Why Do Catholic Priests Sacrifice Jesus Again & Again & Again…?

Q. Is the Mass a communal meal or a sacrifice?
A. It is both.
First, it is a re-presentation of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. At the mass, the scrim of time is pulled away and we communally leave “Now” and enter the precincts of the Eternal. Everything looks normal. But, the spiritual reality is that we are transported “back in time” to the foot of the Cross, with Holy Mary and St. John, as well as, the angels and archangels. All present themselves to adore our Blessed Lord’s sacrifice at calvary.

And then, in obedience to Jesus, we partake of a communal meal of His body and blood under the appearance of bread and wine.

“Jesus 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. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.” John 6: 53-58

Q. Then, is Jesus dying over and over?
A. No.
For Christ… died for sins once for all” (I Peter 3:18)
The sacrifice of Christ happened once, in time, and is an historical fact. Unlike the sacrifices in the Old Testament, Christ’s sacrifice is eternal. It is we, who are in time, who must return over and over in thanksgiving to adore Him and be nourished for our journey to heaven.

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14 Responses

  1. I have struggled over the meaning of communion and pergatory. I believe we come together in mass and share a meal together in remembrance that Christ died for us and we gather and share communion as a thanksgiving for what he has done for us.
    I do not believe there is a purgatory… you either go to Heaven or Hell. Our purgatory is when we feel such horrible grief and remorse for our sins… Jesus nailed them to the cross for us. We are so blessed….The Lord is so gracious and merciful.

    • (I know this is almost a year old, but I will respond anyway)

      “I believe we come together in mass and share a meal together in remembrance that Christ died for us and we gather and share communion as a thanksgiving for what he has done for us.”

      I believe that as well, but in a different way than I think you are saying it. We *do* share a Meal together, it is the Meal of the Body and Blood of Christ. Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” but He also said, “This is My Body” and “This is My Blood”. St. Paul also says:

      “The chalice of benediction which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord?” — 1Cor 10:16 (DRB)

      There is truly a mystical link between the Mass as said today, the Last Supper and the Cross. When we look upon the Eucharist, we look into the Face of God. When we receive the Eucharist, we are receiving God Himself. It is truly Jesus Christ. That is why we fall down in worship before the Blessed Sacrament on the Altar or in a monstrance. The Protestants call it idolatry but it is not obviously not idolatry to worship God and the Eucharist is God — Jesus Christ, truly present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. This is *crucial*, which is from the Latin “crucis” or “crux”, meaning “cross”. The Cross isn’t just 2,000 years ago, it is permanent in Eternity and we experience it every day in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and we will experience it forever in Heaven (Rev. 5:6, et. al.)

      We are thankful for what Christ has done for us, but in Communion we express that thanksgiving by sacramentally joining *with Christ* in what He has done, what He is doing, for us. Christ joined the human and divine natures and in Communion, we strengthen and experience that joining by eating Him.

      “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.” — John 6:54

      “I do not believe there is a purgatory… you either go to Heaven or Hell. Our purgatory is when we feel such horrible grief and remorse for our sins… Jesus nailed them to the cross for us. We are so blessed….The Lord is so gracious and merciful.”

      Secondly, on Purgatory, I agree with you on everything after “I do not believe there is a purgatory”. You *do* “either go to Heaven or Hell”. Purgatory is the journey, the preparation, the cleansing, the purifying, the purgation, for Heaven. People may be even in Purgatory until the End of the World, but at that point Purgatory will be destroyed (Rev. 20:14, Hades is Purgatory) and everyone will be in Heaven who is in the Book of Life (Rev. 21:27).

      Preparation for Heaven begins now. It *does* exist “when we feel such horrible grief and remorse for our sins”. But this grief and remorse continues after bodily death if we are not totally pure (and very few people are). We are supposed to begin our Purgatory now, by our own choice, to prepare ourselves for Heaven. After death, we will no longer be able to be distracted by anything that is not God. Hell is facing the immensity of our sins, our separation from God, with no hope of ever being released from them. We weep for all those who make that choice. Purgatory is facing our sins and being purified of them.

      We also believe that the prayers of people on earth are helpful to those in Purgatory. The ancient Jews prayed for the dead and still do, Eastern Christians, both Catholic and Orthodox, pray for the dead (though they have a bit different, less defined, understanding of the after-death process) and the Western Christians, both Roman Catholics and Anglicans, pray for the dead. We have always prayed for the dead because we have always believed we can help them on their journey to Heaven.

      That is the primary purpose of a funeral Mass or any Requiem Mass since the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the offering up of Jesus Christ to God the Father, is the greatest prayer that could possibly be made. When we die, we lose our free will. Those in Hell cannot change their mind and choose Heaven, those in Heaven cannot change their mind and choose Hell (apparently angels are different, since Lucifer and his angels chose Hell). Those in Purgatory suffer the consequences of their sins but they can no longer help themselves, they can’t pray for mercy on themselves. We pray for their sake.

      Jesus became sin for our sake (2Cor 5:21) and was sacrificed on the Cross but that doesn’t mean that all our sins are instantly forgiven, we have to work with that grace, it is not forced upon us. Non-Calvinist Protestants also believe that, though they have a varied and ill-defined and sometimes incorrect understanding of what that means, they do believe we have to “accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior” in order to join Christ on the Cross (Gal 2:19-20), die to sin and be reborn in Christ.

      Salvation is the process of becoming aligned with God, of eliminating sin, of becoming pure, of becoming one with Christ. We should start that purification now so as to avoid sin because we love God and desire our own salvation, we desire to be with God and are sorry for those times when we have chosen to disobey God. But that doesn’t mean everything is instantaneously purified at the moment of death as Protestants believe, that process continues and that is why we pray for our beloved brothers and sisters who are in Purgatory (we hope they did not choose Hell, but that knowledge is reserved for God).

      To be clear, the definition of the Mass as the Holy Sacrifice, which entails the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, that the Mass *is* Calvary and that the dead may go through a process of purification known as Purgatory and that we can help them through prayer, especially Masses, are part of the indisputable Catholic faith. That is to say, you can disbelieve in it, of course, but then you’re aren’t Catholic.

      Many prayers!
      IC XC,

  2. Thanks Katherine but your beliefs are not Catholic they are Protest-ant.

  3. rubbish were is your proof.
    Salvation is thru jesus and scripture alone
    YOU ARE TEACHING doctrinies of deciet,of the worst kind but true non catholics are safe because they see thru and on to the simple truth of jesus ministery
    The truth will set u free
    no wonder jesus came to the lost sheep of israel only,
    Dont say you were not warned,
    TO think that god sent hes only son into the world,,
    out of his love for all people of all times,and yet the thing that become the papal roman catholic church teaches another jesus and another gospel,
    Well your faith is on par with islam,that the truth was there all along,but you had to challenge Gods plans thru tradidtions of men
    Your faith is full of dead mens bones,
    May mercy be shown to you at judgment day.

  4. “Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is greatest after the sacraments, the one dearest to God and the most helpful to us.” – St. Alphonsus Liguori

    Darren: rubbish were is your proof.

    Bread From Heaven:Since your comment was on my post regarding the Eucharist I guess you are referring to the sacrifice of the Mass. Proof of the Real Presence, Body,Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus in the Eucharist is clearly in Scripture. Please see my post–>When Did Jesus Teach Communion was His Flesh and Blood?

    Communion-Symbol Only?

    Early Church Beliefs in the Eucharist

    Martin Luther On the Real Presence

    Darren: Salvation is thru jesus and scripture alone
    Bread From Heaven: Protestants always assert their doctrine of Sola Scriptura or Scripture alone but it is not found anywhere in Scripure. It is a tradition of men invented by Martin Luther

    Darren:YOU ARE TEACHING doctrinies of deciet,

    Bread From Heaven: Why do you say that?

    Darren:no wonder jesus came to the lost sheep of israel only,
    Dont say you were not warned,TO think that god sent hes only son into the world,,
    out of his love for all people of all times,and yet the thing that become the papal roman catholic church teaches another jesus and another gospel,

    Bread From Heaven:Why do you think that? The Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ and our doctrine have been in existence since then, long before the New Testament was canonized by the Catholic Church.

    Darren:Well your faith is on par with islam,that the truth was there all along,but you had to challenge Gods plans thru tradidtions of men. Your faith is full of dead mens bones,

    Bread From Heaven:Are you attempting to convince me to become Protestant with your comments or just vent?

  5. The bible is symbolic
    Where jesus said in 3 days pull this temple down,and i will build it up again,is metaphour-
    The jews never got it,and on so many other things of scripture catholics dont get it either,
    We outside of your church,
    The real presence,mass,other catholic teachings-mary saints relics,are fine in a roman catholic ideal world view,
    But to claim that these teachings are neccasary for salvation,cannot go unchallenged by christians who see jesus faith and teaching in a more genuine heart felt way,as mary magdaliene said,
    you dont believe me-that she had seen the risen christ,
    Well many christians see catholic teaching in that stark light,we dont believe you,because what you hold to be gospel truth does not resonate in in our walk with jesus,we see fraud control foolishness,that has spaned history,because of foolish teaching by men who should have known much better.
    Indeed many see Muhhaamads teachings,as a judgement on a apostate church,that he wittnessed,-had profaned the word of god the message of jesus,and idolatory that had gone to far,
    Your church back then and now,has not learnt its lessons,and so will continue to pay a great price for its errant teachings,
    The church can hide behind apostolic sucssion keys of peter,teaching authority,what ever it feels it has,to be relevant in todays world,
    And for the record,
    In 1990 i was trecking thru the northen territory of australia,
    I stumbled across a gidieon bible,old and new testament-
    That was the begging of my walk with god.-and i became a christian thru prayer,and the inspired word of god,-NO church,no pope,no creeds,just a man and his lord,
    The 1st century believers were all jews,thank god,all they had in whorshipp and to appeal to was the tannak,-old testament-which thank god,no catholic can lay any claim to ,
    Were the catholic church says it was a church before the scriptures were written,is only true of the new testament,-and they were insired writings given to men with gods insiration.they are not the property of the church but God.
    It is my great belief,that a portion of Christians Jews Moslems will indeed meet again in the after life,thats my belief,god willind.
    I teach my 10 year old daughter that if i held the views i do today,about the roman catholic church,that not so many years ago they would have burnt me at the stake,and why///-because i choose to hold fast to the sinai covernaunt and the new covernaunt given in jesus blood at the cross,-not the teaching authority of any church,
    Dont blame luther or calvin or wesley for people like me,
    Look into your own history and the fruits it has borne
    There are good and bad non catholics,and good and bad catholics,
    But god is one god,and jesus is one with that god,amen-but my moslem friends would argue other wise,-amen-peace,if thats possible this side of life,?
    Darren,Victoria Australia.

    • Look at the picture of pope John holding a wafer which is supposedly our Lord and Savior contained inside of a pagan sundial. How would Christ feel about being associated with the sun god Tammuz? Shame on the Catholic church for subjecting Christ to such mockery.

      • It is only YOU who are subjecting Christ to such mockery by associating Him with Tammuz. You must also be the one who mocked Christ for performing his miracles “by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” You should be worried about the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit with such baseless accusation and assertion (Read Matt 12:22-37).

      • Deb,
        Did you ever ask a knowledgeable Catholic if the item that holds Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist is meant to represent or be associated with the sun god Tammuz? If not where did you come up with that? Because it is just laughable. My guess is that someone who is eager to criticize the Catholic Church probably just jumped to an evil conclusion based on the looks and decided that their opinion was true without ever trying to find out the reality. It is the same “investigative” method Protestants use to accuse Catholics of worshiping idols. They see a Catholic kneeling down in prayer in front of a picture or statue and they are so sure they are witnessing modern day idolatry.
        They could not be more wrong.

        The resepticle that holds the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus Christ is meant of adorn, glorify and beautify Our Lord. That is all. Our Enemy surely inspired the sun god theory in the minds of your teacher.
        Kyrie Eleison

      • Dear Deb,

        Aurelius Ambrosius, better known in English as Saint Ambrose (c. between 337 and 340 – 4 April 397), was a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century.
        He called the Lord Jesus: Sol Iustitiae…….Sun of Justice.

        the peace of Christ.

      • Dear Deb,

        The early christians had to oppose (nonviolently) the Roman pagan god Deus Sol Invictus, that is the Invincible Sun god. That is why the 2nd-century Church Father Tertullian wrote that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church,” implying that the martyrs’ willing sacrifice of their lives leads to the conversion of others. Remembering the words of Paul “to live outside of Christ is to die, and to die in Christ is to live.”
        After a struggle of almost four centuries the Church triumphed over the Roman religion of the invincible sun god.

        the peace of Christ.

  6. People sometimes say that sacrifices strengthen the will, any ideas on how best to understand that?

    • The Sacrifice of the Mass would not fall into that category, per se. It is a channel of grace which could also strengthen our will to do good.

      But, for an individual, making small sacrifices of legitimate goods (like a meal(s)) or pleasures (sugar in morning coffee) strengthens our will to resist self indulgence. These sacrifices could be greater also. The more difficult the sacrifice the greater strength of will we could gain, I would think.

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