What greater way can a man demonstrate his love than to lay down his life for another? When a woman is pregnant she gives the child in her womb everything she has... In a greater way the Lord gives us His very self in the Mass, saying, "I gave my life for you. All I have is available to nourish you and make you healthy and strong..."

A powerful story came out in the newspapers about the 1988 Armenian earthquake that killed 50,000 people. In the collapse of an apartment building, Susanna Petrosyana and her four-year-old daughter, Gayaney, fell from the fifth floor to the basement and were pinned under wreckage, barely in reach of each other. Susanna discovered a 1-1/2 pound jar of blackberry jam nearby and on the second day gave the entire jar to Gayaney to eat. After awhile, when the jam was gone, the dehydrated child sobbed, "Mommy, I need to drink." Susanna later told reporters, "I thought my child was going to die of thirst... I had no water, no fruit juice, no liquids. It was then I remembered that I had my own blood." She found a piece of broken glass and began cutting her hand, and put it to her child's mouth. She knew she was going to die, but wanted her child to live. She doesn't remember what day she cut open her fingers, or how many times she used the method to feed her daughter. On the eighth day of their captivity they were found by rescue workers...

Our lives as Christians involve daily sacrifice. We come to Mass primarily to sacrifice in union with the life and death of Jesus... In our repentance, our forgiveness, our renewal of the covenant, we grow in the ability to lay down our lives.

Healing Through the Mass
Fr. Robert DeGrandis, S.S.J.