Pope Francis at Audience: Preparation of gifts at Mass also an opportunity to offer ourselves
During his catechesis on the Mass at the Wednesday General Audience, Pope Francis transitioned from the Liturgy of the Word to the Eucharist. As the rite begins with the preparation of the gifts, the pope says this invites us to also present our own lives as an offering.
By offering ourselves completely to the Lord, Pope Francis says we are also asking for the grace to live out our vocation to the fullest.
SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS
“Dear brothers and sisters,
In our catechesis on the Mass, we now turn from the Liturgy of the Word to the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Following the Lord’s command at the Last Supper to “do this in memory of me,” the Church at every Mass makes sacramentally present the sacrifice of the New Covenant sealed by Jesus on the altar of the cross. The Liturgy of the Eucharist begins with the Preparation of the Gifts of bread and wine which will then be consecrated in the Eucharistic Prayer and received by the faithful in Holy Communion. The rite of the Preparation of the Gifts invites us to present our own lives as a spiritual offering together with the gifts we bring to the altar.
The Prayer which concludes this rite voices our confidence that the Church’s offering will be transformed by the Holy Spirit and become a sacrifice pleasing to the Father, in union with the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. At every Mass, may we experience the Preparation of the Gifts as an invitation to offer our lives completely to the Lord, in order to receive from him the grace to live ever more fully our vocation to grow in holiness and to serve the coming of his Kingdom.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from England, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Slovakia and the United States of America. With prayerful good wishes that this Lent will be a time of grace and spiritual renewal for you and your families, I invoke upon all of you joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!”