mass question

Hello all,

I am new to Catholicism, and have been reading and learning much. I also attend Mass. I feel a little dense even asking this question, but here goes: Can someone tell me in layman’s terms what is meant by the “sacrifice of the Mass?” I keep reading about this, but somehow I just don’t quite get it. I know that Catholics are accused of crucifying Jesus over and over at Mass, but I don’t believe this is what is going on. Thanks in advance.

Sheri

We believe that when the priest consecrates the bread and the wine that Jesus’s sacrifice becomes “present” again on the altar.

This is not the same as sacrificing Him "again"
Instead - it means we believe that His ONE sacrifice becomes present at the mass, and that the bread and wine actually become His body and blood.

We recognize that God is not bound by the dimensions of space and time. This sacrifice is the perfect sacrifice that replaced the imperfect animal sacrifices of the Old covenant.

So, is that where the “do this in remembrance of me” comes in? I know that some Protestant churches object to Christ always being on the cross in Catholic churches, but if I am understanding it correctly, the offering of the sacrifice Jesus made (the Eucharist )is to celebrate (right word?) or always commemorate what he did for us on the cross. Am I getting it?

The Church also says that his sacrifice on the cross was pre-presented at the Last Supper, the night before he died. At the Last Supper, on the Cross, and at each and every Mass, he offers himself to his father for the forgiveness of sins, and offers us himself in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. It the one single sacrifice being offered, but manifested in different times and places.

[quote=sherilo]So, is that where the “do this in remembrance of me” comes in? I know that some Protestant churches object to Christ always being on the cross in Catholic churches, but if I am understanding it correctly, the offering of the sacrifice Jesus made (the Eucharist )is to celebrate (right word?) or always commemorate what he did for us on the cross. Am I getting it?
[/quote]

Yes, you are getting it. It is to commemorate and to celebrate. The word for rememberance in the Greek has a meaning that is more like represent, or more accurately to make re-present or make present again. You are correct that “do this in rememberance of me” refers to the real presance of the Eucharist.

Thank you, thank you, all!

Sheri

I think it was Scott Hahn in his book “The Lamb’s Supper” where he relates Jesus in the state of perpetual victimhood, which is why in the book of Revelation He is seen as the “Lamb who is slain.” I might recommend reading this book – it’s an excellent explanation of the Holy Mass!

Actually, I am reading this book right now. That is why I felt so dense asking the question because Scott Hahn writes his book so beautifully.

Sheri,

I would also add that when you look at the Old Testament, you see how God starts to “train” the people to offer sacrifice and creates a priesthood to do just that. The Old Testament priests offered sacrifice; so do our priests of the New Covenant (it’s what priests do). Except that Jesus is the one, perfect sacrifice that the Old Testament sacrifices foreshadowed.

Christ is the passover Lamb. Read the passover account in Exodus. But Christ is also the High Priest, this why John tells us Christ was crucified at the third hour. John knew that the third hour was when the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies with the Blood of the Passover Lambs. Christ enters the Holy of Holies with His own Blood. As we see in Revelations this Holy of Holies is in heaven. The Psalms say that in heaven a moment is liken to 10,000 years. So our High Priest is still in the Holy of Holies offer His Blood. In the Mass we recognize this and celabrate Christ entry into the Holy of Holies.

Upon reading the account in Exodus you will see that the flesh of the passover lamb must be eaten. For this purpose Christ has given us the Eucharist.

Yours in Christ

also in the OT we are told that we shouldn’t eat the blood of the animals, because the life of the animal is in the blood.

which makes the consumption of HIS body and blood in the eucharist make even more sense - we are consuming His life - His eternal life.

ah the beauties and depths of the catholic faith… welcome to a journey of a lifetime.

God bless.

[quote=Lorarose]We believe that when the priest consecrates the bread and the wine that Jesus’s sacrifice becomes “present” again on the altar.

This is not the same as sacrificing Him "again"
Instead - it means we believe that His ONE sacrifice becomes present at the mass, and that the bread and wine actually become His body and blood.

We recognize that God is not bound by the dimensions of space and time. This sacrifice is the perfect sacrifice that replaced the imperfect animal sacrifices of the Old covenant.
[/quote]

Sorry if this is really ignorant, but if the bread and the wine actually become Christs body and blood, then why doesn’t it taste like blood and flesh? (sorry if this seems crude)

Josiah

[quote=josiah]Sorry if this is really ignorant, but if the bread and the wine actually become Christs body and blood, then why doesn’t it taste like blood and flesh? (sorry if this seems crude)

[/quote]

What does a resurrected heavenly body taste like?
Actually, so you would not be offended.

[quote=josiah]Sorry if this is really ignorant, but if the bread and the wine actually become Christs body and blood, then why doesn’t it taste like blood and flesh? (sorry if this seems crude)
[/quote]

After the bread and wine are consecrated, there is no focus on it’s former substance. You are about to mystically receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Oh the magnitude!!!

I don’t know about you but when I hear the word “sacrifice” I immediately think of something being killed. However, this is not what is meant by the phrase “the sacrifice of the Mass”; nothing is killed at Mass. The word “sacrifice” here simply refers to something offered to God as a gift. If you were going to give a gift to God, you would want to give Him the most perfect thing you could think of because He is deserving of the very best that we can offer. What is the best, most perfect thing, we can offer to God? His Son, Jesus Christ, who died for us on the Cross, of course. And Jesus, glorified in heaven but still bearing the marks of His Passion, allows Himself to be made present under the appearance of bread and wine through transubstantiation confected by the power of priestly ordination. The actual “sacrifice” or offering to God at the Mass takes place following our proclamation of the mystery of faith when the priest prays with hands extended:
“Father, … we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice. Look with favor on your Church’s offering, and see the Victim whose death has reconciled us to yourself.” (Eucharistic Prayer No. 3)

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