The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: A Primer
for Clueless Catholics
“I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore, Toto”
we have discovered that
HE IS THERE.
From the beginning of time men and women have
sought God. Today we seek Him still ... and
we have found Him.
You have entered the Church and are about to
pass beyond, as it were, the gates that lead
to the vestibule of Heaven ... which is timeless.
Beyond those doors you will encounter, as much
as is possible in this life, something very
like Heaven where the past, the future, and
the eternal are present. History, understood
as something past – as events that once occurred
but have receded into a frame of time no longer
available to us – is, or soon will be, gathered
up into the present and be enacted once again
before you. It is not that the present time
has left us, as that the present has penetrated
the past, and the past the present, so that
we can no longer speak of some things that once
occurred (although they did occur at some definite
point in history, in time), but only of things
occurring now, here, presently, immediately
before us. The past, in a very real sense, becomes
present to us – not as a memory, but as a present
Do you remember the sequence in the Wizard
of Oz in which Dorothy’s house is swept up
in a tornado, spun relentlessly in the furious
skies, and dropped suddenly, not in Kansas from
which it was uprooted, but in the Land of Oz?
Dorothy approaches the door warily. Up to that
point in the movie, all is in black and white
— and then ... as Dorothy opens the door, beyond
which lies the new world, a effulgence of magnificent
color is revealed to her, pours in upon her.
It is a world of recognizable things, by and
large, but they are suddenly invested with unspeakable
life and color and beauty. Hidden from her eyes,
however, at least at first, are the people who
dwell there, the yet unseen.
This is a metaphor for your standing before
the doors that lead into Church, into the place
where the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will
be enacted, celebrated.
You leave the whirlwind of the world behind
you, and all the gray and lifeless things that
accompany you every day of the week except this
day. Beyond the door is a new world, a world
of things unseen by the eyes — but a strange
inversion occurs. With eyes wide in astonishment,
Dorothy opened the door and entered a new world.
With us, that new world of unspeakable life
and beauty will be revealed to us ... when we
close our eyes.
As the eyes of the body close, the eyes of faith
And what they will see, discover to us, reveal,
will touch the fiber of our being ... and more
than touch it, transform it!
What we have learned today:
The Mass is Timeless
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