"a living sacrifice" (rm 12:1)
"I have come to sacrifice to the Lord." —1 Samuel 16:5
Sacrifice is defined as "a giving up of something for the sake of something or someone else." We Catholics are used to making sacrifices, but do we make our whole life "a living sacrifice," as Jesus would have us do? (Rm 12:1) We can do so by:
- participating frequently in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, fully aware that we are sacrificially giving our all to Jesus,
- attending Mass to give back to the Lord (Ps 116:12) rather than thinking of getting something from Him,
- offering the Lord a sacrifice of praise (Ps 50:14, 23), especially if we don't feel like it, and
- joining our every sacrifice with that of Jesus, including sacrifices of our income (by tithing and almsgiving), our heartfelt thanksgiving (Ps 116:17), and prayer (Ps 141:2).
God reveals that mercy (Mt 9:13), obedience (1 Sm 15:22), and love (Hos 6:6) are better than sacrifice. However, He also is pleased by holy, just, and loving sacrifices (Heb 13:16).
Jesus sacrificed the ecstasy of heaven to come to earth and save us. Yet He didn't sacrifice Himself for us out of duty; rather, He sacrificed for us out of sheer, merciful love (Jn 3:16). He gave Himself for us as a sacrifice (Eph 5:2, RNAB), yet it was a sacrifice He greatly desired to make (see Lk 22:15).
Respond to Jesus by sacrificing your entire life to Him from a heart of love and desire.
Prayer: Jesus, I love You so much. I will continually offer You every moment of my life as "a sacrifice of praise" (Heb 13:15).
Promise: "Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart." —1 Sm 16:7
Praise: At age twenty, St. Anthony sold all he had and followed the way of his Master.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 2011
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