In today's gospel a curious and contemplative scribe meditated on Jesus' words and actions and took a leap of faith in asking Jesus' what he considered to be the most important aspect of worshipping God. And Jesus pointed to the Love of God and the Love of neighbor, as oneself, as the sum of the teaching found in the Law and the Prophets. And the scribe agreed, adding that the Love of God, and the Love of neighbor, as oneself, 'is far more important that any holocaust or sacrifice.'
Today's Gospel: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/030813.cfm
But what does this mean for our lives and, in reference, to the Sacrifice of the Eucharist?
First, and foremost, Love of God means trust in Someone (revealed) greater than ourselves. It means belief in purpose and objective Truth. Love of God can only come in the meeting of faith and reason. And faith and reason can only come in the meeting of grace, Revelation, and receptivity. Revelation is most accurately summed up in Sacred Scripture. But since we are not God, and have not lived for time immemorial, we must rely on the faith, and insight of our family, the family of ancient times, the Church.
Catholic Tradition and Living Teaching Authority: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15006b.htm
So you see the 'Love of God' is no abstract, relative, purely subjective thing!
For Jesus didn't just say 'Love God.' Jesus said: "...you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength." So Jesus calls us to Love God in an Incarnate manner with our heart, soul, mind and strength. This means that everything we do from Sunday Mass, through weekday work, and weekday chore, and weekday family fun, all the way back to Sunday Mass, everything should be done in, with, and through the Love of God. And this involves every aspect of our humanity to include our thoughts, emotions, acts, desires, intentions, and sacrifices.
The Incarnation of Jesus Christ: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07706b.htm
But aren't we, honestly, fallen and imperfect to the task?
Surely we are. And that is why we are always in need of a Savior. For the only man who truly Loved God, and neighbor as Himself, was, and always will be, Jesus Christ our Lord, both God and man. And that is why the Eucharist is no mere holocaust or sacrifice, but the very living, perpetual Sacrifice of Jesus Himself, in recognition of our weaknesses and failures to Love God and our neighbor as ourselves. The Eucharist is a Thank Offering to God in His Generous, yet undeserved, Mercy in Jesus His Son. The Eucharist, moreover, is the perpetual Sacrifice of Jesus Himself, the greatest act of Love in history! For us! Accomplished once (bloody) in time! This Sacrifice is perpetuated through the Love of God so that we can become one with His Love, and Love our neighbor as ourselves.
The Eucharistic Sacrifice: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10006a.htm
And that is why Catholics have confession, and the Eucharist, so that through God's forgiveness, and the Real Presence of Jesus, we can, each and every day, little by little, grow to Love God, and our neighbor as ourselves, more fully, in every little thing we do.
And that, my friends, is what it means to be Catholic.