Theology Unplugged: Roman Catholicism – Part 7 – The Mass

Join Michael Patton, Tim Kimberley, JJ Seid and Sam Storms as they continue their series on Roman Catholicism by discussing the topic of the Mass.


4 Responses to “Theology Unplugged: Roman Catholicism – Part 7 – The Mass”

  1. I appreciate the podcasts on RC. I am curious to hear more on how a Catholic would respond to the multiple sacrifices of Jesus on a daily/weekly basis. How is this different than OT Judaism? How do they respond to Hebrews 9 (and other places) where Barnabas :) describes Jesus’ once for all sacrifice? Isn’t that a huge part of the argument of Hebrews-to show how superior Jesus is to the old covenant (He’s better b/c his sacrifice is divine, willing, and once for all)?



  2. Hi, Jay. I’m in the process of becoming Catholic myself, so I will try to take a stab at your questions.

    The benefits of Catholicism vs Biblical Judaism: first, you don’t have to bring a herd animal all the way to Jerusalem and hope that it survives the journey without a broken ankle or other such blemish. Your only deal is that you have to show up, preferably at least once a week, but at least every Easter.

    Secondly: there is no need to slaughter an animal and go through the ordeal of draining the blood, roasting the meat, and then eating it. (Confession: Leviticus makes me hungry!)

    Now, here is why it is gainful: the consecration of the Host gives us a manifestation of God to whom we may bow. Catholics are physically in the presence of royalty and deity, and are taught to act accordingly. Greeks and Jews would have both felt out of place joining a religion that did not have this.

    Now, if I understand correctly, the Mass mystically taps into the once-and-for-all sacrifice. It doesn’t redo it, augment it, compensate for any alleged deficiencies in it, or any other such thing.

    Since not everyone had a full-fledged KJV, and most couldn’t read anyway, people worshiped by physically manifesting what they believe (that’s the point of the whole Levitical system). We tap into the sacrifice by the mystery of the Eucharist. It’s much the same as how we are baptized into his death (Romans 6:1-4) or how Ephesians 2:1-10 says we were raised with Christ, though he died only once and resurrected only once.

    It’s interesting that people use “once and for all” in Hebrews referring to why Catholics must be wrong on the Eucharist, but nobody uses the same logic against Paul. Jesus died once, not every single time a Christian is baptized. Neither is augmentation. Neither is redoing the death.

    The biblical writers did not view time strictly linearly, but I digress.

    See The Coming…

  3. Barnabas, huh? (:

    Hi Jay,

    I’m not practiced at explaining that particular issue, but I can, as a Catholic, offer a few comments that might be helpful, anyway.
    We certainly don’t believe that Jesus suffers and dies with each consecration of the Eucharist. Actually, we don’t believe it is the dead body of Jesus that we receive, but the resurrected glorius body. And since Jesus cannot be divided, we say that we receive his “body, blood, soul, and divinity.”
    Also, it’s not Jesus’s sacrifice being made over and over again. It’s the one, same sacrifice being re-presented (made present to us), not represented (symbolized).
    I think it may be similar to when the Jews celebrated the Passover again and again…..and the instructions included saying something like “when the Lord brought ME up out of Egypt” It was not just a mental recall, but a participation in, a re-presentation for successive generations. As you know, eating the lamb was an essential part of the Passover, not an add-on. And so, the Eucharist is an essential sacrament for us Christians.

  4. Great comments above. In my most humble understanding as a less then adequate apologetic some key points in John 6 always seem to support the catholic teaching on the Eucharist.
    1. Four times Jesus tells us to “eat His flesh and drink his blood” or we have no life within him. When we do He abides in us and we in Him.
    2. His “bread from heaven” surpasses the “earthly manna” where our ancestor ate but died. If He isn’t what we believe as the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ then the typology is lesser not greater. At least the manna kept the Israelites alive physically.
    3. Many of his disciples left him because it was a hard teaching. He let them go without explaining the teaching.
    4. Does this offend you? Interesting that Jesus mentions “Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!” He is speaking of his resurrected glorious body (so as not to be confused with cannibalism) point made by Irene.
    5. The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. Spirit is nowhere symbolic. God is Spirit (John 4:24
    6. We see this resurrected body on the road to Emmaus when they recognized him in the breaking of the bread.
    Not to mention:
    1 Cor 10:16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.
    2. 1 Cor 11:23-29 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread…

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