"The "Mass" Isn't the Same Sacrifice as Calvary"
Growing up as a Roman Catholic, my religious life centered upon Sunday's mass service. Have you ever thought about what the mass represents or what the significance of the Mass is? If you are like most people, you probably haven't. Or perhaps you might have thought that the Mass is just how Catholics want "to do their thing," figuring that it's just another form of worship. The problem lies in the fact that the Bible tells us that there is only one way to get to Heaven, not many ways to get there, so let's us see just how well "The Mass" compares in this process. This is what the Catholic Catechism tells us: "1326 Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all. 1327 In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: "Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking." 1382 The Mass is at the same time, and inseparably, the sacrificial memorial in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated and the sacred banquet of communion with the Lord's body and blood. But the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice is wholly directed toward the intimate union of the faithful with Christ through communion. To receive communion is to receive Christ himself who has offered himself for us. 1384 The Lord addresses an invitation to us, urging us to receive him in the sacrament of the Eucharist: "Truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." 2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass."
"Whooooa! That's enough about what they claim the mass is." you must be thinking. Well, there is more to it. On a website, www.Catholic.com, they explain the mass to be: "Similarly, in the Mass Christ offers himself to the Father on our behalf, and we, his people, join ourselves sacramentally to his offering. The Mass is a way of approaching God through Christ's sacrifice, which is made present sacramentally because Christ himself is present." The problem is that this belief is built upon the false teaching of transubstantiation. This was taken from an old teaching of Aristotle in 300 BC which states that everything is made up of accidents (outward appearance) and substance (inner substance). They claim that the inner substance of the wafer changes into the literal body and blood of Jesus while the outer appearance remains the same.
There isn't space enough here to pick apart all of the given arguments, but I'll touch on a few areas. First, for every miracle that Jesus did in the Bible, there was physical evidence that a change happened, as in the water didn't stay water that simply tasted like wine or the crippled people no longer were crippled, etc., etc... Secondly, Matthew 15 tells us that food has no bearing on corrupting a person, so how can it be that by literally eating His body we gain entrance into Heaven? Thirdly, John 6 is about believing in Jesus. And just as Jesus spoke in John 4:31 to 34 about the meat that He had to eat was spiritually speaking, likewise in John Chapter 6, He spoke of doing the Father's will. In fact, He tells us this in verse 6:63, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." Furthermore, Jesus often used figurative language to help explain Himself to us, as when He said, "I am the door," (John 10:9), "I am the light," (John 9:5) and "I am the vine" ( John 15:1+5) with no literal misunderstanding. And fourthly, we are told in Acts Chapter 1:11, that "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." So are we to ignore this verse as well as Matthew 24:26 and 30 which says, "So if anyone tells you, `There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, `Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory."? When Jesus appears the next time, the whole world will see it.
Finally, by knowing what Jesus said, the Bible interprets itself. When Jesus came to Earth, it was as a human, and He often told of His death that was to come. So when He said, "This is my Body...." He was talking about His physical body, that His Body was about to be persecuted, not the bread which He was holding. No, the mass isn't the same sacrifice as Calvary, and the important event to focus on is what happened on the cross, not at the last supper. Jesus simply invites everyone to partake in the breaking of the bread in remembrance of what He was about to do on the cross. Communion is done in remembrance of what Jesus did nearly 2000 years ago so we can praise, worship and thank Him for all that He's done for us. Thus, the early Church simply did four things. They, "... continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:42) We should do the same today.