Expert Answer Forum
sacrifice at mass QUESTION from William Blacklin August 26, 2000 I beleive that mass is a continuance of the sacifice Christ made on the cross. But I've had this question put to me.If Christ died and in his words it is finished why does my church continue it as if it was only 99% done? how can I explain this to my seperated brother in a way he could understand? Thanks I love this forum!
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on November 19, 2000 Dear Mr. Blacklin:
Thanks for your kinds words. Hopefully I can give you an answer.
The Sacrifice is 100% finished. It is done. The Mass is NOT a re-sacrifice but is, as you stated, a continuing OF THE SELF-SAME sacrifice of Christ on the Cross in 33AD.
How is this possible? Well, God is not limited by time and space. God is in the past, present, and future all at once. Thus while to us this seems like a 2000 year drawing out of the Cross, to God is in one single moment sort-to-speak. The Bible tells us that to God 1000 years is as a day and a day as 1000 years.
God through his omnipotence being outside of time and space shares His once and completed sacrifice of His Son with us in the Eucharist as Jesus promised in John 6 -- so that the grace of that sacrifice is available to us not only spiritually stemming from a past event, but is present to us NOW literally and spiritually, with all the grace that comes from that, in the here and now.
Who among us have not wished to be present in 33ad to stand with Mary and John before the Cross. To prostrate ourselves before him. This sentiment is perfectly illustrated in the old negro spiritual: WERE YOU THERE.
Well, in the Catholic Church, from the first century to the present, the faithful have been in the presence of that sacrificial cross each and every time we attend at Mass. Frankly, we should all be prostrate on the floor at the consecration of the Eucharist and not just kneeling for right before us God has deigned to share with us HIS ONCE AND FOR ALL Sacrifice made manifest to us in a miracle of time and space that we cannot fully understand.
Those who refuse to admit this are those who have no faith. They put God in a box and force Him to view and experience time and space the way humans do. God is much more than our puny understanding can comprehend. Someday the arrogant will understand this and let God be God.
The Catholic Church is the ONLY faith community that allows God to be God in the fullest degree. ALL other faith communities hold back from that fullness and put God into the box of their opinions. We must pray for them and hope that one day all of God's people will be united under the fullness of the faith that is the Catholic Faith under the Bishop of Rome.
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