In the opening prayer of today’s liturgy, we pray “to attain the grace of the resurrection,” a grace secured for us by Jesus’ obedience to the Father unto death. Jesus submitted to death for our sake. He accepted His passion with all of its sufferings: submitting to being arrested with chains and clubs, to being betrayed by one of the apostles, to being falsely accused, of being scourged, crowned with thorns, mocked, being hit in the face and spit upon, to His beard being plucked, to being insulted while dying upon the cross for our disobedience. Jesus did all of this in order to show God’s love and determination to redeem us from our sins against humanity and against God. Jesus did whatever it took to reconcile us to God and to one another in accord with the Father’s will! Jesus suffered, died, was buried and rose from the dead. Death and Satan had no power over Him.
In Christ Jesus, we, too, will overcome satanic forces in our lives and rise from the dead with Jesus at the end of our trial here on earth. In gratitude, we offer Jesus’ body and blood in the Sacrifice of the Mass, praising God with all of the angels and saints in heaven and on earth for the "grace of the resurrection,"--the gift of our salvation--and, yes, begging for God’s ongoing mercy upon all of humankind, especially as we choose to worship other gods, ignore the needy, falsely accuse others of wrongdoing they did not commit or let those engaged in evil go scotch free, allowing leaders to enact corrupt decisions that will bring harm to ourselves and others, especially innocent children.
How appropriate the prayer over the gifts of bread and wine that we prayed today at the liturgy: “Receive, O Lord, we pray, the offerings made here, and graciously grant that, celebrating your Son’s Passion in mystery, we may experience the grace of its effects. Through Christ our Lord.