What is a perfect sacrifice?
Words like “perfect” are really hard for me to grasp. Being obviously imperfect (just ask my wife) I struggle to even comprehend perfection.
So, when I hear a phrase like a “perfect sacrifice,” I struggle.
Now, I do know the human concept of sacrifice. We’ve all had to sacrifice something at some point in order to achieve a greater goal. But, those, by their very nature, are selfish, as they are for our own benefit.
There are also selfless sacrifices, where you’ll hear of parents doing with less so their children will have opportunities they did not have themselves.
Or the works of the Saints (and future Saints) like that of Mother Theresa.
And then we hear about Jesus perfect sacrifice on the cross and, for Catholics, that extends to the celebration of the Mass.
As one priest said “if you take every sacrifice made by every human since the beginning of time and combine that with all of the blood of all of the martyrs in human history, it would not equate to the sacrifice of a single Mass.”
Because, combining imperfection can never reach perfection. I thought about that for a while and a math analogy is the best I could come up with to help me fathom this concept.
Let’s say Jesus sacrifice on the Cross and available in the Mass = ∞
That means that no matter how many numbers you add up together, you’ll never reach infinity.
Even if we could weigh individual sacrifices in some sort of numerical value, adding them up gets you no closer to infinity.
1 + 345 + 60,000 + 4,678 vs. ∞
It’s the reason Catholics offer Masses for passed loved ones. Granted, we SHOULD pray for those souls in Purgatory, but nothing we do here is more powerful than the perfect sacrifice found in the Mass, because it is God’s sacrifice.
So, we should never take the Mass for granted, no matter how many times we’ve attended. For, at each Mass, Jesus’ perfect, singular and eternal sacrifice is made available to us.
And it’s that perfect sacrifice that has healed the rift caused by our imperfection, by our sin.
We are so blessed to have such a selfless and loving God!