In receiving the sacrament of Holy orders a man becomes a priest.  On the day of his ordination he receives the power to bless, to absolve, and to consecrate. There is, how-ever, another sense in which a man becomes a priest.  It is in celebrating Mass.  It is there that a man becomes a priest in mind and heart.  For it is there that he learns (or should learn) to conform his spirit little by little to the spirit of the mystery he celebrates. It is what might be described as “living the Mass.”. That idea can be applied to everyone, ordained or not.

It is primarily in and through the Mass one becomes more Christ-like. We speak of the sacrifice of the Mass.  We do so because the Mass is a renewal of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary.  It is in suffering that one learns how to participate more fully in the Mass.   To live one’s Mass involves having something of one’s self to place on the paten with the host. To live one’s Mass is simply to gather the set-backs, the contradictions, the sufferings, as well as the joys of each day and unite them to the offering of Christ, the Victim.
To be able to do that there is a technique that is difficult but a technique but must be mastered.  It consists in thinking of the Mass as the sacrifice of Christ being renewed on the altar. Then a person must be able to recognize our altar in the many varied forms it can take throughout the day and place our sacrifice upon it.

Our altar can have various sizes and can take on some strange shapes.  But our altar is always there, if only we could recognize it.  Only too often it is hidden from us.  Unfortunately, we are all subject to a kind of blindness, resulting from our sinfulness, our self- centeredness, which effectively prevents us from seeing beyond the trivia, the common-place events, and the monotony of our everyday lives.  It is an instance of familiarity fogging our vision.

But it precisely there, in the events of our everyday lives, if it is anywhere at all, that figuratively, the wheat is ground, the grapes are crushed, and the offering is prepared, the loving offering of self that is to be united to the loving sacrifice of Christ.