The Mass as Fulfillment of the Scriptures

There are many different angles one could go with the rich symbolism in all three of today’s beautiful readings. The first reading is a clear call to the importance of physical actions to be taken in religious ceremonies. We are all a spirit-body composite and as such, we need to engage our bodies in all we do. The second reading speaks of the importance of all members (individuals) of the body (church) participating in the work of the larger body (the Lord) with their own specific gifts. Then finally, we come to the Gospel, what a beautiful summarization of the previous two readings culminating in a clear analogy for the mass.

Jesus stood up in the synagogue and was handed a scroll from the prophet Isaiah. This was typical to read from the prophets in the synagogue. However, the reader typically read the passage and did not offer any sort of reflection or addition. The prophets could speak for themselves. Jesus breaks this tradition. He not only adds his own thoughts to the scripture, but he claims that it is being fulfilled right before them by himself. He is the one who brings glad tidings to the poor and sight to the blind.

We see here that the word of God does not fall on lost ears or hearts but that it is so real and active that it literally is Jesus himself. Here we have the Word, speaking the Word, as the Word. The scriptures are fulfilled by the presence of he who is the Word.

Fast forward to today. Our tired eyes try to stay open during the readings, we hear a vibration from our phone and our mind wanders, we hear a screaming child and forget that all members of the body are important and wonderfully made.

I have a directors brain, I always thought I would be good at directing plays or movies because I feel that I have an eye for the bigger picture and can be very critical. I hate to admit that this is me during the Mass on some Sunday’s. “I would have said that differently” or “why did the music sound so strange in that one song. Did they forget to practice?”

We all have little quirks, insecurities, or faults that try to distract us from the reality of what is really going on. In the exact same way as the Gospel reading, every Mass brings us the fulfillment of scripture. The readings are read but it doesn’t stop there, we then dive into the beauty of the liturgy of the Eucharist where the word literally becomes flesh. Nothing more needs to be said or done. Think about that for a second and let that reality sink in next time you participate in Mass. If that doesn’t bring us to our knees than something is missing. From all of us here at Diocesan, God Bless!

Tommy Shultz is a Solutions Evangelist for Diocesan. In that role, he is committed to coaching parishes and dioceses on authentic and effective Catholic communication. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. Contact him at