How do we know that Malachi 1:11 is about the sacrifice of the mass and not simply pure prayers?

I’m quoting from the website

Some Catholic apologists claim that the prophecy in Malachi 1:11 is fulfilled in the Roman Catholic sacrifice of the Mass. A footnote in the New American Bible says that this verse is a reference to ‘the pure offering to be sacrificed in messianic times, the universal Sacrifice of the Mass, as we are told by the Council of Trent.’
The scripture reads:
My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD Almighty. (NIV)
A Catholic translation of the same verse reads:
For from the rising of the sun, even to its setting, my name is great among the nations; And everywhere they bring sacrifice to my name, and a pure offering; For great is my name among the nations, says the LORD of hosts. (NAB)
The Jews and their priests despised and profaned God’s name by offering blemished animals while keeping the best animals to themselves. God was dishonoured by their half-hearted service and their hypocrisy. God foretold a time when he would call the Gentiles to worship him. He will be glorified among the nations, ‘from the rising of the sun to its setting’, from the east to the west. His people will not be restricted to a single nation, but he will have worshippers ‘in every place’, implying the catholicity or universality of the church.
The incense offered to God is our prayers, as the Psalmist says, ‘May my prayer be set before you like incense’, and again, the Book of Revelation identifies the incense offered before God as ‘the prayers of all the saints.’ (Psalm 141:2, Rev 8:3).
Moreover, the New Testament explains how the church offers a ‘pure offering’ to God. ‘Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased’ (Hebrews 13:15, 16). Our prayers and good works are an offering to God.
The Eucharist is the prominent prayer of the church because during the Lord’s Supper we praise and thank God for the atoning work of Jesus Christ. Our English term ‘Eucharist’ is derived from the Greek word ‘eucharistia’ which means ‘gratitude, thanksgiving.’ Jesus gave thanks (‘eucharisteo’) when he took the bread and the wine (Matthew 26:27, Luke 22:19). In this sense the Eucharist is a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
Thus, Malachi’s prophecy finds its fulfillment in our good works and prayers, especially the Lord’s Supper celebrated by God’s children from the four corners of the earth. The Didache and the early church fathers also rightly identified the Eucharist as the fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy.
What about the sacrifice of the Mass? Surely the Mass is offered in every country of the world, and it has been celebrated since the times of the apostles. Sadly that is not the case because the significance of the Eucharist has changed over the centuries from a sacrifice of praise to a propitiatory sacrifice, that is, a sacrifice to satisfy the justice of God for the sins committed against him. Malachi is not speaking about that kind of sacrifice.
Much has been written on the translation of the term ‘qatar’, rendered ‘incense’ in all the major Protestant Bibles, and ‘sacrifice’ in the Catholic versions. Both renderings could be correct, though the former is more likely. The basic meaning of the word ‘qatar’ is ‘to smoke, to burn’. A Catholic
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commentator states that various forms of the word ‘have to do with any kind of offering which gives off smoke, but in postexilic texts precise enough to let us see what is being offered they have to do with incense or other aromatic substances.’ (The New Jerome Biblical Commentary - link).
Whether ‘incense’ or ‘sacrifice’ is preferred, the term does not mean a ‘sin offering’ and there is nothing in the context that compels us to understand it as a propitiatory sacrifice. That is the crux of the matter. In fact the same Catholic commentator concludes that the terms translated ‘incense’ and ‘pure offering’ do not have the to with animal sacrifices.
To prove the claim that Malachi is prophesying the Sacrifice of the Mass, it must be shown that he is speaking of a sin offering. To my knowledge that has never been done. On the contrary the study of the text leads us away from that conclusion.
During the Lord’s Supper, God’s people remember Christ and proclaim his death, giving thanks to God for providing a perfect redemption in the death of his Son. They praise God for Christ who ‘entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.’ (Heb 9:12). But according to Catholic teaching, during the Mass the sacrifice of Christ is carried on, perpetuated, renewed, re- presented and re-enacted. In this shift in the meaning of the Eucharist, God is neither pleased nor honoured. Christ is seated on the right hand of God, having obtained our redemption; he does not ‘constantly enter’ the sanctuary to carry on what he has already done once for all.

[quote=JDGaney]according to Catholic teaching, during the Mass the sacrifice of Christ is [carried on, perpetuated, renewed], re- presented [and re-enacted].

The word Catholics use is “re-presented.” None of the other words you offered as synonyms mean the same thing. This is a Theological term, so you must adhere to the Theological language.

In this shift in the meaning of the Eucharist, God is neither pleased nor honoured. Christ is seated on the right hand of God, having obtained our redemption; he does not ‘constantly enter’ the sanctuary to carry on what he has already done once for all.

The shift in meaning occurred after 1500 years of orthodox usage and teaching. The shift AWAY from the proper understanding is what occurred.

You have also misrepresented the understanding of what re-presented means.

The Sacrifice of Jesus is/was an act of His Divinity, not just His humanity. Therefore let NO ONE dare confine his Sacrifice to a mere human understanding. It is a Divine mystery that can scarcely be fathomed.

The Church cannot err in her interpretation of Christ’s words (cf. Mt 16:18-19 & 1 Tim 3:15).

Stay off of such websites! They are filled with theological error. The evil one uses them to create doubt in your mind. See?

To start with, he says, “The Jews and their priests despised and profaned God’s name by offering blemished animals while keeping the best animals to themselves.” I think the most obvious interpretation of Malachi is then that the “pure offering” is referring to an unblemished animal, the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Similarly, Malachi speaks of “polluted bread” so it would seem that the corresponding pure offering is a pure bread, the Bread of Life, perhaps? Sounds pretty obvious that this is a reference to the Eucharist.

Funny enough, he does not dispute that fact, but is content to say that the Eucharist is purely a sacrifice of praise with no element of propitiation. I say this is funny, because, ignoring Malachi,in the Institution Narrative (which he mentions!), when Christ gives the cup to his disciples, he says, “this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Sounds like a sacrifice for sins to me! It is perplexing that he can bring up Christ giving thanks during the Supper and totally ignore Christ’s direct words, but he does somehow nevertheless. I really don’t know what else to say about this article because it’s so nonsensical.

The Catholic Encyclopedia has a decent article on the Sacrifice of the Mass which might be a helpful starting point.

D-R Bible, Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 11. Sacrifice. Protestant, “incense.” (Haydock) — Clean oblation. The precious body and blood of Christ in the eucharistic sacrifice. (Challoner) — This is denoted by the very word mincha, the offering of flour and wine. (Calmet) See St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho; St. Irenæus, Against Heresies iv. 32.; St. Augustine, City of God xviii. 35.) — “We pollute this bread, that is the body of Christ, when we approach the altar unworthily.” (St. Jerome v. 7.) — This sacrifice is always pure, though the priest or receiver be otherwise. (Calmet) — Hence it is always clean. (Council of Trent, session xxii. chap. i.) (Menochius) — It is offered daily throughout the world. The Jews see the completion of this prediction, and are vexed; they strive to elude its force. Though enemies, they bear about these proofs of our faith, and of their own condemnation. (Calmet) — God not only changed his people, but instituted a better sacrifice. Instead of the former needy elements, (Galatians iv.) which were often defiled by the sins of the offerers, He instituted the sacrifice of his own Body and Blood, under the appearance of bread and wine, as St. Chrysostom (in Psalm xcv.), Theodoret, &c., prove against all opponents. A sacrifice different from any offered by the Jews, who could offer only at Jerusalem, (Deuteronomy xvi.) is clearly specified, as many have demonstrated. (Worthington) — Christ’s bloody sacrifice on the cross was performed on Calvary, and not among the Gentiles. What sacrifice can Protestants now produce? (Haydock)

Sorry, but you are missing the Catholic argument. We are not saying that Malachi fully embodies what the Mass is about. Ask yourself what is the PURE offering ? If there is any sin in our heart then our offering, not matter what it is, is not a PURE offering.

Step back for a moment and look at Good Friday from the perspective of a good Jew in that time period. – I am trying to paraphrase Scott Hahn, so please forgive my inadequacies - It would have looked like a Roman execution not a Sacrifice to God, which were always done in the Temple on the Altar. Calvary is outside the city, at least the walls of that time period. On Holy Thursday Jesus tells us He gives Himself freely out of Love for God the Father and out of love for us. He is primarily a Victim of Divine Love, rather than a victim of Roman injustice. It is only Jesus’ sacrifice on Holy Thursday, which transforms the Roman execution on Friday into a Sacrificial offering. This is the Pure offering, the only Pure offering. Only this fulfills the prophesy of Malachi.

Yes, He has done this once for all time. In heaven Jesus is perpetually offered for all time. The liturgy in heaven comes down to earth in what we call the Sacrifice of the Mass.

Revelation 5:5
“Then one of the elders said to me, “Weep not; lo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain …”

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