"Agnus Dei" or "Lamb of God", originates from John the Baptist. John proclaimed Jesus as the “Lamb of God who takes way the sins of the world” -John 1: 29. By saying or singing the Agnus Dei, we are confirming the act of consecration (transubstantiation*) that just happened on the alter. And by participating in it, it calls us back, each of the many times we attend mass to the Last Supper. It is our chance to be a part of the breaking of the bread and our chance to witness the breaking of the bread. It is in no means a new sacrifice, or a re-sacrifice. This is the original & same ultimate sacrifice. Every time we receive Jesus and watch the bread transform into His body, it is not like a magic trick that is ‘new’ every time it is repeated. It is the ultimate sacrifice that we participate in at every mass; it is universal and never changes.
Since mass is a continuation of the Last Supper, and as we all share at the Eucharistic Table, it is a sign of how we are all united in the Body of Christ. When I travelled abroad, I couldn’t always understand the readings, or the prayers that I know like I know my own name. Yet, the minute the gifts were brought up and the priest was at the altar, there was no denying what part of the mass we were at. That is universal - that is unity in the Body of Christ.
We, as a Body of Christ, aren’t just being given a gift but the best one: the Body and Blood of our Lord! And we are called to treat that gift in such a way. We are to go and receive Holy Communion with the realization of the gift we are being given. Through gratitude, we should not only realize the mere blessing of receiving this gift which is God, but that we are also witnessing miracle. This is the moment where heaven kisses earth! This is the moment where bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Our Lord. If we enter this moment with utmost respect and gratitude we are fully participating in the Mass and the continuation of the Last Supper.
Meditation question: If we truly believe that this is the Body & Blood of Jesus, would we act any differently than we do now?
*"Transubstantiation": a fancy word used by the Catholic Church to define the moment where actual carb-o-licious bread & wine become the true, real, complete, holy Body, Blood, Soul, & Divinity of Christ Jesus. (For more info, because it's a bigger topic than we can go into here, this is a great resource by Catholic Online & New Advent).
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