ON HEARING MASS DURING THE SEASON OF CHRISTMAS
Such is the number and importance of the feasts kept during this holy season, that even those of the faithful who have not the habit of hearing Mass daily at other times look upon it as a sort of duty to do so now: and rightly; for the Lamb, who is offered up in this Divine Sacrifice, is he whom they have been asking of the Eternal Father with so much earnestness during Advent, in those words of the Prophet Isaias: Send forth, O Lord, the Lamb, the Ruler of the Earth [Isa. xvi, 1].
This tender Lamb is come; the child is born unto us [Ibid. ix, 6], and even now is on the Altar of his Sacrifice. St Paul tells us that this Jesus, on his first entrance into the world, said to his Father: Sacrifice and oblation thou wiliest not; but a Body thou hast fitted unto me. Then said I; behold I come: to do thy will, O God [Heb. x, 5]. It is true that the Sacrifice of the Cross, of which that of the Mass is the continuation, was the Sacrifice of Christ at the end of his three-and-thirty years; still, during these days of Christmas, when we have so much to learn from the mystery of the Sacred Infancy, we shall be in strict accordance with the spirit of the Church if, whilst assisting at Mass, we keep before our minds not only the bleeding Victim of Calvary, but likewise the sweet Lamb of Bethlehem. Moreover, does not our Jesus offer himself for us to his Father from his Crib as well as from his Cross? Thus, we read in the Acts of the Saints, that as often as this our Redeemer wished to requite the faith and love of his servants by manifesting to them his real Presence in the sacred Host, he appeared to them in the form of a lovely Babe.