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Fr. Matt
Site Owner
Posts: 382

What is the benefit for having an intention for each Mass?

June 12, 2014 at 11:33 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Fr. Matt
Site Owner
Posts: 382

     Here’s a question that was submitted recently, and I would wager that there are several of us who don’t have a clue as to what is being asked. What is this intention that you are referring to?

     When we celebrate the Mass, we are celebrating the Sacrament of the Eucharist in which Jesus sacrifices His Body and Blood for us – giving them to us under the appearances of bread and wine. This sacrifice of Jesus, which takes place both at the Last Supper and on the Cross at Calvary, is what redeems the whole world. It is the greatest power in the whole universe. That’s why Jesus commanded us to “Do This (in memory of Me).”

     Jesus did this for us. We do this for ourselves and all who are dear to us: “for the redemption of their souls, in hope of health and well-being, and paying their homage to You, the eternal God, living and true.” During the Eucharist prayer at each Mass, we pray for the whole “Church, spread throughout the world”; for [Francis] our pope, and [David] our bishop; for “the peace and salvation of all the world”; for all God’s “children scattered throughout the world”; for all those who are not yet members of the Church, but who nonetheless “seek [God] with a sincere heart”; for “our departed brothers and sisters”; and for “us, also, [God’s] servants, who, though sinners, hope in [His] abundant mercies”. Whew, that’s quite an exhaustive list of folks that we are praying for.

     But, you might have noticed that it’s also a rather generalized list – there aren’t any specific individuals named above (aside from our current pope and bishop). But, even as Jesus’ love is universal in scope, it’s also particular in focus. That is to say, Jesus not only loves all mankind; He also very much loves you; and those you care deeply for. He died for the salvation of the world; but it’s just a true that He died for you. Therefore, when we offer Mass (the sacrifice of Jesus), we can offer it for individual intentions as well as for the whole world. In other words, we can offer it for someone as well as for everyone. One of the greatest gifts I (as a priest) can give someone is to say: I will offer Mass for you or for your mother or for your friend. Doing so connects this person directly with the saving act of Jesus Himself!

     The Church requires me, as a pastor, to offer Mass each weekend for all the souls entrusted to my care (this is referred to as a Mass for the People). She also allows people like you to request to have a Mass said for your specific intention. Generally, people make a small token donation when doing so in order to help defray the costs of having a Mass (building, heat, bread, wine, candles, etc.).

     There’s much more that could be said here, but I hope that this gives some insights into your question. As always, thanks for asking! And if you have further questions or insights or another way of looking at this question, please log on to www.stanthonyniagara.org in the “Ask Father” section of the forums to share your thoughts. Until next week, may you and your loved ones have a blessed Easter season!

 

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Fr. Matt

June 12, 2014 at 11:34 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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