Skip to comments.'An Ordinance Forever' - The Biblical Origins of the Mass [Ecumenical]
Posted on 06/20/2008 1:57:44 PM PDT by NYer
Issue: What are the biblical origins of the Mass and the New Testament priesthood? Is the Mass really a sacrifice, or is it merely symbolic?
Response: The biblical origins of the Mass and the New Testament priesthood are rooted in the Old Testament. Both the Old and New Testaments provide clear evidence that the Mass is a true sacrifice, offered by a priest, and the Victim is the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.
God stated three times that the Passover sacrifice would be an ordinance for ever, not for a temporary period, such as until the Messiah came. This sacrifice, and other Old Covenant sacrifices, find their culmination in Christs sacrifice on Calvary (Ex. 12:14, 17, 24; cf. Lk. 22:7-20). Christs sacrifice at the Last Supper was a sacrifice of His Body and Blood, soul and divinity (cf. Catechism, nos. 1362-67, 1373-77). Much as the sacrifice offered at the Last Supper fulfilled the Old Covenant sacrifices, the priesthood of Christthe priesthood of Melchizedekreplaced the Levitical priesthood of the Old Testament. This New Testament priesthood, handed on to the apostles and their successors, allows Christs sacrifice on Calvary to fulfill the perpetual ordinance of a sacrifice through the celebration of the Mass (cf. Heb. 6:19-7:28).
Prefiguring the Lamb of God
God made a covenant with Abraham, swearing that all the nations (Gentiles) would bless themselves through his descendants (cf. Gen. 22:18). He designated Mount Moriah as the place where He would provide the sacrificial lamb, which was prefigured by the lamb that Abraham sacrificed that day (cf. Gen. 22:4-14). God the Father fulfilled the sacrificial provision in an ultimate way by offering His only-begotten Son (cf. Gen. 22:2; Jn. 3:16), the Lamb of God (cf. Rev. 5:6).
Interestingly, Mount Moriahs location, Salem, is another name for Zion or Jerusalem (cf. 2 Chron. 3:1; Ps. 76:2). In fact, Scripture identifies Mount Moriah as the site of Solomons Temple in Jerusalem, the city in which Christs sacrificial death took place. Also, Melchizedek was the priest and king of Salem (cf. Gen. 14:18). Jesus, as the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world, is the definitive High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek; Jesus offers Himself as the sacrifice of salvation and the universal blessing through whom all the nations will bless themselves (cf. Gen. 22:18; Acts 3:17-26; Heb. 6:19-7:28).
According to the terms of the Old Covenant, the Passover sacrifice has to be offered at the Temple in Jerusalem (cf. Deut. 16:1-6; 2 Chron. 35:1-19), a sacrifice that has not occurred since the Temples destruction in A.D. 70. One is left with two alternatives. First, one could state that Israel has failed to keep the covenant with God recorded in Exodus 12. Yet if that is true, God is thereby implicated for failing to provide His People with the means to continue the ordinance that He told them to keep forever.
Alternatively, one could state that the Temple sacrifice was destined by God to become obsolete and that, as the Lamb of God, Jesus perfectly fulfilled the Passover sacrifice (cf. 1 Cor. 5:7). This is the teaching of the Church. Jesus prophesied the fall of the Temple (cf. Mt. 24:1-2), an event that happened in A.D. 70 shortly after the desolating sacrilege of the Temple (Mt. 24:15). In addition, while prophets accurately foretold that the Temple would be rebuilt after its destruction in 587 B.C., no subsequent biblical prophets prophesied the Temples restoration after Christs predicted destruction.
Attempts to rebuild the Temple have failed, most notably the effort of the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate in 362. He hoped to discredit Christs prophecy about the Temple. Violent earthquakes at the site killed many of his workmen. When miraculous balls of fire kept bursting forth from the Temple foundation to prevent the approach of workmen, Julian finally abandoned his attempt.
The question remains: How does the Passover sacrifice of Jesus Christ continue as an ordinance forever? Just as the old Passover lamb freed the People of the Old Covenant from the bondage of slavery, the new Passover Lamb frees us from the slavery of sin (cf. Mt. 26:28). In accepting Saint John the Baptists designation of Jesus as the new Lamb of God (Jn. 1:29-35), Jesus states clearly that He will be both sacrificed and eaten (cf. Lk. 22:7-20; Jn. 6:51-66), just as the old Passover lamb was both sacrificed and eaten (cf. Ex. 12:8-11). Unfortunately, most contemporary Protestants do not accept this biblically based teaching about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Transcending Time and Space
The quick Protestant rejoinder to Catholic teaching on the Mass is that Christ died once for all (cf. Heb. 9:26-28; 10:10), to which the Church would say, Amen! The Church has always taught that the one sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist (the Mass) are one single sacrifice, and that the Eucharistic Sacrifice re-presents (makes present) Christs sacrifice on the Cross (Catechism, nos. 1366-67, emphasis in original). How can this be? God the Son created time and space and therefore is not bound by them (cf. Jn. 1:1-3). As eternal Being, Christ stands outside of time, and therefore all of history is simultaneously present to Him. We cannot fully grasp Gods omnipotence. Like the dogmas of the Trinity or Christs being both God and man, Gods omnipotence is beyond our capacity to understand, yet does not contradict reason. To argue that God is limited by time and space is necessarily to argue that God is not omnipotent, and therefore not God.
In short, then, God cannot create something, including time and space, that can limit Him. For example, because of Gods omnipotence, all of us, not just one of us, can be temples of the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Cor. 6:19). This demonstrates His ability to be beyond space, for the Holy Spirit is present in the souls of all believers: the saints who have died (cf. Rev. 6:9-11), as well as all the faithful who are living today.
We can also speak of Gods ability to be present throughout time on earth and also outside of time in heaven. Relative to God, Who is eternal and unchanging, everything is present; relative to us human beings, everything we experience is bound by time and space. Because the Son of God is eternal and transcends time, what He does as the God-Man in history can transcend time. Jesus sacrifice on Calvary is thus once for all, yet never ending; it is timeless. Thus, when we re-present Christs one sacrifice at Mass, God actually enables us to make ourselves present to this timeless offering. Analogously, we become present to the sun each morning. The sun basically stays put, while we change relative to the sun because of the earths daily rotation.
The Eucharistic Sacrifice is foreshadowed by the prophet Malachi: For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts (Mal. 1:11). The Church sees these verses as a prophecy of the Sacrifice of the Mass, for what other truly pure sacrifice could there be that Christians can offer throughout the world every day?
The Masss transhistorical nature is first illustrated when Christ offered His glorified Body and Blood at the Last Supper, the day before He actually died on the Cross (cf. Catechism, nos. 1337-40). It is illustrated thereafter in the Mass offered by His disciples. Saint Paul notes that Christs sacrifice as the new Passover Lamb is once for all, but he also explains that its celebration somehow continues on in history: For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (1 Cor. 5:7-8). Thus, the merits of Christs sacrifice are applied to Christians throughout the centuries.
We speak of the Eucharist as an unbloody sacrifice. Christ is not killed at each Mass. If that were so, there would be many sacrifices, and Christ would not have died once for all. Rather, the Council of Trent teaches that at each Mass the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner (as quoted in Catechism, no. 1367).
Hes Got His Whole Self . . . in His Hands?
Some people ask incredulously, Could God hold Himself in His hands at the Last Supper? And how could He offer up a sacrifice the day before He actually died? The short answer is that Jesus could because He can do all things (cf. Mt. 19:26), such as when He appeared to His disciples in the flesh miraculously after His Resurrection, despite locked doors. To answer these questions about the Last Supper adequately, we must examine the biblical and other historical evidence for the sacrificial nature of the Eucharist by analyzing whether God really offered His Body and Blood, soul and divinity at the Last Supper, and whether priests re-present the same sacrifice at every Mass.
Consider Jesus words: [H]e who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. . . . [H]e who eats this bread will live for ever (Jn. 6:54-56, 58).
Some Christians argue that Christ meant this statement figuratively, just as He did when He described Himself as the vine or the door (Jn. 10:7-9; 15:1-5). However, to eat the body and drink the blood of someone was an ancient Hebrew idiom that meant to slander a person. The Old Testament testifies to this figurative meaning: When evildoers assail me, uttering slanders against me, my adversaries and foes, they shall stumble and fall (Ps. 27:2). A footnote in the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition confirms that uttering slanders against me in Hebrew literally means to eat up my flesh. If we then insert the figurative meaning in John 6:54, Jesus says that he who slanders me has eternal life. Such a figurative interpretation would make our divine Lord look very foolish.
While the Levitical priesthood prohibited the consumption of blood (cf. Lev. 17:10-14; see also Gen. 9:1-4), Jesus came to do away with and yet fulfill this temporary discipline. Given that this Levitical prohibition and similar ones that were still in force when Christ preached on the Eucharist in Capernaum, one could understand the Jews disbelief and would therefore expect Christ to clarify Himself if He intended a figurative interpretation of His words. However, despite the ensuing departure of many of His followers (Jn. 6:66), Jesus did not back down from His command to eat His Body and drink His Blood.
Like the Passover lambs before Him, Jesus would be both sacrificed and eaten. Whereas animal blood symbolized life and thus yielded imperfect atonement, Jesus freely offers us His Bloodindeed commands consumption (cf. Jn. 6:54-55)because His Blood provides us redemptive life and perfect atonement.
Saint Paul affirms Christs Real Presence during the sacrifice of the Mass (cf. 1 Cor. 11:23-32). How can people be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord (1 Cor. 11:27), and why are they getting sick and even dying, if they are merely consuming bread and wine? As Jesus teaches and Saint Paul affirms, the re-presentation of this one offeringthis breaking of bread (Acts 2:42)was to continue in the Church. We partake of this one sacrifice in a sacramental manner, under the appearance of bread and wine, and in a way that does not diminish God, Who is infinite. Jesus not only fulfills Passover in Easter, but also makes it possible for the New Covenant of His sacrifice to be re-presented every day at Mass.
The Priesthood of Melchizedek
Christs priesthood forever according to Melchizedek (cf. Ps. 110:4; Heb. 5:6) makes clear the connection between the Last Supper, Jesus Crucifixion, and the Mass. When Christ died on Calvary, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 5:9-10). While Christ suffered and died once for all, His sacrifice on Calvary is somehow connected with and continues forever according to a Melchizedekian offering or sacrifice: one using the elements of bread and wine (cf. Gen. 14:17-20). On the day before He died on the Cross, Jesus pre-presented His completed, glorified sacrifice under the appearances of bread and wine (cf. Lk. 22:19-20) and thus manifested that He is not constrained by time (cf. Catechism, nn. 1337-40). Fulfilling Christs command to [d]o this in remembrance of me (Lk.22:19), the Church re-presents this same timeless offering of His Body and Blood under the appearances of bread and wine.
Indeed, as a faithful Priest Who continues to intercede for His People in Heaven after His death and Resurrection, Jesus must have something to offer. He does, and it can only be His one, definitive, and never-ending sacrifice (cf. Rev. 5:1-14), which He continues to offer forever as a priest according to the order of Melchizedek through His priests on earth (cf. Catechism, no. 1337). While Jesus does not need to re-present His sacrifice sacramentally to save us, He faithfully continues the Passover ordinance forever as His gift to us, reminding us daily of His great love and providing us with abundant graces to aid our journey to heaven. When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christs Passover, and it is made present: the sacrifice Christ offered once for all on the cross remains ever present. As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out (Catechism, no. 1364, citations omitted).
Christ is the one mediator between God and man (cf. 1 Tim. 2:5), but He allows certain men to participate in His mediation, by exercising authority in general (cf. Mt. 28:18-20), granting forgiveness of sin (cf. Jn. 20:21-23), and re-presenting His one sacrifice sacramentally (cf. Mt. 26:26-28). The Catholic Church is the new Israel, a spiritual house, and a holy priesthood (cf. 1 Pet. 2:5). The Eucharist is disconcerting to some Christians, not only because it simultaneously shows Gods awesome omnipotence and humble condescension, but also because it reminds us that salvation is not a momentary, once and for all event, but a process that involves our saying yes to God each and every day. Salvation is by grace, but our free assent is needed for the gift of salvation to be efficacious in our lives.
Christ has perfected the Passover ordinance. He has torn down the barrier between God and man, enabling us to be reconciled to the Father and partake again of His divine nature (cf. Rom. 5:15-17; 2 Pet. 1:4). Heeding Christs command, we continue re-presenting and partaking of His sacrifice at every Mass. While [t]his is a hard saying (Jn. 6:60), it is very much in keeping with salvation history, and not too remarkable for a God Who created us out of nothing and became man to save us from our sins. Our response to such an incredible gift should echo the words of Saint Peter, when Christ asked him if he also would leave Him: Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God (Jn. 6:68-69).
1. How is Jesus Christ the new and definitive Passover Lamb?
2. How would I respond to the objection that Christ died once for all (Heb. 9:26), yet Catholics offer this sacrifice over and over again? See Catechism, nos. 1366-67.
3. How does my understanding of the sacrificial nature of the Mass affect my attitude toward the Eucharist? See Romans 12:1-2 and Colossians 1:24. What can I do to offer my own life in union with Christ crucified?
Holy Bible (Catholic edition)
Catechism of the Catholic Church (Paperback and Hardback available)
Vatican II Documents
Scott Hahn, The Lambs Supper
Albert Van Hoye, Old Testament Priests and the New Priest
Fr. Peter Stravinskas, The Bible and the Mass
Jean Cardinal Danielou, S.J., The Bible and the Liturgy
Fr. Joseph Jungmann, The Mass
To order, call Benedictus Books toll-free: (888) 316-2640. CUF members receive a 10% discount.
Hahn and Suprenant, eds., Catholic for a Reason: Scripture and the Mystery of the Family of God
Leon Suprenant and Philip Gray, Faith Facts: Answers to Catholic Questions
Ted Sri, Mystery of the Kingdom: On the Gospel of Matthew
Leon Suprenant, ed., Servants of the Gospel
Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Without a Doubt: Bringing Faith to Life
To order these and other titles, call Emmaus Road toll-free: (800) 398-5470.
The Mass was not based on rabbinical teaching, but on Temple ritual and sacrifice. Protestants based their whole edifice on supposed “services” where Christians sat around listening to the Bible (created by the Church, unfortunately for the Protestants, and not until much after the early days) and people’s observations on it.
Bugnini and the other faux scholars who created the Novus Ordo bought into this. Actually, they weren’t naive - they wanted to Protestantize and destroy the Church, and that’s why Paul VI exiled Bugnini to Iran at the very end of his life.
The Mass was the Temple liturgy, reproduced when Christians were able to do so. The Jewish priesthood disappeared at the fall of Jerusalem, and the Christian priesthood assumed its duties in the (now bloodless) sacrifice.
Previously posted (threads are open, unless marked otherwise):
On Salvation Outside the Catholic Church
The Great Heresies
SALVATION PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
JUSTIFICATION IN CATHOLIC TEACHING
Hermits and Solitaries [Ecumenical]
THE PRIESTHOOD DEBATE
RIGHTEOUSNESS AND MERIT
A Well-Rounded Pope [Ecumenical]
A Monastery to Last 1,000 Years [Ecumenical]
Explaining Purgatory from a New Testament Perspective [Ecumenical]
In the Crosshairs of the Canon [How We Got The Bible] [Ecumenical]
Do not forget that the Mass is soaked in scripture from beginning to end:
Priest: In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:19)
People: Amen (1 Chr 16:36)
Priest: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Cor 13:13)
People: And also with you.
Liturgy of the Word
All: I confess to almighty God, and to you my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault. (Jas. 5:16) In my thoughts and in my words, (Rom. 12:16) In what I have done and what I have failed to do; (Jas 3:6) and I ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, all the angel and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God. (1 Thess 5:25)
Priest: May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. (1 John 1:9)
People: Amen (1 Chr 16:36)
All: Lord have mercy. (Tb 8:4) Christ have mercy. (1 Tim 1:2) Lord have mercy.
All: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. (Luke 2:14)
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, (Rev 19:6)
we worship you, (Rev. 22:9) we give you thanks, (Eph. 5:20)
we praise you for your glory. (Rev 7:12)
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, (2 John 3)
Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us; (John 1:29)
You are seated at the right hand of the Father, receive our prayer. (Rom 8:34)
For you alone are the Holy One, (Luke 4:34)
You alone are Lord, You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ. (Luke 1:32)
with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. (John 14:26)
Profession of Faith
All: We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, (Gen 14:19) of all that is seen and unseen. (Col 1:16) We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, (Luke 1:35) eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten not made, one in being with the Father. (Heb 1:3) Through him all things were made. (John 1:2-3) For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: (John 3:13) by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, (Matt 1:18) and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, (John 19:16) he suffered, died and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures. (1 Cor 15:3-4) He ascended into heaven (Luke 24:51) and is seated at the right hand of the Father. (Col 3:1) He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead (2 Tim 4:1) and his kingdom will have no end. (Luke 1:33) We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of Life, (Acts 2:17) who proceeds from the Father and the Son. (John 14:16) With the Father and Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets. (1 Peter 1:10-11) We believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church. (Rom 12:5) We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. (Acts 2:38) We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. (Rom 6:5) Amen
Liturgy of the Eucharist
[The gifts are brought to the altar. These include the bread and wine and the offering collected from the people.] (Malachi 3:10)
Priest: Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. (Eccl. 3:13) It will become for us the bread of life. (John 6:35)
People: Blessed be God forever. (Ps 68:36)
Priest: Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink. (Luke 22:17-18)
People: Blessed be God forever. (Ps 68:36)
Priest: Pray, brethren, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father. (Heb. 12:28)
People: May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our sake and the good of all his Church. (Ps 50:23)
Priest: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord. (Lam 3:41)
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord Our God. (Col 3:17)
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise. (Col 1:3)
All: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. (Is 6:3) Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. (Mark 11:9-10)
[There are four of these, based on ancient prayers of the Church. Eucharistic Prayer Two follows as an example:]
Priest: Lord, you are holy indeed, the fountain of all holiness. (2 Macc. 14:36) Let your spirit come upon these gifts (water and wine) to make them holy, so that they may become the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Before he was given up to death, (Phil 2:8) a death he freely accepted, (John 10:17-18) he took bread and gave you thanks. He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said: Take this all of you, and eat it: this is my body which will be given up for you. When supper was ended, he took the cup. Again he gave thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples, and said: Take this, all of you, and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this is memory of me. (Mark 14:22-25) Let us proclaim the mystery of faith.
All: Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life, Lord Jesus, come in glory. (Heb 2:14-15)
Priest: In memory of his death and resurrection, we offer you, Father, this life-giving bread, this saving cup. (John 6:51) We thank you for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve you. May all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor.10:17) Lord, remember your Church throughout the world; make us grow in love together with our Pope and our bishop, and all the clergy. Remember our brothers and sisters who have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again: bring them and all the departed into the light of your presence. (2 Macc 12:45-46) Have mercy on us all; make us worthy to share eternal life with Mary, the virgin Mother of God, with the apostles and with all the saints who have done your will throughout the ages. May we praise you in union with them, and give you glory though your Son, Jesus Christ. (2 Thes 1:4-5) Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.
All: Amen. (Rom 11:36)
The Lord’s Prayer:
All: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (Matt 6:9-13)
Priest: Deliver us, Lord, from every evil and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ. (John 17:15)
All: For the kingdom the power and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen
Priest: Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles; I leave you peace, my peace I give to you. (John 14:27) Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom where you live forever and ever.
Priest: The peace of the Lord be with you always! (John 20:19)
People: And also with you!
[The priest then directs the people to exchange a sign, such as a handshake or a kiss, or a word of God’s peace to one another.]
Breaking of the Bread
All: Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace. (John 1:29)
Priest: This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper. (Rev. 19:9)
People: Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed. (Matt 8:8)
[Communion is distributed to the faithful at the altar by the priest and lay ministers.] Dismissal Priest: Blessed be the name of the Lord. Now and forever. (Dan 2:20) May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Luke 24:51) Go in peace (Luke 7:50) to love and serve the Lord. (2 Chr 35:3)
[During the blessing the people make the Sign of the Cross, the traditional sign of the baptized and a public sign of their belief in the power of God.]
People: Thanks be to God. (2 Cor 9:15)
Keep me on the list. Thanks.
Not all people realize that so many prayers during the Mass are IN THE BIBLE!
It truly astounds catechumens and candidates!
Do not forget that the Mass is soaked in scripture from beginning to end:
That reminds me of Evangelical Dr. Scott Hahn's first visit to a Catholic mass.
Scott Hahns The Lamb's Supper - The Mass as Heaven on Earth.
Foreword by Fr. Benedict Groeschel.
Part One - The Gift of the Mass
Hahn begins by describing the first mass he ever attended.
"There I stood, a man incognito, a Protestant minister in plainclothes, slipping into the back of a Catholic chapel in Milwaukee to witness my first Mass. Curiosity had driven me there, and I still didn't feel sure that it was healthy curiosity. Studying the writings of the earliest Christians, I'd found countless references to "the liturgy," "the Eucharist," "the sacrifice." For those first Christians, the Bible - the book I loved above all - was incomprehensible apart from the event that today's Catholics called "the Mass."
"I wanted to understand the early Christians; yet I'd had no experience of liturgy. So I persuaded myself to go and see, as a sort of academic exercise, but vowing all along that I would neither kneel nor take part in idolatry."
I took my seat in the shadows, in a pew at the very back of that basement chapel. Before me were a goodly number of worshipers, men and women of all ages. Their genuflections impressed me, as did their apparent concentration in prayer. Then a bell rang, and they all stood as the priest emerged from a door beside the altar.
Unsure of myself, I remained seated. For years, as an evangelical Calvinist, I'd been trained to believe that the Mass was the ultimate sacrilege a human could commit. The Mass, I had been taught, was a ritual that purported to "resacrifice Jesus Christ." So I would remain an observer. I would stay seated, with my Bible open beside me.
As the Mass moved on, however, something hit me. My Bible wasn't just beside me. It was before me - in the words of the Mass! One line was from Isaiah, another from Psalms, another from Paul. The experience was overwhelming. I wanted to stop everything and shout, "Hey, can I explain what's happening from Scripture? This is great!" Still, I maintained my observer status. I remained on the sidelines until I heard the priest pronounce the words of consecration: "This is My body . . . This is the cup of My blood."
Then I felt all my doubt drain away. As I saw the priest raise that white host, I felt a prayer surge from my heart in a whisper: "My Lord and my God. That's really you!"
I was what you might call a basket case from that point. I couldn't imagine a greater excitement than what those words had worked upon me. Yet the experience was intensified just a moment later, when I heard the congregation recite: "Lamb of God . . . Lamb of God . . . Lamb of God," and the priest respond, "This is the Lamb of God . . ." as he raised the host. In less than a minute, the phrase "Lamb of God" had rung out four times. From long years of studying the Bible, I immediately knew where I was. I was in the Book of Revelation, where Jesus is called the Lamb no less than twenty-eight times in twenty-two chapters. I was at the marriage feast that John describes at the end of that very last book of the Bible. I was before the throne of heaven, where Jesus is hailed forever as the Lamb. I wasn't ready for this, though - I was at Mass!
Please make no mistake here. I found this mass with scripture somewhere on the net. Can’t remember where but I was so impressed I kept it.
I am a new Catholic and it was wonderful to have this as an apologetic for those who feel Catholics are not biblical.
I think I may have posted this with a link sometime in the past.
Jesus did not sacrifice his body and blood at the Last Supper...It was sacrificed on the Cross...Jesus is God...God did not sacrifice His soul and divinity...
Found it or something really close. Perhaps it could be added to your links so it is always available.
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