Gladstone, QLD, February 2021
As a Catholic priest, ‘sacrifice’ is a word that drips with meaning. It’s at
the heart of what I believe and what I do every time I celebrate the Mass, the
ultimate sacrifice. At its most basic meaning, to sacrifice is to “make holy”.
But I think that to “make holy” always requires giving up something of
ourselves, letting something go, dying to ourselves. And that’s why when we
think of the word ‘sacrifice’ we usually think of suffering or pain.

Because ‘sacrifice’ is one of those words that keeps recurring in Christian
discourse, it often challenges me. Compared to many, I have not yet had to
suffer any tragic loss or profound crisis in my life; I am lucky – or blessed –
compared to millions of others in the world. So how do I share in the sacrifice
that I tell my congregation is part of being holy? Perhaps there are numerous
little ways that I “make holy” through sacrifice. Perhaps there is a big
sacrifice that lies ahead of me at some point. I’m not sure. But I do know
without any doubt that sacrifice must be part of my life; it’s part of the
journey towards salvation.
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