Is the Eucharistic sacrifice a re-presenting OR representation of Calvary?.

The terms re-present i.e. to make present again and represent i.e to symbolise or to stand for are used interchangeably about the Eucharist/Mass. I believe if you just symbolise Christ’s death on Calvary then you are not repeating it BUT if you Re-present christ’s death on calvary you could be Repeating it sacramentally which would go against the Word of God that Christ died once for all and would be a grave error.
I am just a bit confused because the Catholic catechism does use the term Re-present. I would be very grateful if you could help me out with this query.
God Bless.


First of all, it is important to remember that the Lord’s Passion transcends time. It covers all those who lived before Jesus came to earth and all those who were to come. The Mass simply allows us to be present at the Passion by the Eucharistic elements on the altar. It is impossible to understand the Eucharist without the Passion since it is the living sign of the Passion. The sign of the body of Christ on the altar, separate from the sign of His blood in the chalice tell us, without words, that He died. We don’t see His body and his blood as people saw them on Calvary, but we see them nonetheless under the form of bread and wine. This is what is important. Don’t get side-tracked by those words.’

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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