In the season of Advent, we look to the coming of Christ at the end of time, and we
prepare ourselves to celebrate his first coming among us at Christmas. Remembrance
of the past is combined with preparation for the future. Memory meets action.
In a certain sense, the Mass is an Advent prayer. At the Last Supper, Jesus did not
tell his disciples, “Never forget what I did for you.” Instead, he said, “Do this in remembrance
of me.” He calls us to remember by doing, to combine memory with action.
In the celebration of the Eucharist, remembering and doing become one. Jesus is as present in our midst as he was in that upper room, breaking the bread and sharing the cup; but it is a new kind of presence, seen only with the eyes of faith.
In the heavenly liturgy, there will be no need of sacraments, for there, “celebration is wholly communion and feast” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1136). Here, things are different. We have only glimpses and flashes of the beauty that is yet to be. And yet, in the liturgy, we truly participate in the heavenly liturgy. The Mass is our foretaste of the joys of heaven.