Yesterday, I taught a baptism preparation class. Not a new thing for me.
My 'method' is to give a short course in Catholic parenting. Most of the couples I see are not regular churchgoers. Many are not sacramentally married.
Yesterday afternoon, I was washing the dishes in the kitchen. At my feet, I saw a shred of an advertizer my 2yo had destroyed.
There was an ad for clothing. I saw the last part of the word "sacrifice" on the paper. I had to think for a minute what the word sacrifice had to do with sweaters. I realized it must have been an ad exhorting the reader that they didn't have to sacrifice quality for price, or something like that.
I initially thought that this was a mis-use of the word. But given how the word is often used today, it's not such a bad usage.
But we've wandered away from the original meaning of the word.
In my talk to the young parents, I emphasize to them that their children are part of God's plan to get them into heaven. Children cause parents to see outside themselves. As I thought of this yesterday, I realized I could say that parents make 'sacrifices' for their children. Beautiful tie-in...
The word sacrifice comes from two latin words. the 'fice' part comes from the latin word 'to make'. The 'sacri' part comes from the latin word for 'holy'.
Sacrifice means to make holy. Wow! So it makes sense that parents make 'sacrifices' for their children. What they are giving up is being made holy, just as the parent is being made holy by doing the giving!
We Catholics also use the word sacrifice when we talk of the "Holy Sacrifice of the Mass".
Modernists (a friend calls them the liberazzi)don't like this word, as it calls up images of the crucifixion of Christ which aren't pretty. The Mass is called a meal, by these people.
Certainly, the Mass is, in part, the sharing of the meal: the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus, as He commanded in the Gospel of John. But the Mass is also celebrating the sacrifice Jesus made for us, to enable us to go to Heaven. At Mass, the meal is made holy, and indeed WE are being made holy.
I wonder just how we got to the meaning of simply "giving up" for the word sacrifice.
May we all, in some way, share in Christ's sacrifice today!