There's a moment at Mass that could make us think of a Father's Day card.
This year, the preacher for the Pope and the Curia dedicated his Lenten meditations to the theme of the Eucharist.
On this feast of Corpus Christi, which in some parts of the world is also Father’s Day, we call to mind an image proposed by the preacher, Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa.
While Cardinal Cantalamessa made the comparison to a birthday card, we can replace it today with a Father’s Day card.
The firstborn secretly includes the others
Let’s think of a large family in which there is a son, the firstborn, who admires and loves his father beyond measure. For his birthday he wants to give him a precious gift. Before presenting it to him, however, he secretly asks all his brothers and sisters to put their signature on the gift. This therefore arrives in the hands of the father as a sign of the love of all his children, without distinction, even if, in reality, only one has paid the price for it.
This is what happens in the Eucharistic sacrifice. Jesus admires and loves the Heavenly Father endlessly. He wants to give him every day, until the end of the world, the most precious gift that one can think of, that of his own life. In the Mass he invites all his brothers and sisters to put their signature on the gift, so that it reaches God the Father as the indistinct gift of all his children, even if only one has paid the price for this gift. And what a price!
Where do I sign?
According to Cardinal Cantalamessa, there is a place in the liturgy where this “signing of the card” happens.
Our signature are the few drops of water that are mixed with the wine in the chalice. They are nothing but water, but mixed in the cup they become a single drink. The signature of all is the solemn Amen which the assembly pronounces, or sings, at the end of the doxology: “Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, forever and ever.” “AMEN!”
For Cardinal Cantalamessa, this honor of joining with Christ to present the Father our sacrifice and love speaks of a commitment:
We know that those who have signed a commitment then have the duty to honor their signature. This means that, leaving Mass, we too must make our lives a gift of love to the Father for the good of our brothers and sisters. We, I repeat, are not only called to celebrate the Eucharist, but also to make ourselves a Eucharist. May God help us with this!
You can read the whole of Cardinal Cantalamessa’s beautiful reflection here.