Why does the Roman Catholic church teach that Jesus Christ is continually sacrificed today, when the scripture says the sacrifice of Jesus was necessary only once for all eternity? “We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10:10. Jesus Himself in John 19:30, declared triumphantly on the cross, “It is finished.” Someone needs to answer, Why keep a sacrifice going that was PERFECT and FINISHED on the cross 2,000 years ago?
The Church has always taught that Jesus died only once. But it is important to realize that the sacrifice on the cross transcends time. Besides those who were living at the time, that sacrifice redeemed all those who lived before it and all those who have came after it.
When we celebrate that holy sacrifice on the altar in an un-bloody way, that is exactly what we are doing. We are not celebrating a new sacrifice each time Mass is celebrated. It’s the SAME sacrifice that we tap into. It’s like saying that we celebrate the same love that Jesus has for us. Whenever we pray, we are not celebrating a new love that Jesus has for us. We are celebrating the same love that He has always had and that He expressed on the cross! And our awareness of that sacrificial act of divine love is brought concretely into our present lives.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.