Is the Catholic Mass really a sacrifice?

 

Fundamentalists reject the Catholic teaching on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for two reasons.  They claim the Mass violates many passages in Hebrews which tell us Jesus was only sacrificed once, and that, without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins (Heb 9:22, 25, 28 10:11-12).  They think Catholics teach Jesus is sacrificed again at every Mass.  They cite Catholic catechisms which teach that in the Mass Jesus is offered in an unbloody manner.

The Catholic Church teaches that the one, all-sufficient, bloody sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary is made present at each Mass in an unbloody manner.  Christ is not re-sacrificed at each Mass; rather the Mass re-presents the one sacrifice of Calvary.  Thus, the efficacy (effectiveness) of the Mass comes entirely from the one, bloody sacrifice of Calvary.

The passages referred to in Hebrews compare the many sacrifices of the OT religion, which could not atone for sin nor reconcile mankind to God, with the one sacrifice of Christ which did atone for all sins and reconcile mankind to God.  Hebrews also stresses that the bloody sacrifices of animals in the OT prefigured the bloody sacrifice of Christ for the remission of sin.

The Mass, also know as the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, repeats what happened at the Last Supper.  At the Last Supper our Lord turned bread into His body, and said that this body would be offered up (sacrificed) for us.  He turned wine into His blood, and said that this blood would be shed (sacrificed) for us.  Clearly, at the Last Supper, Jesus made His future sacrificed at Calvary present.  He then commanded His disciples to repeat this mystery.  In 1 Cor 11:26, St. Paul tells us that in the celebration of the Eucharist we “proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes.”  Thus, the Last Supper, which made the sacrifice of Calvary present, will continue to be repeated in the Mass until the end of time.  In this way, Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice will be made present to the faithful until the end of time.

 

 

What are your thoughts?  Tell us what you think by leaving us a comment below.

 

 

2 thoughts on “The Mass as a Sacrifice

  1. Hi Bob

    What I like in Catholic faith are mysteries. We are very often in a temptation to understand everything with our intellect and reason. But how can we understand God? Believers should approach these mysteries with faith and not strive to understand them.

    The Eucharist which repeated in every Mass is one of the biggest mystery. All we can do is to believe in Jesus words and to participate in Holy Masses.
    Igor

    1. I love your comments Igor.

      Yes, the Mass is so beautiful and amazing.  We attend a Latin Mass community Catholic Church and to be able to kneel at the gates of heaven to receive our Lord and Savior, it the best.

      Thanks for the comment.

      God Bless

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