At the Offertory of the Holy Mass, the priest first puts wine in the chalice. Then he has to add a few drops of water. Thus, our Lord’s role and ours are symbolized, together with the proportional value of His action and ours. The wine alone would suffice for the licitness of the Consecration. Nevertheless, the drops of water must be added, and by the effect of the Divine words of Consecration, they are changed, as well as the wine, into the Precious Blood.
Granted, our part in the Redemption of the world is infinitesimally small; what are a few drops of water? But God requires it and He transubstantiates this tiny addition by uniting it with His own offering. This mere nothing becomes all-powerful, in virtue of the power communicated to it by God. Thanks to this “nothing” which has become “something,” souls will be ransomed. Without the offering of this “nothing” – so intrinsically insignificant and yet so really precious, on account of our union with Christ – many souls would probably be lost. The world needs all its potential saviors: it needs Jesus, its chief Savior, it Savior par excellence; it needs each one of us, who are called to co-operate with Him in the redemption of the world. As Lacordaire says: “The human race had perished as a whole, by men’s solidarity, that is to say by its corporeal and moral union with Adam its origin. Hence, it was fitting that humanity should be saved in the measure and manner of its loss, that is by the means of solidarity. Where the solidarity of evil had lost all, by the solidarity of good, all has been re-established.”
We are almost ignorant of our greatness as Christians, if we do not know our obligation of sharing in the work of Redemption. If we try to shirk our part, we are omitting a most noble as well as a most peremptory, duty.
The Ideal of Reparation
Raoul Plus, S.J.