The Sacrifice of the Mass is one of God’s greatest gifts to Catholics. Attending Mass can be equated with being permitted to stand at the feet of Christ during His Crucifixion, since the Sacrifice of the Cross and the Sacrifice of the Mass are the same sacrifice. They both fulfill the five sacrificial conditions in the same way. Both sacrifices have a visible gift that is immolated or offered to God by an authorized person for religious purposes. The final condition is that the sacrifice be accepted by God, and He accepts both the Sacrifice of the Cross and the Sacrifice of the Mass.
The word sacrifice comes from the two Latin words, sacer (sacred) and facere (to make). This would rightly imply that a sacrifice is something that is given to God for His service, which makes it sacred. Sacrifice is the highest form of worship that can be paid to God. The principal purpose of sacrifice is to give honor and glory to God. Throughout the history of the world, every civilization has offered some form of sacrifice to their gods. In the Old Law (before the coming of Christ) the chief sacrifices of the Hebrews were bloody sacrifices. These sacrifices prefigured the sacrifice of the New Law, or the Sacrifice of the Cross, which is the most perfect sacrifice ever made.
The sacrifice of the Cross is the perfect sacrifice because it fulfilled all the sacrificial conditions in the most perfect ways possible. The visible gift was the Son of God, both as Victim and as Priest. He offered Himself to God the Father at the Last Supper and was immolated on the Cross. His sacrifice was accepted by God. It was made to give honor and glory to God, to expiate the sins of men and to merit the grace of salvation for men.
Though the Sacrifice of the Cross was the most perfect sacrifice, all sacrifice was not meant to cease once it had occurred. All religions have sacrifices. Therefore, Christianity, the perfect religion, must have a perfect sacrifice. The New Law is a fulfillment of the Old Law. The Old Law had sacrifices which prefigured a perpetual sacrifice in the New Law. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the perpetual renewal of the Sacrifice of the Cross. The “Eternal Victim,” Jesus Christ, is offered through the Church by the priest and the faithful. The Sacrifice of the Mass gives honor and glory to God and gives graces to the souls of the faithful. God accepts the Sacrifice of the Mass which is the continuation of the Sacrifice of the Cross.
The Sacrifices of the Cross, and the Sacrifice of the Mass are not two separate sacrifices, but one. This is shown by the way that each fulfills the sacrificial conditions. Saint Thomas Aquinas says: “And if it be objected to this that we offer daily, I reply that we do not offer other than that which Christ offered for us, namely, His Blood. Hence ours is not another sacrifice, but is the commemoration of that Sacrifice which Christ offered, as we read in Luke: “This do for a commemoration of Me.”” In the Sacrifice of the Mass, the priest does exactly what Christ did at the Last Supper. How grateful should Catholics be to God, who allows them the privilege of assisting at the Sacrifice of the Mass, the same sacrifice as the one which paid their debt to God!
Laux, John. Mass and the Sacraments. Charlotte: Tan Books, 2013