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Words of Consecration in the Mass QUESTION from Heidi April 26, 1999
Dear John, It was recently brought to my attention that the actual words which Jesus spoke to the apostles as He turned the bread & wine into His Body & Blood are different than what we hear at Mass. If you turn to Matthew 26:26-28, the Last Supper, you will notice that Jesus says, 26-And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it and gave it to the disciples and said, 'Take this all of you and eat; this is My Body. '27Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you 28 For this is My Blood of the new covenant, which is shed for MANY for the forgiveness of sins. My emphasis on many. Yet during the Mass, the celebrant says ...this is My Blood.. which is shed for ALL for the forgiveness of sins.(My emphasis) Why the outright discrepancy? There's a BIG difference between many & all. Why misquote Our Dear Lord? Is the Mass valid? Do I understand correctly that in the Latin Mass Jesus was quoted exactly as He should be? Thanks for your answer! God Bless! ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on April 27, 1999
Dear Heidi, The for many / for all problem is always brought up by so-called Traditionalists who question the validity of the new Roman missal introduced after the Second Vatican Council. If we follow their argument to the hilt we find ourselves with another problem. Jesus wasn't speaking English or Latin. He was speaking Aramaic. If the so-called Traditionalists were really as concerned about changing the words of the consecration as some of them claim to be, the only reasonable solution would be to have the priest say the words of consecration in the original Aramaic. ...this is My Blood.. which is shed for ALL for the forgiveness of sins. Is any heretical idea being asserted by these words? Didn't Christ shed His blood for ALL according to the Tradition of the Catholic faith? He that spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for US ALL, how hath he not also, with him, given us all things? [Romans 8:32, Douay-Rheims] (my emphasis) And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ ALL shall be made alive. [1 Corinthians 15:22, Douay-Rheims] (my emphasis) And Christ died for ALL; that they also who live, may not now live to themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again. [2 Corinthians 5:15, Douay-Rheims] (my emphasis) For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: Who gave himself a redemption for ALL, a testimony in due times. [1 Timothy 2:5-6, Douay-Rheims] (my emphasis) And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for those of the WHOLE WORLD.[1 John 2:2, Douay-Rheims] (my emphasis) And we have seen, and do testify, that the Father hath sent his Son to be the Saviour of THE WORLD.[1 John 4:14, Douay-Rheims] (my emphasis) Furthermore, the idea that Christ did NOT die or shed His blood for ALL was taught by Cornelius Jansen (Jansenism)and CONDEMNED by Pope Innocent X in 1653. Jesus certainly shed His blood for all -- but of course not all will take advantage of and benefit from His offer of salvation. MANY will take Jesus up on His offer of eternal life in heaven -- but not ALL. At first blush, the Latin translation PRO MULTIS seems (to many but not all) to require the translation of FOR THE MANY. This is A translation but not the ONLY translation. Another way of saying pro-multis would be FOR THE MULTITUDE. Another good example of how the word many in this context is used in Scripture is found in Paul's letter to the Romans. But not as the offence, so also the gift. For if by the offence of one, MANY died; much more the grace of God, and the gift, by the grace of one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto MANY. [Romans 5:15, Douay-Rheims] (my emphasis) St. Paul here says that MANY died through one man's trespass. Now unless the word many in this case can be translated to mean all this passage would actually be a formal denial of the defined dogma that original sin and it's consequences were transmitted to ALL rather than just to MANY. Thus the word many in the original text must be susceptible to more than one interpretation. In fact in the same 5th chapter of Romans, in the preceding verses 12 and 13 Paul uses the phrase ALL MEN as a synonym for the phrase MANY. It's quite clear that the words of consecration are valid and in the proper context. Besides, Rome said it's valid -- Rome has spoken, the discussion is finished -- that's good enough for me. In Christ, John Miskell Back to Index Page

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