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The Sacrifice of the Holy Mass


What is the meaning of "Sacrifice once and forever"?


This document is fondly dedicated to our Christian brothers and sisters, who accuse Catholics of wanting to crucify Jesus Christ anew every time we offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as well as to our Catholic brothers and sisters who obey without understanding or question the validity and/or importance of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.


What is the meaning of "Sacrifice once and forever" when we refer to Jesus' Sacrifice in Calvary and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? We will better understand it if we first understand the connection between Time and Eternity.

The Eucharist is like a window in Time with a view to Eternity. The Sacrifice of Christ, in the particular form which took place in Mount Calvary "under the governance of Pontius Pilate", happened at exactly one moment in Time. Simultaneously, it is consummated forever in Eternity.

God does not need to reproduce His Sacrifice, nor does He need that we recreate it. He simply invites us to put ourselves in contact with it in Eternity, where the benefit of His Sacrifice on the Cross, our salvation, is a present and enduring reality for ever and ever.

The benefit of the Sacrifice in the Cross is always there in Eternity and accessible from our life in Time by means of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The suffering, the pain of Christ and ours, takes place in Time or - maybe we should say - in the interaction between Time and Eternity.

When we partake of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we do not produce nor cause again the Crucifixion. However, we do constantly crucify Jesus Christ with our sins. Each sin against our fellow men is a painful wound in His Suffering Body.

Thus, it is in our daily lives, and not in the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass, where we crucify Jesus. It is by accessing  His Crucifixion, through the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass, that we access the benefits of this His Holy Sacrifice in order to atone for our sins.

This is why He instructed us thus:

19 And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me. 20 In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you. [Luke 22]

The Catholic Faith did not invent the concept. We only obey His generous request and offer.

Published in Spanish March 1st 2007 and in English on March 13th 2007

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