Truth about Mass in the Catholic Church
No-one will ever force anyone who does not want to, to attend Mass. However, our fellow Christians in the Protestant Churches, as well as people of other religions and none, should not be guided by the opinions of individuals like Rev John Gray (Write Back, October 17).
"The Roman Catholic Church," Rev Gray alleges, "teaches ... that every time the Mass is celebrated, Christ is offered as a bleeding sacrifice over and over and over again." The Catholic Church teaches no such thing. And Bible-believing Roman Catholic Christians believe no such thing.
The Mass is not a "repetition" of Calvary. Neither is it "another sacrifice", as anti-Catholics often claim.
The Mass is the exact same Sacrifice of Himself that Jesus offered, once and for all, on the Cross - not "repeated", but made present, in the here and now, until the end of time.
It is the risen and glorified Christ who is present in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - not "bleeding", but exalted and triumphant. It is Jesus Himself who prays the Mass with His gathered people and it is God the Holy Spirit who changes bread and wine into Christ's body and blood. The priest is merely the minister of God's mysteries.
It is God Himself who makes His own saving and finished work present in our midst. It is Jesus who gives us Himself as the heavenly food that nourishes us to eternal life.
The Lord Jesus Christ is, indeed, in Heaven at His Father's right hand; but He is also with His Church on earth, as He has promised, until the end of the ages (Matt 28:20).
FR PATRICK McCAFFERTY
Crossgar, Co Down