Join Michael Patton, Tim Kimberley, JJ Seid and Sam Storms as they continue their series on Roman Catholicism and finish their discussion of the Mass.

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    12 replies to "Theology Unplugged: Roman Catholicism – Part 9 – The Mass (Part 3)"

    • Irene

      Someone mentioned how on EWTN one could see shiny gold boxes and stands in which the host is placed to be kept and adored.

      There’s an interesting connection between that and the Bread of the Presence, or Bread of the Face in the OT. In Ex 25 one can read about how the table for this Bread was to be covered with gold, etc. Btw, this Bread was also the bread David ate while running from Saul in 1 Sam.

      Today, the vessels for the body and blood must be gold-covered. The chalice and the paten (little plate). The “box” is called the tabernacle, and the “stand” (that often looks like it has rays coming out from the center) is called the monstrance.

      Cathedrals are like huge jewelry boxes for the precious jewel that is Christ.


      Talking about “It is finished.”……..

      Maybe there is not precise agreement in terminology, but when do you think Jesus presented the sacrifice of himself to the Father? Catholics believe that it was after his ascension, (Heb 9:24, Christ entered heaven on our behalf). I think the “it is finished” is about Jesus’ suffering on Earth, or some say about the final Passover meal.

      Is mass us going back in time or the Cross coming to us? Catholics like to use the phrase “heaven touching Earth” to describe the mass.

      Maybe someone knows where I read this—when the Jews would celebrate the Passover, they would tell their children that this was when the Lord brought ME up out of Egypt. The Passover meal was their participation in the first Passover long ago.

      Always like listening to you all.

    • theoldadam

      I saw a nun (on television) tell a caller into the program, that when she (the caller) approached the tabernacle that if she wanted to speak to Jesus that had to speak up…because Jesus was inside the box and couldn’t hear her if she mumbled or spoke softly.

      How ridiculous is that?

      The sacrifice was on the cross. “It is finished” means it’s over. All has been accomplished on that Cross.

      But no…we have to turn the whole thing upside down and make it all into a big project where WE are the focus…where WE present the sacrifice, all over again.

      Once again…ridiculous.

    • Irene


      -“I saw a nun (on television) tell a caller into the program, that when she (the caller) approached the tabernacle that if she wanted to speak to Jesus that had to speak up…How ridiculous is that?”-

      Yes, that is completely ridiculous. You either misheard, or it was a joke you didn’t get.

      -“The sacrifice was on the cross. “It is finished” means it’s over. All has been accomplished on that Cross.”-

      If that was it, completely it, then why wasn’t the entire world saved the moment Jesus uttered those words? I’ll put it another way…On April 1, Mr. Jones has heard of God but is not a believer (say he thinks the resurrection is a myth). On April 2, he comes across Parchment and Pen, does a lot of reading, and changes his mind. He says the sinners’ prayer, and begins life as a Christian. Is everything so finished on the cross that there is no difference in Mr. Jones’ status between April 1 and April 3? Did whatever happened on April 2 make no real difference?
      I say that God is no longer suffering (on the cross), but is still working. God’s “work” was not finished on the cross.

      Just for you (; let me back this up with some Luther, from the Large Catechism, about Baptism,

      “And what God institutes and commands connot be useless; it is altogether priceless and precious, even though it were as insignificant in appearance as a spear of straw…But our know-it-alls, the new spirit people, claim faith alone saves and that human works and outward forms contribute nothing to this. We answer: It is of course true that nothing in us does it except faith, as we shall hear later. But [they] refuse to see that faith must have something in which it believes…faith clings to the water and believes Baptism to be something in which there is pure salvation and life.”

      So, maybe we are not coming to terms on the “it” in “it is finished”.

    • Irene

      One more quick thing–

      oldadam, you said,

      –“where WE are the focus…where WE present the sacrifice…”–

      We are not showing ourselves to be the focus at mass, when everyone is on their knees, praying, looking at the Body of Christ elevated by the priest.
      Also, the priest is not even “himself” at mass, he is acting “in persona Christie”, or as Christ, at the command of Christ. Christ is offering himself, and we kneel in adoration.

    • theoldadam


      Both my wife and I saw it. Mother Angelica on ETWN, a few years ago (a taped show, I believe).

      And that is exactly what she said.


      As far as God’s work NOT being finished on the Cross…that is exactly opposite of what the Holy Scriptures tell us. No, it was finished. Now, our work is to tell people about it. The Good News.
      Baptism and Holy Communion are ways that God has commanded, so that the Cross (and it’s finished work) can be made concrete in our lives…totally apart from anything that we do, say, feel, or think.

      You want to be a religious/spiritual ladder climber? Then go ahead. That’s what Rome is all about.

      But as for myself and millions of others who have been freed from all that self-focused stuff, we will never again go back into the bonds of slavery…that being what we do to try and make ourselves right with God.


    • theoldadam

      BTW, Irene.

      I’m not saying that you guys aren’t Christians. (I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church – 35 years)

      I’m just say that there is a better way. A much better way.

    • C Barton

      Our doctrine comes mainly from the Apostles who were given authority from Jesus himself. In fact, Paul tells us that he received the tradition of the bread and wine from Christ directly, after his ascension.
      So, we have the “once and for all” language about the sacrifice in scripture. The efficacy of Christ’s work does not expire or grow dim, so that it has to be renewed in continual sacrifice. This is the significance of the tearing of the temple curtain. Also, in Hebrews there is admonitory language which mentions “crucifying Christ anew”, and this is clearly a bad thing.
      But the Lord’s supper is special, as the Apostle tells us. When it is lifted up to the Lord’s glory, it is no longer an ordinary meal and must be treated with the proper decorum in the assembly. Jesus said it is to declare his death until he comes again. If he must “come again”, then he is implying that he is not yet present in bodily form.
      Jesus told his followers to “take up you cross . . .”, but there is no mention of disciples carrying beams around. The dialogue about eating his body, etc., is not valid as a basis for Tran-sub., either.

    • theoldadam

      We believe that Christ IS present in the Supper.

      “This IS my body. This IS my blood.”

      When He commands us to do something, then He is there, in it,. for us.

      Transubstantiation? Well…we believe He is in it…but we don’t claim to know how (as the Catholics claim in transsub.)

      Consubstantiation. In, under, and with the elements. He IS there. How? Who knows. God knows.

    • C Barton

      I believe that Christ intended us to see his glory in the elements when they are lifted up, and that they represent his body and blood. At the last supper, he said, “This is my body and blood”, yet his body and blood were sitting in front of them, speaking and eating. His body and blood were not yet broken and spilled on the cross. And thus he commands us to lift up the elements in the assembly of believers to declare his death (after the crucifixion), but not to regenerate his flesh, which was broken once and is now in Heaven, having been translated in the ascension. If you remember, He said that flesh and blood cannot enter Heaven, yet there he is!

    • Irene

      This podcast was mainly about the Eucharist, but another important aspect of the mass is the liturgy.

      I had to smile when not too long ago, the Catholic Church in the US started using a new English translation of the old Latin liturgy. One of the changes was the people’s response when the priest said, “The Lord be with you.” The response that had been in use for decades was, “And also with you.” The newly translated response was “And with your spirit.” This is the same response I grew up with in the Lutheran Church. I’ll never forget the melody of that response either. So the Catholic Church goes back to a more literal translation, and ends up with what the Lutheran Church was already using! I think it just goes to show how old this liturgy actually is.

      Oldadam, I’m sure you know all this….it’s just so remarkable to me -the elements of the liturgy that are almost identical between Catholic mass and Lutheran (and others I’m sure) worship service.
      The Kyrie, the 3 readings with the psalm after the first, the alleluia before the Gospel, the Glory to you O Lord before the Gospel, and the Praise to you O Christ after the Gospel. Think of how many Christians, down through the centuries, have said those words around the reading of the Gospel! Also the Peace be with you and Lamb of God before Communion.

      I have to say some makes more sense in the mass. Ex: I never heard a good explanation for why there was the Kyrie right after the absolution in the Luth. service (maybe there is one, I don’t know). It fits naturally after the Penitential Rite in the mass.
      Also, the sharing of the peace–actually some Lutheran teacher told me it was about being at peace with your brother before offering your *sacrifice*, but of course that makes better sense in the mass.

      Anyway, so many old, old similarities!

    • theoldadam


      We do have many things in common. I am thankful for that.

      I’m not feeling well, so I won’t elaborate at the moment.

      God bless you, sister in Christ.

    • C Barton

      Greg: God’s love and acceptance through Christ moves me more than all the scary warnings about hell. We may “boldly approach . . .” is truly awesome.
      God said – – –
      To Abraham: all nations shall be blessed. To the prophet: I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh.

      And so we have Christ’s blood of the New Covenant with all of mankind. And the privilege to honor Him in the assembly with the bread and wine.

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