Today was one of those Sundays when I only realized what I wanted to preach at the last minute. Without enough time to put it together in my head, and with the distraction--for me and the people--of our new pet pigeons flying about the church, it was kind of a mess.
But here's the thing, why the Mass is such a big deal. It's not enough for God just to save us, or even just to save us through the Passion and death of his Son. God wants us to be involved, to participate in, perpetuate, and multiply salvation in the world. This is why Jesus institutes the memorial of his own sacrifice in the bread and wine of the Last Supper, to extend his saving work forward in time, in such a way that is accessible for us. He doesn't just save us, but offers us a way to join ourselves to the salvation, to unite ourselves to the sacrifice of Christ and thus be transformed into the heirs of his mission as his risen Body.
This is the error of those outside the apostolic Churches who say that they don't need the Eucharist; Jesus died on the Cross once for all, the sacrifice is over, and all you have to do is assent to the salvation that was won for you. Yes, Jesus died on the Cross once for all. Yes, the sacrifice is accomplished and completed. Yes, salvation has already been won. But everything about the mystery of Christ, suggests that God wants to go beyond simply saving us from a distance; he wants to embed his salvation in our humanity. Those who deny the Eucharist and disregard the perpetuating nature of the passion, death, and resurrection of the Lord within it fail to take the Incarnation seriously. That's the point. The one sacrifice is extended through time in the Mass to give us a way into it, and it a way into us.
The Word became flesh so that we, in our flesh, might too become bearers of the Word.