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Welcome to Korea Fr. Cedric Alimbuyong

Welcome to Korea Fr. Cedric Alimbuyong
Fr. Cedric replaces Fr. Dong Marcaida. Have a happy, fruitful and blessed days with us all!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Is Jesus Sacrificed Again at Every Mass? Series (XCI)

The dazzling vision of St. John in the Book of Revelation is perhaps best known for its depictions of horrific worldwide catastrophe. Yet at the heart of this text stands a poignant figure full of mercy, hope, and glory: the “Lamb” who was slain for our sins, Jesus Christ (see 5:6). Biblical scholars have pointed out that at one level, in presenting us a vision of heaven, Revelation also provides us a glimpse of the Mass, our foretaste on earth of heaven’s “wedding feast of the Lamb” (19:9).

Catholics agree with other Christians that the divine sacrifice made “once for all” described in Hebrews 7:27 is a unique historical event: the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. But Jesus’ sacrifice, though occurring in the past to us, is nevertheless always present to God, because God himself does not exist in time as we do. John’s vision depicts this eternal reality; the presentation of Jesus as “Lamb” to the Father appears to be an ongoing occurrence (from God’s perspective, timeless), long after the death of Jesus (see Rv 5:6; 13:8). Our Savior, Scripture says, “has a priesthood that does not pass away: (Heb 7:24).

In this light, then, we can understand how the Mass is a re-presentation of Jesus’ historical, one-time sacrificial death on the cross. In every Mass, the priest re-enacts Jesus’ priestly actions at the Last Supper, offering once more his Body and Blood. But Jesus is not sacrificed again in the Eucharist. Rather, his unique sacrifice is made real and present to us here and now, because it is a divine reality that transcends space and time.

For this reason, the Mass is not merely a service of praise, preaching, and fellowship, presided over by a pastor around a meal table. The Mass is truly a sacrifice offered by a priest upon an altar. Though some Christians insist that priests and altars belong only to the Jewish temple sacrifice of the Old Covenant, these elements also play a role in the New Covenant in Christ’s blood (see Lk 22:20). The Book of Revelation in particular tells us of the “altar” with a “gold censer” in the “temple” where the sacrificed Lamb, Jesus, reigns (see 5:6; 6:9; 8:3; 9:13).

RELATED SCRIPTURE — Texts cited: Lk 22:20; Heb 7:24; 7:27; Rv 5:6; 6:9; 8:3; 9:13; 13:8; 19:9. General: Gn 14:18; Lv 23:13; Ps 110:4; Is 66:18, 21; Mal 1:11; Heb 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-16; 5:1-10; 6:20; 7:1-28; 8:1-6; 9:11-15, 24-28; 10:19-22; 13:10; Rv 8:3-5; 11:1; 14:18; 16:7. CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH — 1330; 1359-1372; 1378; 1410; 1414; 1418; 2643.

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