Skip to comments.Scriptural Basis of the Mass as Sacrifice (Where is that in the Bible?)
Posted on 09/26/2006 4:48:31 PM PDT by NYer
ROME, SEPT. 26, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Answered by Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university.
Q: Where are we commanded to have a sacrifice in our formal worship of God? Protestants, for the most part, worship with singing, some collective prayers and long sermons. Where in the Bible does it say that proper worship contains a sacrifice? Also a review of where in the Bible the Mass parts come from and why we include them in Mass would be useful. Again, it will come down to convincing a "sola scriptura" believer that Scripture says we must do it. Any help would be appreciated. -- J.C., Leavenworth, Kansas
A: A full answer to this question exceeds the possibilities of this column. There are, however, many worthy resources available online. Web sites such as Catholic Answers contain, among other elements, Father Mitch Pacwa's "Is the Mass a Sacrifice?"
The Old Testament contains many divine commands to perform sacrifices. All of the complex liturgical rituals described in Leviticus, for example, are ostensibly commanded by God through Moses.
Perhaps the most important sacrifices commanded by God in the Old Testament were those in which the Almighty sealed a covenant. This includes the one with Noah after the flood, the pact made with Abraham, and above all the sacrifice of the paschal lamb in Egypt, a covenant that was completed 50 days later with another sacrifice at Sinai.
It was this covenant that was renewed each year at the Passover by means of a sacrificial ritual that was a "memorial" ("zikkaron" in Hebrew). It was not a mere recalling but rather one that ritually made present and ratified and renewed the saving events that had occurred so many years before.
For Catholics, the central divine command to worship, using a sacrifice, came from the lips of Christ when he told the apostles at the Last Supper, "Do this as in memory of me."
In doing so, he specifically recalled the Jewish Passover as a memorial and applied it to himself and his upcoming sacrifice on the cross, with a totally new and definitive meaning.
In this context Our Lord's words "This is my body, which is given for you" (Luke 22:19) correspond to those of Exodus 12:27: "[This ritual] is the sacrifice of the Passover in honor of Yahweh" when he freed Israel from slavery in Egypt.
The words "For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:28) echo those of Exodus 24:8 when Moses says: "This is the blood of the covenant that Yahweh has made with you."
We are thus before a unique sacrifice, the memorial sacrament of Christ's paschal sacrifice. Through it he has brought salvation to all mankind and sealed a new and eternal covenant in his blood.
Although the apostles probably did not immediately grasp the full meaning of Christ's gesture in the cenacle, their reflection on his words and actions and their familiarity with the Passover as a memorial quickly led them to understand that Our Lord had commanded them to repeat the ritual that he had established.
They understood that this ritual was the definitive paschal sacrifice which made present Christ's unique sacrifice on Calvary and in doing so ratified and renewed the new and eternal covenant.
Therefore, God has commanded us to worship with a sacrifice, his own unique sacrifice.
All other forms of ritual sacrifice have fallen by the wayside as Christ's sacrifice has an infinite worth that absorbs all the values and intentions expressed in the ancient sacrifices.
The Mass is a sacrifice insofar as it is the memorial that ritually renews and makes present to us, in time, Christ's once-and-for-all sacrifice on the cross.
The personal prayers and sacrifices of Christians reach their fulfillment when they are united to Christ's sacrifice through full, devout and active participation at Mass.
As to where in the Bible the various parts of the Mass are found, the answer is less clear. In a way it is everywhere and nowhere.
Everywhere, because the entire Mass is animated by Scripture. Almost all of the prayers and texts have a scriptural background and the entire rite is developed as a fruit of Christ's command to continue his actions.
Nowhere, in the sense that we will not find explicit commands to say, "Sing the Sanctus after the preface." Rather, the ritual has developed over time as a response to the scriptural exhortation to pray, to repeat the sacrifice, etc.
In this case even a Protestant would have to accept that the details of his worship (songs, psalms and long sermons, etc.) are found in the Bible only in very general terms.
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. 52 If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. 53 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 54 Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. 55 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. 56 For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. 57 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, ... 61 Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said: This saying is hard, and who can hear it?
*Your idea is no different than the ideas of the disblieving Jews
*And that is not the only righteous practice protestants abandoned in following the heresiarchs apostasy from the Orthopraxis of the true Biblical Christians.
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness
Joh 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Joh 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
43"Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. 44"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.'[d] Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
52Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
53Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." 59He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Doth this offend you? Joh 6:62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Joh 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not
> Joh 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Joh 6:69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
When you read the whole chapter, you couldn't possibly make the mistake that Jesus was talking about literally eating his flesh and drinking his blood...
Eternal life comes from believing, not eating...And Peter got eternal life by believing, not eating...
And you are filled with the Holy Spirit by believing, not eating...
Joh 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
These people didn't leave because they believed Jesus was talking about cannibalism...They left because of the entire message that Jesus was the 'spiritual' bread of life...
Sadly, protestant worship has nothing whatsoever to do with the New Covenant Commands. The Heresiarchs abandoned Sacrifice, they jettisoned the Eucharist, the foreswore Apostolic Succession, repudiated the Sacramental System etc etc etc.
Outside of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, which have preserved Apostolic Succession and the Eucharist, there are no other Churches. There are fine christian communites in varying levels of union with the Church Jesus established, but, they are not churches and their protestant worship services, while preserving some of the form, have abandoned the content. It was a revolution within a form. Quite radical. Quite fatal.
1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Doesn't matter what you or I think...What does the bible say???
What's your view on the verse???
Does Jesus (God, the third part of the Trinity) still carry around the flesh of Jesus, the man???
I'm not arguing or contradicting, just adding.
Chrisitianity is the only religion in humanity where God comes to us human beings as a suffering, dying and risen Savior. His Words and healings were miraculous but the core of Christianity is his suffering and dying for our sins and then, His resurrection.
The sacrifice IS the crucifixion and it is a daily reminder that Christianity is not just about Christmas, Scripture, healing miracles, songs, sermons and prayers....or even about the Risen Christ. He didn't simply come, preach, die and rise. His suffering and death on the Cross was atonement for all. The crucifixtion reminds us also that there was no arrogance and vainglory about His coming. It HAD to come down to the crucifixion....because that is how much we sin[ned] and that is how much God loved us.
That is why the Mass celebrates his suffering and dying with the miracle of Transubstantiation.
We are the ONLY religion, where we, as Catholics, have the unique and miraculous daily (except Good Friday) opportunity to take in the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Almighty God.
It is an awesome gift from our Heavenly Father and His Divine Son.
He appeared to the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
He showed them the wounds in his hands and asked one of the disciples to touch them.
He fixed fish for them by the shore.
And when He comes again, will He appear in his glorious humanity or will He be like a ghost?
Our Lord did not have to inherit the kingdom. The kingdom is already his. It is we who cannot inherit the kingdom until we are united with him in glory and it is our mortal bodies that will be transformed from corruption to incorruption when we are with him in heaven.
I appreciate your thoughtful and sincere defense of your belief in transubstantiation.
I respect you for your tone and attitude and believe that you are sincerely convinced of your position.
You offer a good example to follow in the art of apologetics for those with whom you are in communion.
A heresiarch (also hæresiarch, according to the Oxford English Dictionary) is a founder or leader of a heretical doctrine or movement, as considered by those who claim to maintain an orthodox religious tradition or doctrine. For example, according to traditional Roman Catholic doctrine, King Henry VIII of England was a heresiarch, as he influenced the Archbishop of Canterbury to break away from the Catholic Church to form the Church of England. The miller Domenicio Scandella of Carlo Ginzburg's The Cheese and the Worms was also declared a heresiarch by the inquisition judges.
is a theological term for "correct practice". Most people would probably say "lifestyle". It is rooted in the belief that Christian orthodoxy will yield, as its fruit, a Christian "orthopraxy", a way of being and living that is consistent with the social justice imperatives of the Catholic faith. The numerous contradictions between the Gospel of Jesus Christ and modern conditions suggest many areas where Christ's teachings are particularly relevant.
Turns out to be just more 'ten dollar' terms put out by the Catholic Church to mean 'it's my way (your church's way) or no way'...No biggy...
But that didn't answer the question...Does Jesus have the earthly body and blood of Jesus the man, or does He have a heavenly body???
With the "art of apologetics" I am in good company, that is, in communion, with 1 billion Catholics and His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, the successor of Peter, the Rock on which Jesus built His Church.
I am grateful for the blessing to be in His Fold.
Protestants protested. That was the foundation of their being. Ahem, talk about apologists.
Oh pulheeze. You weren't even quoting Christ. So spare me the "you guys always leave out".... at least we use complete verses.
So he wasn't telling the truth?
You'd better rebuke St. Paul, then, who said "we preach Christ crucified". It's obviously a stumbling block to you.
Absolutely, and all orthodox Protestants would agree that he does. You are just restating an ancient heresy.
I don't have a clue what you are talking about...
We Biblical Christians hear the Pillar and Ground of truth. Now, I understand y'all have diferent sources of authority. So, we will agree to disagree
It is a biggie. Jesus established His Church (Matt 16:18,19) You reject it. And, during your Final Juddgement, you can explain to Our Lord and Saviour just why these truths are no biggies. Good luck
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