The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

Memorial of Saint John Vianney

Date: 
Fri, 08/04/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

If you invited me to your home for dinner, it would be odd, if not unusual,
to offer me the finest cut of meat from the local butcher, cooked to perfection,
without providing any other dishes to compliment the main course. 
Without potatoes and/or vegetables, without bread, without something to drink,
no matter how good the meat, the meal would be incomplete, partial.
Something would be lacking.
You might think you were being economical.
I might think you to be overly miserly, meager, tight fisted…maybe even stingy.
 
When the Israelites made sacrifice to God,
the offering of an animal’s life was of the greatest value and importance.
However, to offer God this oblation without also offering grain
and offering libations, i.e., something to drink,
would be to slight God.
It would be akin to inviting God to dinner and not offering a variety of dishes,
and not providing something for Him to drink.
The idea and goal was to provide God with a banquet, not just a snack.
The idea and goal was to give God the best of all you had.
(The human tendency is to reserve the best for ourselves and our family.)
 
It was important to the Israelites to establish and maintain communion with God.
And nothing symbolized communion as completely as sharing a banquet with Him.
 
The material, tangible offerings were referred to as oblations.
The animal was an  oblation.  The grain was an oblation.  The libations were oblations.
A person’s possessions, when offered to God in sacrificial service,
were considered to be oblations.
 
The concept of oblation expanded to new understandings when Jesus Christ came into the physical world
and offered himself to the Father, in the sacrifice of the Cross,
for the forgiveness of sin and the salvation of the world.
In total freedom he sacrificed his will to the Father’s will.
He sacrificed his desires to the Father’s plan.
It is said of Mary his mother, and St. Joseph his father
that they offered the oblation of their hearts and all their abilities in love
and placed them at the service of the Messiah growing up in their home.
 
The offering of self to the Lord
became the central and foundational act of freedom for many a saint thereafter.
St. Therese of Lisieux, for example, offered herself to the Merciful Love of God.
“I ask You to consume me incessantly, allowing the waves of infinite tenderness shut up within…
to overflow into my soul, that thus I may become a martyr of Your love, O my God!
“come and take possession of my soul”
“remain in me and never separate Yourself from me”
“consume all my imperfections like the fire that transforms everything into itself.”
 
With Jesus as our example, we offer to God our possession, our abilities, our freedom
not only for our sake, not only to establish and maintain communion with Him.
But also for the sake of the salvation of others.
 
As part of this Eucharist, we join our sacrifice to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ
 
Our prayer today:  “Help me, O Lord, to offer to You as an oblation, the gift of my very self: the best of who I am; the abundance of my abilities.  In turn, reveal to me the mystery of Your saving will and fill me with a new desire to sacrifice my will for Yours.  Amen!”