When Abraham's son, Isaac, was of age, God asked Abraham to offer Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham obeyed and Isaac carried his own wood up to the mountain where he was to be sacrificed. He was a prefigure of God's only Son who, too, would carry His own wood or cross (his instrument of death) for his sacrifice.
We are reminded of this in the Mass' Eucharistic Prayer..."You were pleased to accept the sacrifice of Abraham...." (Roman canon)
Sacrificing your child in obedience to God is the greatest act of faith. I doubt I could do it, yet, Abraham had a faith filled relationship with God.
Isaac was both priest (he carried his own wood) and victim (he was to be sacrificed). Jesus was the High Priest and at the same time the Victim in Calvary.
Christ is the High Priest and the Victim at the same time at mass as well. Christ ( the Priest) offers himself, the Victim , to the Father . He is offered on the altar of the Cross. (1). Jesus lived for this mission--to save us from death, sin, the devil and hell. He redeemed us by paying with his life (exchanging His life for our life). He intercedes on our behalf to his Father as Priest and Victim. When He offers himself to his Father He prays for all men. He is God the Son praying on our behalf to God the Father. The priest celebrating the mass is the voice and hands of Christ.
This sacrificial lamb of God alleviates the agony of all sinners and gives more glory to God than sacrifices of sinners, martyrs and saints.
St Pius X commented on the Holy Eucharist. "Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven. There are others: innocence, but that is for little children: penance, but we are afraid of it; generous endurance of trials of life, but when they come we weep and ask to be spared. The surest, easiest, and shortest way is the Eucharist." (2)
The Eucharist is the summit of all the sacraments. It is the moment when the obedience and love of Jesus, the Son, combine to offer to the Father a sacrifice.
With great piety, we should attend Mass and receive the Eucharist for the most direct route to God. Christ himself offers the Mass and in it offers himself. His blood is at every Mass spilled over for love of man.
The sacrifice has no time constraints--it will reach the souls of the departed, the souls in purgatory as well. Jesus, in offering himself to his Father, prays for all men. He lives to make intercession for man (Hebrew 7:25).
What a better time to approach God as in the Mass. What a better way to honor our loved ones and those with no one to pray for them or sick friends as in the Mass.
"Are you there," the Holy Cure d'Ars asks, " with the same disposition as our Lady at Calvary, realizing you are in the presence of God himself and are present at the enactment of that very same sacrifice?" (3)
1. Origen, Homilies on the Book of Genesis
2. St Piux X
3. St John Vianney