But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
No one sees it happening. Not with our natural eyes, anyway. The priest – an ordinary man given an extraordinary privilege – holds bread and wine aloft, speaks a prayer of consecration, and the Holy Spirit supernaturally transubstantiates them into the body and blood, soul and divinity of our God-who-took-the-form-of-Man.
Sunday Morning at Mass
A mixed-media creation by Nancy Maffeo
No one sees it happening. Not with our natural eyes, anyway. During that time of the Mass, our time intersects with eternal time, a time in which time does not exist; certainly not as we understand time. And we are there, at the whipping post, two thousand years ago as we count time. His blood oozes from strips of flesh across his back and arms and legs and buttocks sliced open by the Roman whip. Blood oozes and drops to the pavement at His feet.
No one sees it happening. Not with our natural eyes, anyway. God carries the cross laid across His bloody shoulders. Soldiers push Him along the Via Dolorosa, flogging Him again and again with their whips. Mocking Him with their jeers. Wetting Him with their spittle. And His blood continues to ooze and to drop onto the pavement beneath His feet.
No one sees it happening. Not with our natural eyes, anyway. He stops at the top of Calvary’s hill. Soldiers throw Him down onto the cross He carried. They grab His hands and feet – they grab God’s hands and feet – and hammer spikes into His battered flesh.
No one sees it happening. Not with our natural eyes, anyway. But at each Mass the faithful can follow with their eyes of faith the drops of blood, like pearls of great price, glistening along the path from whipping post to splintered cross, the path which only the God-Man could walk, which only the God-Man could transform from a place of death to a throne of eternal life.
No one sees it happening. Not with our natural eyes, anyway. But it happens at every Mass.