to the RCIA class. We’re one Church world-wide, and this way all Catholics pray together.

Incidentally, much the same is true of the Divine Office.

Louise Stramondo August 31, 2010 at 9:22 pm

One of the best emails I have gotten in a long time. It is something you kind of know buit when you hear the numbers and really absorb it. The truth of it all becomes so really awsome. Glad I have stayed and grown in the Church Jesus started for us.

Jake in Pittsburgh September 1, 2010 at 3:03 am

I would also add that, when we confront sin, when we confront a choice to bring us closer to God or move us further away, we can recall this enormous Communion to strengthen our resolve.

susan September 1, 2010 at 2:15 pm

This is great. I never think about this. Thanks.

Chris September 1, 2010 at 8:22 pm

What you forgot to mention was that the form of Mass we offer has only been in existence since 1970. Only 17 % of prefaces (orations) are the kept from the older Mass, we have 3 new Eucharistic prayers and the Feasts and reading cycle all of ancient origin all enculturated removed, replaced, or played with.
Back n the 1950’s an article like this was regularly seen in Catholic publications.
Of course that was in the days when the Mass could be called ancient.
On top of this “Modernist” attack by the now discredited Bugnini we have been using a bad translation of an already “distorted” 1970 Mass. That is why we are having a new translation next year.
So outside the words of consecration “this is my….” etc we havea valid Mass but a Mass stripped of apostolic tradition as guarded by the diocese of Rome.

Inge September 2, 2010 at 6:11 am

Chris,
I suggest you do some studying on how the early Christians said Mass. You will see it looks much more like the Novus Ordo then the Tridentine Mass. This is also one of the many reasons Novus Ordo came into existance.

Even the Tridentine Rite isn’t “ancient”. Tridentine = From Trent = Council of Trent (1545-1563). If the Rite woud be ancient and widely used at that time, there wouldn’t be a need for the Council of Trent to come up with that Tridentine Rite.

Just something to ponder upon. And my two cents.

Benjamin Kwaghgba October 15, 2010 at 3:05 am

Good point made there … thanks.

Brian Sullivan September 2, 2010 at 9:14 am

Let’s not go down the rabbit hole of Novus Ordo and the Mass of Pope John XXIII Pope Pius V or any other. The point is that even with the different liturgies, we are still united in Christ as Matthew pointed out.

Michael Ecoben July 21, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Thank you very much for this nice post. I really appreciate all your posts. This is Mike from the Philippines. God bless you!

Nancy November 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Nice going Matt. I heard a stat about7 years ago how the Eucharist is the most important thing in the world, how many times the Mass is celebrated on a daily basis and how many more on Sunday. Cant find that resource now.
Keep the faith and God bless!

Virge September 17, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Thanks for your Post and for all the comments and insights. Indeed the Holy Spirit works so marvelously and beautifully in all of God’s children.
We are indeed one body, with different gifts, and Jesus – in the Holy Eucharist – as our Head.
I am always excited to learning more about our Catholic Faith…
I hope to hear and read more.
God is indeed an awesome God for giving me this chance reading your posts.
All glory and praises to our Father God.

Chris F September 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Inge spoken like a real child of the 60’s. The 1970 Mass is has more that was made up in the 1960’s. But the Tridentine Mass is only republished after the Council of Trent but is identitical to the earliest books that exist. It is the Mass of Pope Gregory the Great. Ancient.. The Novus ordo Mass is just a fantasy made up by a loaded commitee the leader of which Archbishop Bugnini was a freemason. Paul VI sent him to Iran ! Pope Benedict called it a manufactured liturgy. Not an organic. Let’s change the Mass and imagine what it was like! Imagine! If you can imagine that then you can imagine anything including making it all up. Like the Protestants. If you can change the Mass then anything can be changed!

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