Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 1:
That is true. That offering of Christ in the Eucharist is known as the Mass, and the Mass is the Sacrifice of the New Law.
The Sacrifice of Calvary was a Sacrifice not only for Christians but for the whole human race from the moment of the first sin. But whilst the death of Christ upon the Cross was the one great absolute Sacrifice, the Mass is a true and relative Sacrifice applying to the souls of men the fruits of Calvary. Anyway the doctrine which denies that the Mass is the true Sacrifice in the Christian dispensation is simply anti-scriptural.
By religion we honor God, and the chief and highest form of worship has ever been by the offering of sacrifice. Now God demanded continual sacrifices of various kinds from the very beginning of the human race until the coming of Christ, and it is not likely that the Christian and more perfect religion would lack a continual and regular offering of the highest act of religion. All the various sacrifices of the Jewish dispensation represented and prefigured the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, and derived all their value by anticipation from His death upon the Cross. And if the Jews had to honor God by regular sacrifices, so too must Christians in the higher and more perfect New Law. But there is this difference. Whilst the Jewish sacrifices were anticipations of the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, the Mass is a recollection and constant application of that one great Sacrifice to the souls of men.
I can do so. The Old Testament predicts that Christ will offer a true sacrifice to God in bread and wine—that He will use those elements. And this prediction is every bit as clear as the prediction that He will also offer Himself upon the Cross. Thus Gen. XIV., 18, tells us that Melchisedech, King of Salem, was a Priest, and that he offered sacrifice under the form of bread and wine. Now Ps. 109 predicts most clearly that Christ will be a Priest according to the order of Melchisedech, i. e., offering a sacrifice under the forms of bread and wine. We must, then, look for some form of sacrifice differing from that of Calvary, for the Crucifixion was not a Sacrifice under the forms of bread and wine. You may say that Christ fulfilled the prediction at the Last Supper, but that the rite was not to be continued. However, that admits that the rite was truly sacrificial—and the fact is that it has been continued in exactly the same sense. It was predicted that it r/ould continue. After foretelling the rejection of the Jewish priesthood, the Prophet Malachy predicts a new sacrifice to be offered in every place. "From the rising of the sun even to the going down my name is great among the Gentiles: and in every place there is sacrifice and there is offered to my name a clean oblation." Mai. I., 10-11. The Sacrifice of Calvary took place in one place only. We must look for a sacrifice apart from Calvary, one offered in every place under the forms of bread and wine. The Mass is that Sacrifice.
Yes, to both questions. For a true sacrifice we need a Priest, an altar, a victim, and a covenant with God. Christ was truly the great High Priest, and He gave the power of Priests to His Apostles, commissioning them to do repeatedly as He Himself had done in their presence. "Do this," He said, "in commemoration of me." The power was to persevere in the Church, even as Malachi had predicted. As victim, Christ offered Himself at the Last Supper. Taking bread and wine He said, "This is My body . . . This is My blood . . . As often as you shall eat this bread and drink this chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord until He come." 1 Cor. XL, 24-26. The separate forms of consecration represented the separation of His body and blood when He ratified the Sacrifice by His death on the Cross next day. The victim, then, is Christ under the appearances of bread and wine representatively separated. This does not interfere with the value of Calvary, for Christ's real death occurred there, and without it this representative function would be useless. Continuously through the ages the Sacrifice of the Mass has been offered daily in the Catholic Church, and is to-day offered in every place from the rising of the sun even to its going down, as Malachi predicted.As for the altar, years after the death of Christ St. Paul said, "We have an altar whereof they have no power to eat who serve the tabernacle." Heb. XIIL, 10. Finally, there is the covenant with God. "This chalice is the new testament in my blood," said Christ. 1 Cor. XL, 25. It had legal documentary value in the sight of God. The Catholic Church alone fulfills Scripture in the Sacrifice of the Mass.
Christ offered Himself with the shedding of blood on Calvary. Without that shedding of blood there would be no remission of sin. Yet since the Mass is but an application of Calvary with its shedding of blood there is no real difficulty. There is a difficulty for one who denies the Sacrifice of the Mass, for without that there is no fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy that there will be offered in every place a clean oblation, without shedding of blood, from the rising to the setting of the sun.
No. He merely insisted upon the doctrine which had always been held by Christians that the Mass is a sacrifice in the true sense of the Gospel teachings. If the idea was not Catholic doctrine until 1208, why did St. Irenaeus in the year 180, over 1000 years earlier, write that Christ commanded His disciples to offer sacrifice to God, not because God needed it but that they might become more pleasing to God? And he goes on to show that the continued offering of the Eucharistic Sacrifice is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Malachi which manifestly predicted that the Jewish people would cease to offer to God, and that a new and pure sacrifice would be offered to Him in every place by the Gentiles. Adv. Haer. IV., 17, 5. If Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, could write that in the 2nd century, it is of little use to assert that Catholics did not believe the Mass to be a true sacrifice until the year 1208.
No Catholic has ever believed that Christ is really slain in the Mass. They have never gone beyond the words of Scripture, "As often as you do this you shall show the death of the Lord until He come." Nor did any theologians attempt a mathematical calculation as to the efficacy of the Mass. They knew that mathematics could never express it. The theological value of the Mass is a perfectly legitimate question for any man to ask who seeks deeper knowledge of Christian doctrine.
That sweeping statement is not justified by Cardinal Vaughan's qualified doctrine. "So far as the practical effects upon the soul are concerned," he writes, "the Holy Mass has in some senses the advantage over Calvary." And he was quite right. No Catholics think that the Mass in itself is better than Calvary, for it is Calvary reapplied, depending upon and deriving all its value from Calvary. "As often as you do this," said Christ, "you shall show the death of the Lord until He come." And that death took place upon the Cross. Yet the Mass has this advantage that whilst the death of Christ upon the Cross-occurred in one place only and before a few people, Calvary re-applied in the Mass can occur in many places and before multitudes.
It is not essential that Mass should be offered in the evening, but simply that the Mass should be offered. Mass in the evening of course would be quite valid. But the Church, making use of her God-given power to regulate all that pertains to disciplinary matters, has decreed that it should be celebrated in the morning. This law is in honor of the fact that Christ rose from the dead in the early morning, thus completing His work of redemption.