The Sacrifice of The Mass: Why is it a "sacrifice?"

Again, I will say…on whose authority? You have yet to address that! Have you read on amnesis as I suggested? How do you explain that the Eucharist wasn’t even contested until the Protestant Reformation when man decided to change the law of God and doubt about 1000 yrs of teaching? What if I found a website that said the whole NT was “symbolic?” Who founded your church? You must reconcile with that. If you want to disprove something that has been revealed and believed in since the time of the Apostles, the onus is on you! All I have seen is you pigeon holing the discussing on a few scriptures, reading out of context, (that is outside the Church) and conveniently dismissing anything contrary to your argument as “symbolic.” I apologize if you think I am being rude, but I believe in getting right to the heart of the matter. The fact is, no Protestant “church” has any footing in History or Tradition. They just exploded on the scene and decided that private men can interpret Scripture on their own.
God Bless,

Hi, John.

A better question to ask yourself is: why do sacrifices, both bloody or unbloody, existed in the first place?

Sacrifices exist because God commanded sacrifices from His people to honor and remember him. God commanded the first (abortive) sacrifice of Abram and his son, Isaac, as well as in many other passages in Scripture.

The Old Testament clearly shows God defining worship through the construction and use of:
*]A holy place (a temple)
*]A holy altar (the Latin *altere *means, “to burn”)
*]A priest that conducts the sacrifice to the Lord.
God would later make the one sacrifice that he stopped Abraham from doing: the sacrifice of his own Son. With the power of that new and eternal sacrifice, Christ, at the Last Supper, commands the Apostles, his new priests of a New Covenant, to forgo the sacrificial practices of the Old Covenant.

As Christ said earlier, He did not come to abolish the Old Covenant, but to fulfill it. He gave his new followers a new *pattern *of sacrifice. Since, obviously, his Body and Blood would not remain physically on earth, He emphasized (through John 6) that His Flesh and His Blood would be the new sacrifice, repeating himself to ensure that the crowd knew that He meant a literal consumption. (It’s why many followers left; the idea of cannibalism was too much.)

Sacrifices in and of themselves aren’t for God; he needs nothing from us. But, in order for us to remember him, he asks us to perform this ritual.**

Christ simply defined a new set of priests, a new church, and a new sacrifice for the altar, not abolishing the Old Covenant, but modifying it, replacing the actual lamb of the Old Covenant with the Holy Lamb of New Covenant, the only sacrifice that would truly appease God and save mankind from eternal death–by giving of Himself.

It’s why we believe as Catholics that God supernaturally becomes the Body and Blood of Christ from the mere bread and wine our priests offer at Mass, the Holy Sacrifice, from sunrise to sunset, as Scripture prophesied.

So I will counter with a new question. Why have many (though not all) Christians forgotten that a proper worship of God has included this essential element, an altar sacrifice since the beginning of God’s first Covenant?

Who had authority on Earth to change the format of sacrificial worship that God commanded in the Old Covenant and Christ commanded in the New Covenant?

Why did you accept the Bible handed to you as the word of God? Because somebody told you to accept it. Your church has maintained a tradition.

The Catholic Church has maintained this Sacred Tradition of the Holy Sacrifice of our Apostles and bishops quite a bit longer than the 500 years of many men merely talking about God.

Food for thought.

Here’s a link to an explanation in everyman’s language from a permanent Catholic deacon:

Deacon Dr. Bob is SPOT ON ! ! !:thumbsup:

Johnladder, et al … your comments?

Jesus came to show us the essence of the Father. Jesus is the authority, and it is His words and His Spirit that draw his disciples to Him. Jesus–not my church–calls me to sacrifice my will to the Father.

The Lord’s commands at the Last Supper do not include new temple procedures, nor do they indicate a new type of burnt offering. Instead, the Master asks that we frequently break bread together–in remembrance and proclamation of His Great Work. Nowhere do we find the institution of a new sacrifice. Also, I have quoted extensively here from Hebrews 9 and 10–which exhaustively teaches that the sacrifice of Jesus body upon the altar of the cross was final. “It is finished!” He said on the Cross.

In Psalm 51, David explains the trouble with sacrifices:

O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.
For You do not delight in sacrifice,
otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart,
O God, You will not despise.

As God taught Abraham from the beginning, true sacrificial worship consists in brokenness before the Father. Luke 9:23 records what Jesus says in clarification of how we should worship–the sacrifice of ourselves:

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

We are to follow Him, instead of our natural desires. This is the only legitimate sacrifice. It includes our own physical bodies, as Paul emplores us in Romans 12:1 : “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”

So, I agree that acceptable sacrifice is critical for the disciple. But you insist that an “altar sacrifice” is essential to worship. Why? The temple curtain was ripped down the middle. So, now, where is this new altar? Please show us the relevant New Testament teaching.

In contrast to the Samaritan woman’s emphasis on a place of worship, Jesus’ reply to her indicates the mode of true worship:

“Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father…God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23)

Similarly, he had said to the Pharisees in Luke 17:20-21:

“The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

We could go on with numerous examples of Jesus teaching that true worship is spiritual, not external. It is not particular to place or ritual. So, my question still remains unanswered:

Why is **external, ritual, ceremonial **sacrifice still necessary?

And yet, you still haven’t answered any of my original questions or some of the other posters :banghead:. The Scriptures alone are not enough-and I realize that might be scandalous to you. So for the last time: where is the Authority with which you get to decide the meaning of Scripture? Do you believe it is just enough to “follow Jesus” in the Scriptures? What happens when different Christians, doing the same thing, come up with different conclusions? Why do you not answer the fact the Judaism and Christianity is, by their Divine Nature, Liturgical? What earthly man founded your church, and why do you ignore 2000+yrs of Tradition and Historical Fact? If you can’t answer those, then no matter what we say, you will just regurgitate what you’ve already said. I know those seem like confrontational questions, but you really need to think about your answers and there consequences.
I will offer one last suggestion. If you truly are open to learning there are two critical books you should read by Scott Hahn, who is an expert theologian and argues from Scripture. The books are called “The Lamb’s Supper” and “A Father Who Keeps His Promises.” If you have read them or parts of them, be specific about which parts give you pause.
God Bless,

Allow me to capitalize upon the fondness for the Bread of Life discourse in John 6. :wink:

Jesus answered and said to them, "Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 "It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

Here Jesus is recalling the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah:

Isaiah 54:13 "And all your sons will be taught of the LORD; And the well-being of your sons will be great.

Jeremiah 31:34 “And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

From the least to the greatest, they shall learn directly from the Father himself. The Father teaches them and will draw them to His Son. Redemption comes by this path alone.

The apostles don’t appeal to their own authority, but refer us to their Master–who does the will of His Father. Why should we do otherwise?

Because we didn’t recieve our faith from Jesus?

And the *rest *of John 6? Still haven’t answered my questions. Adios.:banghead:
And…Jesus gave the Apostles the Authority to teach and BIND AND LOOSE in His name! The NT wasn’t around for the first century of the Faith. The Faithful had to depend on the Apostles. And you know what, they believed (correctly) that the bread and wine are the Body and Blood of Christ. As St. Paul says, “hang onto what was given to you, written or rally” (paraphrase). Again, your dancing around the Authority question! Who founded your church and when? What was there motivation? How, and by what Authority do you and they interpret the Scriptures? I will await a definitive answer, and then I will move on. I am being drawn into an illogical argument.
God Bless,

There is only one sacrifice effective for the salvation of mankind. The sacrifice of the Mass is the same sacrifice as that on Calvary and at the Last Supper–the one same sacrifice extended through space and time, allowing us to be present at the events of our salvation.

But, again, Hebrews says that Jesus death is once and for all:

“And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. Hebrews 10:11-14”

If this is valid Scripture, then why is the facsimile “sacrifice” of the Mass necessary? That is the question.

Your last statement is very strange. For those that come to a saving faith, they are present (existentially and consciously) at the moment of their salvation. Oh, perhaps you are you saying that the Mass is somehow central to salvation? Wow.

Are you serious? The apostles were sent out by Christ for this very purpose. They were given Christ’s authority through the Holy Spirit to settle doctrinal issue, forgive sins, baptize, teach, appoint Church leaders through the laying on of hands etc. You can clearly see the apostolic tradition passed through several generations right in the bible. Did this passing on of authority simply just cease at some point? If so, I think they forgot to tell all of the ealriest Christian communities.

Mat 28
18: And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

21: Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”
22: And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

Also, if we are wrong in believing in the real presence in the Eucharist do you have any ideas how the Church went so far off track so early in the 1st century?

Jesus’ sacrifice IS once for all. The Mass is not a different sacrifice, nor a facsimile.
It is the same sacrifice. It is the same Jesus.

johnladder, Pakesh has been pleading for you to answer his questions and you ignored them again. If you don’t start actually responding to the fine responses on here without continuing to throw more questions at them, then I’m sure it will be just a matter of time before you’re ousted for spamming. From what I’ve read so far about how you’ve been responding, you certainly aren’t here to learn and understand like you say. The mods have been doing this for too long to not see through you if you continue in your ways of course. I see no attempt by you to be fair with the other posters in this forum.

And how do you know what the Will of His Father is? Through your own self interpreted Scripture? We say the Eucharist has been instituted by Christ 2000 years ago as both Scripture and Tradition attests to this fact. So if we are to do His will, we will accept it for what it is and partake in it worthily. Sounds like you may be in trouble doesn’t it.

Please explain this:

Hebrews 9:23 (RSV) - Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Yep, that is what we are saying.

1 Corinthians 11:27-30 (RSV) - Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.

Just a few dying in a church would not affect things much. However, if “many” in a church are “weak and ill,” and “some” die, then you have a dying church.

Look in Christian history, check all the churches (my goodness, even individual dioceses in the Catholic Church itself!) that are fragmenting, weak, or dead. All of them, I would wager, have in some way denied a fundamental truth of the Eucharist, and thus have blasphemed against the Son of God present in the said sacrament. For it is the One Bread, One Cup that gives the Church its unity and strength.

1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (RSV) - The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

Not just our will, but our understanding, too, johnladder.

Wait a minute, are all sacrifices burnt?

So…Jesus Christ should have been burned at the stake, instead of crucified? :confused:

Please explain why St Paul said:

1 Cor 10:21 (RSV) - You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the **table of the Lord **and the table of demons.

when “table of the Lord” is a well known euphemism during those times for an altar for the Lord God.

Hebrews chapter 9? Please explain this:

Hebrews 9:23 (RSV) - Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

What are these “sacrifices” if the “sacrifice of Jesus body upon the altar of the cross was final” (and I guess from your reasoning, never made present again after)?

And yet you left out the rest of Psalm 51:

Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on thy altar.

You are right in saying that “true sacrificial worship consists in brokenness before the Father,” but that doesn’t mean that sacramental (made physical) offerings are useless. In fact, Jesus said

Matthew 5:23-24 (RSV) - So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

And that should include one’s understanding.

I wonder, johnladder, who of us are following one’s own desires instead of God’s: us Catholics who have read Scripture, studied Christian history and studied the teachings of the Church, “the pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Tim 5:13) and are convinced of the reality and necessity of the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist, and have numerous times showed you why and answered your questions? Or you who insists on his own interpretation of Scripture without answering any of our questions?

1 Cor 10:21 (RSV) - You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the **table of the Lord **and the table of demons.

And who ever said the “external, ritual, ceremonial sacrifice” is not also spiritual? Are you saying that spiritual and physical worship cannot coincide? :shrug:

If you were one of the twelve Apostles (disciples) in the upper room, would you have taken the bread and drunk of the cup? Of course, since it was our Lord’s command to them. You would then have “participated” (the word used by Saint Paul from 1 Corinthians 10:16) in the sacrifice, would you not? Since all believers constitute the earthly Body of Christ, how can salvation occur if the Body is not directly involved in the sacrifice? As well, see what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:34, that they might eat and drink worthily so as to avoid “judgment”. Who judges? Not Paul, but Christ Himself (John 5:22), judging the profanation of His body and Blood.

Could you be focusing on “remembrance”, and not on “do this” and “this is my Body…this is the cup of my Blood”? We cannot view the sacrifice of Christ as frozen in past tense. It is eternal, and present to us today. Remember that this is exactly what the Church has believed and done since day one.

Wondering: Do you have a catechism? For less than $10, there is condensed within it an absolutely amazing amount of truth and answers to faith’s questions.

Christ’s peace be with you.

of worship, Jesus’ reply to her indicates the mode of true worship:

“Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father…God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23)

Right - the sacrifice of the Old Covenant could only be offered in one place on the whole planet. The sacrifice of the New Covenant can be offered, and received, all around the globe.

Why is **external, ritual, ceremonial **

sacrifice still necessary?

Because He said so.

Hi John -

I think it may be helpful for you to answer the following:

For the disciple of Christ, why is there a need for participation in or belief in anything?

This is very poorly worded and appears to fail to recognize that the essence of humanity is a UNION of the spiritual (soul) and body. Predicating your question upon this foundation that our spiritual selves are separate from our physical selves is a recipe for confusion.

So, my question still remains unanswered:
Why is **external, ritual, ceremonial **sacrifice still necessary?

Primarily because God has commanded it. He did so because of our human nature.

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