Lost in Translation #35
When I first came across the Epistle for the Third Sunday after Epiphany as a boy, I thought that this verse
But if thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat; if he thirst, give him to drink: for doing this, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. (Prov. 25, 22, Rom. 12, 20)
meant that the best way to deal with an enemy is to be nice to him, because that will really infuriate him. Little did I know that a lit coal is a symbol of purification, and that the Bible is admonishing us to purify our enemy,  not tweak him with sanctimonious passive aggression.
Haec hostia, Dómine, quásumus, emundet nostra delicta: et ad sacrificium celebrandum, subditórum tibi córpora mentesque sanctíficet. Per Dóminum.
Which I translate as:
May this offering, O Lord, we pray Thee, cleanse away our offenses, and sanctify the bodies and minds of Thy subjects for the celebration of this sacrifice. Through our Lord.
Hostia (“offering”) is not an easy word to translate. It is a common term for a victim (that which is sacrificed), but it can also refer to an offering or the act of sacrifice itself. It appears 43 times in the orations of the traditional Roman Missal, always in the Secret. In these prayers hostia usually refers to the gifts brought by the faithful but sometimes, as it does here, it also has “a ritual, sacramental character.” 
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service.
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