The Origin and Theology of

the Holy Mass

Sacrifice of the Holy Mass

 

      Perhaps the best way to describe this connection is to say that in the Mass we re-link ourselves to Calvary.  In the Mass, Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary is perpetuated by the priest, who offers it anew to the Father.  St. Paul told his converts in Corinth, "Every time, then, you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes" (1 Corinthians 11:26).

       It is not a new sacrifice, but rather the same sacrifice that Jesus offered on the cross 2,000 years ago.  The Eucharist is not a matter of "repeating" that action but of reestablishing our bond with it. The difference, however, is that Jesus no longer  dies at each Mass, but is simply re-offered to the Father.  It is a “bloody” sacrifice only in the sense that it contains the Body and Blood of Christ.  But it is “unbloody” in the sense that it is offered only in a sacramental fashion under the appearances of bread and wine. 

     In other words, in the Mass, we re-present -- or mystically renew -- the Sacrifice of Calvary.  In other words, we offer Jesus’ sacrifice to God the Father on the altar during Eucharistic celebration   for the remission of our sins, using signs and symbols.  This means that, once again, we offer Christ to the Father, saying: "Father, look upon the Lamb that was slain for our sake." By the words of consecration, Christ is made present again through the “transubstantiation" of the bread and wine into Christ's Body and Blood.

 

 

Misconceptions About the Catholic Church

 

#1    The Papacy is a medieval invention

The Pope is the Bishop of Rome.  From the beginning of Christianity he was considered the head of the Church.  This fact is alluded to in many of the early Church documents and even in the Bible itself:  “And I say to you: You are Peter (Greek for rock), and upon this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18).  Peter was the first Bishop of Rome.  He led the Church until his death in 64 A.D.   Linus became the second Pope.  St. Irenaeus mentions him in his writings, “Against the Heresies.”  Paul also states in 2 Timothy 4:21 that Linus becomes the next Bishop of Rome.  Anacletus and Clement are his next two successors.  St. Irenaeus mentions another six Popes and the  various tasks they undertook during their tenures.

$64,000.00 QUESTION..I get this question a lot in Keyser ... Why don't I speak about issues like same-sex marriage and abortion in my homilies?

 

Several reasons:

 

1.  A "homily" is a teaching or explanation of that Sunday's scripture readings and how we apply them to our lives.

2.  If I were to talk about a social issue, my "homily" would go 45 minutes.  I would cover the historical, theological, scriptural, moral, and cultural issues of the topic.  Seven-to-ten minutes cannot even adequately cover these moral dilemmas. I don't want us to be "soundbite" Catholics. Somehow, I don't think many of you would be too happy about 90-100 minute Masses.

3.  The Mass is not an appropriate venue to cover these topics:

     a.  people don't have a chance to ask questions for clarification

     b.  some have difficulty hearing and may misconstrue the information

     c.  I like to use handouts and audio-visuals when teaching; Mass is not the place for either

4.  There are several good Catholic websites to peruse for information on teachings and moral issues.  Here are a few:

     a.  CatholicNewsAgency.com

     b.  Catholic.org

     c.  CatholicNews.com  (Catholic News Service)

     d.  w2.vatican.va  (The Vatican website -- change language from Italian to English)

     The Vatican website also has English translations of The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Code of Canon Law  (1983 edition, English)

 

I would be willing to do presentations on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday evening if parishioners are interested.

 

I encourage our faithful to attend the adult education classes where we will cover a smorgasbord of Catholic topics:  the Mass, the Sacraments, Prayer, Morality / Commandments, Mary, the Saints

 

When I was in the seminary, I was shocked by my peers who just wanted the answers spoon-fed to them.  They didn't want to read; they didn't want to think.  They were intellectually lazy.  I don't want to spoon-feed  you. You deserve better.  As John Henry Cardinal Newman, patron saint of Catholic college students, said, "The greatest tragedy in the Church is an ignorant laity."

 

SCOTUS DECISION ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

 

Fr. Krempa, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Winchester, has a good response to the Supreme Court's decision.  You can find it on the parish website sacredheartwinchester.org

 

Fr. Robert Barron

 

The author of the Catholicism DVD series, has a good eight-minute video regarding same-sex marriage and the Catholic response.  You can find it on Youtube.com. 

     

 

 

 CHURCH ETIQUETTE

 

One strength of Our Lady of Grace parishioners is our active participation at Mass.  I rarely see anyone leave Mass early; in fact, everyone stays until the recessional hymn is finished.  What a blessing!

 

  In many parishes lots of congregants leave immediately after Communion.  That's like being invited to dinner and then leaving after you've taken the last bite!  How can we stiff the Lord like that?  

 

The rules for fasting indicate that we are to fast from food and drink for one hour before receiving Holy Communion.  We can consume water and medicine.  Gum chewing in Mass is not permitted.  It breaks the fast and is not conducive for prayer and worship. 

 

Once the final hymn is completed, church etiquette requests that those in the front pews exit first.  Since we are to genuflect to the Blessed Sacrament upon leaving the pew, it is disruptive to exit the pew and genuflect while people are walking over top us. 

 

 

JOHN 6

"THE BREAD OF LIFE"

 

     The sixth chapter of John's Gospel.  This chapter is known as the "Bread of Life Teachings."  

 

     These passages remind us of the wonderful gift we have to receive Our Lord Christ Jesus in his Real Presence, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

Guidelines for Lent

 

1) Fasting is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by everyone 18 years and older, who has not yet celebrated their 59th birthday. On a fast day, one full meal is allowed. Two other meals, enough to maintain strength, may be taken, according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but consuming liquids, including milk and juices, is allowed.

 

2)  Abstinence is observed by everyone 14 years of age or older. On days of abstinence, no meat is allowed. Note that when health or the ability to work is affected, the law does not oblige. Ash Wednesday, all the Fridays during Lent, and Good Friday are days of abstinence. If a person is unable to observe the above regulations due to ill health or other serious reasons, other suitable forms of self-denial are encouraged.

 

Why do we put ash on our forehead?

 

Ashes are applied to our forehead in the sign of the cross as the words, "Remember, you are dust and to dust you shall return" are spoken to us. The other formula which is used, "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel" emphasizes our call to continual conversion and holiness of life. This act symbolizes our mortality as well as our need for ongoing repentance. It is a reminder that this life is short and merely a foreshadowing of what we shall become through the redemption of Jesus Christ on the cross. The work of our redemption will not be complete until we are raised from the dead, in resurrected bodies like His own and called to the eternal communion of heaven.

 

Guidelines for Lent

 

1) Fasting is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by everyone 18 years and older, who has not yet celebrated their 59th birthday. On a fast day, one full meal is allowed. Two other meals, enough to maintain strength, may be taken, according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but consuming liquids, including milk and juices, is allowed.

 

2)  Abstinence is observed by everyone 14 years of age or older. On days of abstinence, no meat is allowed. Note that when health or the ability to work is affected, the law does not oblige. Ash Wednesday, all the Fridays during Lent, and Good Friday are days of abstinence. If a person is unable to observe the above regulations due to ill health or other serious reasons, other suitable forms of self-denial are encouraged.

 

Why do we put ash on our forehead?

 

Ashes are applied to our forehead in the sign of the cross as the words, "Remember, you are dust and to dust you shall return" are spoken to us. The other formula which is used, "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel" emphasizes our call to continual conversion and holiness of life. This act symbolizes our mortality as well as our need for ongoing repentance. It is a reminder that this life is short and merely a foreshadowing of what we shall become through the redemption of Jesus Christ on the cross. The work of our redemption will not be complete until we are raised from the dead, in resurrected bodies like His own and called to the eternal communion of heaven.

 

 

 

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