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Old testament pre figurements of the Mass
 

Old testament pre figurements of the Mass

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  • Tree of Knowledge of Good and EvilTree of Life

Old testament pre figurements of the Mass Old testament pre figurements of the Mass Presentation Transcript

  • Old TestamentPrefigurements of the Mass (This Catholic’s Perspective)
  • As the subtitle suggests, this is my perspective on communion, seen through my personal Catholic “lens”. Itis my understanding of the Catholic Mass, during which the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion, is offered).The presentation of this topic presumes the reader already has a Christian belief system, and that our sinswere atoned for by Christ’s sacrifice, and that by God’s grace, we may accept it and be united together withHim forever in heaven. This is fundamentally what sets Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians apartfrom Protestant Christian beliefs. Regardless of our rather significant differences in theology, I still regardthese other believers, as my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I respect the right of every person to practicetheir faith in the way conscience directs them. My goal is simply to demonstrate the logic of the Catholicunderstanding of Holy Communion, utilizing faith and reason; both of which are complimentary of, and notcontradictory toward, each other. Just as in a criminal investigation, one can be confident in the truth of acase, when numerous different types of evidence (fingerprint, DNA, photographic, handwriting, testimonial,etc) point to the same conclusion; so too, if the Catholic concept of Holy Communion is true, one should beable to observe valid evidence of it from several perspectives (philosophical, biblical, and historical) which allreveal different aspects of it; while not displaying contradiction between them.But, is it possible for us to learn anything about God? Christians, say “yes”, because many details of the faithcan be verified about the early Church and the Bible from archeology, anthropology, genetics, paleontology,metallurgy, geography, ancient plants and animals; even the writings of ancient pagan authors. TheIncarnation of God in the divine person of Jesus (fully God, and fully human) who came to commune with,and bring salvation to man, is also a proof that God reveals Himself to His creation in a very intimate way.In attempting to learn and understand God, what can we do to more fully understand His nature, and plan ofsalvation? Consider 1 Thess 5:21, which says “prove all things, hold fast to that which is good.” Also, St. Paulsaid even the gentiles have the laws of God written on their hearts (Rom 2:15). So, God has planted in theminds of all men, some intrinsic fundamental concepts of the laws of nature, which are signposts of sorts,and which thereby give all of us the ability to determine right from wrong, just from unjust; and, by thesemeans, to understand something about God Himself, as well as His plan for us. Page 1
  • For example, throughout the world, centuries ago, before many societies had ever come into contactwith one another, they have been found to have had many commonalities. For example, they allprohibited many of the same types of crimes; studied science to understand their world and universe;believed in God, a god, or gods; and they tried to learn what they could about their deity/deities, inorder to please, and not offend Him, Her, it, or them. We can call this innate sense to seek justicethrough reasoning, as the “natural law”. God gave humans natural law, so they would be able torecognize the truth of His nature, and His plan of salvation for man, as it would later be revealedthrough Christ. Since God has given us the faculty of reason; we should employ it, combined with faith,through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to understand God and His plan, as He wills it revealed.To objectively use the faculty of reason, the intellect, as the searchlight of the soul, must be allowed thefreedom to examine the evidence of questioned beliefs, despite any preconceived bias; unless or until,the weight of evidence tilts decisively in one direction or the other. At that time, the will is justified toconvict the mind towards, or opposing, the belief, that is under examination. It is my hope the readerwill allow their intellect the freedom to rationally examine the Catholic perspective of the Mass and theEucharist, even though it may run contrary to their current belief.Besides the faculty of reason, we should also employ Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16) to understand thenature of God, since God inspired the human writers of the Bible to record salvation history from thecreation, to Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, ascension; and, the spreading of the gospel. Scripture alsospeaks of the Traditions of the apostles (2 Thess 2:15, 2 Tim 2:2) and their successors. These Traditions,which are reflected in the writings of the early Church Fathers, who in many cases were taught by theapostles themselves, or at least their immediate successors (not to be mistaken with the traditions ofthe Pharisees (Mt 15:3)), will be briefly discussed later. Page 2
  • This presentation focuses on God’s efforts to reach down to us, and our attempt to reach upwards toHim. It could be said that this convergence occurs in communion. In order to understand how aCatholic might comprehend communion; and how it works, as well as what it does for him, let’s firstbriefly discuss what we can reason about the concept of justice, as it is universally understood by allsocieties, and how it is best applied. During this presentation, natural law will be blended, with whatScripture tells us about God. Please refer to page 4. There, you will notice two models of justice.Two models of justice, which derive from natural law, are presented. In Model I, the crime (sin) isideally balanced by the penalty; but the measurement of these are subjective, and therefore they aredifficult to balance, since the penalty does not display an obviously recognizable feature that shares aproportionate and symmetrical resemblance to the offense which was committed.Model II, represents the best result in justice. The crime (sin) is not only of equal weight to thepenalty, but it is also mirrored by the penalty (remedy) in a symmetrical way. This model makes themost sense, as it is easier to determine justice that is not only balanced, but symmetrical, because itis presented in a way that is easily recognizable, as the penalty is directly proportionate to the harminflicted. Justice in this case will likely be superior, since the consequence of the sin will serve notmerely as a deterrent, but also as a teaching and therefore a remediation, as the perpetrator willunderstand and be compelled to compensate evenly with the harm of his offense. To use anotheranalogy, which we can observe from God’s creation; consider a crime or sin as a knot. The threadmust go back through it in the opposite , mirrored, and symmetrical way for it to be undone.In order to explain this in a different way, let’s use a practical application of this principle, using twoscenarios, involving two teenage siblings; “Sally” and “Tom”. Assume that Sally and Tom’s parentshave two different punishments available to use on their children, as a consequence for theirchildren’s misbehaviors; namely, grounding; or, withholding allowance. Page 3
  • Model I: The penalty attempts to equal the crime, but Model II: The penalty is proportionate, and symmetricalis not easily balanced. The penalty also attempts to to crime or sin. This makes its measurementserve as a deterrent, but doesn’t teach with precision. precise and just. It teaches and remediates. Crime/Sin Penalty Crime/Sin Penalty/Remedy Violent crime (Physical danger to society) = Fine/Restitution (no protection for society) Violent crime (Physical danger to society) = Incarceration (Removes danger to society)Theft (items of value deprived of victim) = Incarceration (no recovery for victim) Theft (items of value deprived of victim) = Fine/Restitution (recovery for victim) Forbidden Fruit (sinful nature) = Tree of Life/Eucharist (restores grace) Crime Penalty Symmetry Symmetry Sin Remedy I m - p recis e B a l a n c e Equal Balance J U S T I C E Page 4
  • Scenario #1: Sally comes home from a night out with friends. In setting her purse on the edge of acounter, it drops, and a package of marijuana topples out onto the floor, which her father observes.Scenario #2: Tom’s mother washes his clothes. While putting them away for him, his motherobserves a pornographic magazine hidden in one of Tom’s dresser drawers.Can an optimal result be demonstrated by employing justice which is proportionate and symmetricalto the respective offenses of Sally and Tom? Obviously the time Sally spent with her friends, was amajor factor in enabling Sally to behave poorly. Therefore, grounding Sally will reduce, or eliminatethe time Sally has to be negatively influenced by the friends she has chosen. In Tom’s situation, timewas not a major factor. Rather, the magazine was purchased through Tom’s financial resources. Bywithholding his allowance, it will be more difficult for Tom to purchase pornography. Obviously, ifwe reversed Sally and Tom’s punishments, they would not teach; nor would they be likely to effect achange of behavior in the children. By using this model of justice, the temptation to commit sin isgreatly reduced. If we substitute teaching and the exercise of virtuous behaviors (prayer, spiritualreading, good deeds) in place of the misbehaviors, then this proportionate and symmetricalapplication of justice, will further maximize opportunities to teach and remediate. If we do notsubstitute virtues for the misbehaviors, a void will exist in the soul, which the will is likely to fill withthe original vice, as the temptations of sin will be too great to withstand.Let’s see if God applies the principal of symmetrical and proportionate justice (as exhibited byModel II) in redeeming our fallen nature, following the sin of Adam & Eve in the garden of Eden.Please refer to page 7, and read and answer questions 1 -13. See if you agree with my answers. Page 5
  • Old Testament Prefigurements of the Mass & Eucharist 1. The Tree of Life Page 6
  • 1. How did sin enter the world? Adam & Eve disobeyed God, by eating the forbidden fruit.2. From what tree did this fruit, that was disobediently eaten, grow? The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen 2:9).3. Immediately after they ate the forbidden fruit, what happened to Adam & Eve’s eyes? They were opened (Gen 3:7).4. What was the penalty for Adam & Eve’s disobedience? They lost their immortality, were forced out of Garden of Eden, & inherited effects of original sin.5. If we compare sin to a knot. How is sin undone? By going back through it in precisely the mirror image way that it was created. Scales of justice(punishment or remedy should mirror crime).6. If sin, like a knot, is undone in a balanced /symmetrical way, how might Adam & Eve’s descendants, who disobediently ate, receive forgiveness? Obedient eating.7. Was there another tree which was named in the Garden of Eden? Yes, the Tree of Life. (Gen 3:7).8. Was it necessary for Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree of Life in order to live forever in the Garden of Eden?No, they only needed to avoid eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.9. After leaving the garden, God had the Tree of Life guarded so that Adam & Eve could not eat of it and thus attain eternal life. So, because Adam & Eve losttheir immortal nature, they must have never eaten of this tree while in the garden of Eden. Since everything God does has a plan, why was the Tree of Lifementioned in the garden of Eden in the first place? The Tree of Life must have had a future purpose (a foreshadowing).10. If Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, & the eyes of His disciples were opened at their recognition of Him in the “breaking of the bread” (i.e. theEucharist (Luke 24:30-31)), what object would be balanced and symmetrical to the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil, from whichJesus might be metaphorically identified? The fruit of the Tree of Life.11. If obedient eating results in forgiveness of sins, can this be found in Scripture? Yes. Mt 26:26-28.Eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good/Evil:(1) Dis-obedient Eating, (2) Commits Sin (Gen 3:6), (3) Adam/Eve’s Eyes Opened (sees Sin(Gen 3:7)), (4) Results in Death (Gen 3:19).Whereas, Eating Tree of Life is:(1) Obedient Eating, (2) Forgives Sin (Mt 26:26-28), (3) Disciples Eyes Opened(see sTruth(Lk 24:30-31)), (4) Restores Life (Jn 6:54).12. As shown above, is eating of the Tree of Life, proportionate & symmetrically opposite to that of eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Yes. Page 7
  • Does it not seem that God responds to the original sin of Adam and Eve in a proportionate andsymmetrical way? In the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, two trees are mentioned,the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; and, the Tree of Life. God instructed Adam and Eve tonever eat of the (forbidden) fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. However, little issaid about the Tree of Life, in the Old Testament. Why is the Tree of Life mentioned at all then?Because it is a foreshadowing of its fulfillment; and that fulfillment is Christ. What then is the fruitof this Tree of Life? Well, if this fruit is the Eucharist, and we accept the natural law premise, wemight suppose that its effect would be exactly opposite to that of the forbidden fruit. In eating theforbidden fruit, sin is committed (Gen 3:6); Adam and Eve recognized their sin (Gen 3:7); and theirdisobedience resulted in their loss of immortality (Gen 3:19). Conversely, in eating the fruit of theTree of Life (Christ), sin is forgiven (Mt 26:26-28); the persons receiving the Eucharist, recognizeJesus is truly and substantially present in it (Lk 24:30-31); and the knot of sin is undone, removingthe effect of sin, and restoring eternal life (Jn 6:54). We can also see this principle diagrammaticallydisplayed on page 9. Page 8
  • Immortal Life (Garden of Eden) “ “ (knot) = sin. A knot must be undone in the opposite manner that it was made.* Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil (Gen 2:9 ) Tree of Life (“ξύλον τῆς ζωῆς” (Gen 2:9) Tree of Life: foreshadowing of Jesus *Sin Committed (Forbidden fruit) Its fruit is a foreshadowing of the Eucharist Satan 1 Disobedient Eating-Forbidden Fruit 2 Commits Sin Gen 3:6 3 Eyes opened Gen 3:7 4 Produces Death Gen 3:19 Eternal Life inAdam Eve Garden of Eden Immortal Life Loss of Immortality Dis ob ed ien t E a tin g Mortal Life (on Earth) vs. Obedient Eating *Symmetrical, opposite action *Sin is undone required to undo knot of sin (Eucharist) Sacramental means by which God forgives & allows us to overcome sin 1. Obedient Eating-Eucharist 2. Forgives sin Mt 26:26-28 3. Eyes opened Lk 24:30-31 4. Restores Life Jn 6:54 Biological Death Eternal Life Baptism Jn 3:3 Confession Jn 20:20-22 Jesus died on a tree (“ξύλον“) Gal 3:13/1 Pet 2:24 in Heaven Mortal Life Page 9
  • Okay, you might think, I can theoretically understand how the Eucharist undoes the knot of Adam andEve’s sin, and how it may be important to receive the Eucharist (fruit of the Tree of Life) in order tocomply with the Lord’s instructions for me to do so. You might even see why the Catholic faith, basedupon certain Scripture verses (Mt 26:26-28; John 6: 53-54), could conclude that the Eucharist, as theTree of Life (i.e. the body of Christ), can actually forgive sin, and restore the hope of eternal life. But,what about a practical example; if the idea of the Eucharist is to undo the knot of sin in a proportionateand symmetrical way, like the knot of the forbidden fruit is undone by the fruit of the Tree of Life, howcan receiving the Eucharist be proportionate and symmetrical to something like for instance, theft?It’s a process. Let’s say a person steals $200.00 from someone else. An important pre-condition ofreceiving the Eucharist for the thief, is that he confess the theft of the $200.00, to a priest in thesacrament of Confession (John 20:18-20). The priest will almost certainly tell the person to return the$200.00 to the person from whom it was stolen. Depending upon the circumstances, he might also betold to admit and apologize to the victim, for his actions. The person might also be told to pray that hemight not be tempted to commit theft in the future. Above all, the person must be sorry for their sinfulaction(s). The person is then absolved of his sins by Jesus Christ, through the words of absolution,spoken by the priest in the confessional. Since the person may only receive the Eucharist if he makes asincere confession to Christ (acting through the priest); only then will a completeness of the penaltyowed by the penitent for his sin be satisfied, and order restored to the life of the victim as well as thepenitent. Thus, in his desire to receive the Eucharist (communion) and make reparation for his wrongs,the person is given a penance (thus he is called a “penitent”) which allows him to replace the vice withthe virtue that opposes it (e.g. lust/chastity, gluttony/temperance, greed/charity, sloth/diligence,wrath/patience, envy/kindness, pride/humility). In actuality, these virtues substitute for penalties, and,as such, they are in reality remedies, as they are proportionately and symmetrically opposed to theoffense. In his desire to receive Christ in the Eucharist, the penitent is not only completely restored toChrist, but his reception of the grace of Christ, in the Eucharist, under the right frame of mind, alsoserves to help fortify him against future evil thoughts, words and deeds. Page 10
  • Old Testament Prefigurements of the Mass & Eucharist 2. The Passover Lamb 3. The Manna from Heaven Page 11
  • Have you ever happened to notice a relationship between the books of Exodus and Leviticus, with that ofthe book of Hebrews, involving the Old Testament Temple model? I made aware of this after reading thebooks “Worthy is the Lamb, The Biblical Roots of the Mass”, written by Thomas J. Nash, and “Jesus andthe Jewish Roots of the Eucharist”, written by Brant Pitre. These books interested me in documentingthe similarities of the Old Testament Temple, a foreshadowing of the New Testament Eucharist, andChrist’s fulfillment of the temple sacrifices. I thus began constructing the Temple model as a PowerPointproject. I applied Christ’s movement from earth (the Ascension) to the heavenly Holy of Holies, and Hissacrifices from within the heavenly Temple, which mirrored the sacrifices of the Levitical high priest inthe earthly Holy of Holies. This really seemed to me to be a necessary step to analyze, because ofChrist’s words that He came to fulfill the Law, not to abolish it (Mt 5:17); and, St. Paul’s words that “theLaw is our tutor, which leads us to Christ” (Gal 3:24). Therefore, if Christ is to be taken at his words, itshould be expected that He fulfills all aspects of the Old Covenant Law, including these Temple sacrifices.As I progressed on the project, I noticed that several other distinctly Catholic practices and conceptsseemed to materialize from the model, such as the Eucharist (as a fulfillment of the Old TestamentTemple, Bread of the Presence (aka: Showbread)), intercessory prayer of saints and angels, the Church’sdoctrine that “the Mass is heaven on earth”, the practice of liturgy, and even a foreshadowing of theTrinity. During portions of this presentation, you will view these diagrams.All Christians truly believe that Christ was , and is, the perfect sacrifice who takes away our sins.Scripture says that Jesus, the perfect lamb, was sacrificed only once (Heb 10:10). Therefore, Jesus’sacrifice on the cross can never be repeated. So, by continuing to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass,aren’t Catholics just practicing a type of re-crucifixion of Christ? No. But, to understand exactly what theCatholic Mass (and the Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgy) is, and why they do not involve a re-crucifixionof Christ, the parts of the Old Testament Temple sacrificial system must first be explored and betterunderstood. Page 12
  • The key to understanding the Mass, is recognizing that there are two stages to the Old TestamentTemple sacrifices. In the first stage of the sacrifice, the shedding of blood by the sacrificial victimoccurred at the brazen altar, in the Temple courtyard. This blood was then collected into bowls orcups of the priests. The second stage occurred only once a year when the High Priest entered theHoly of Holies inside of the Temple (note: the High Priest could only enter the Holy of Holies if hehad with him the bowls/cups of the sacrificial blood (Heb 9:7)). Within the Holy of Holies, theHigh Priest would then sprinkle, or pour out of the victim’s blood onto the mercy seat of the Arkof the Covenant (Lev 16:11-16). Along with the prayers of the High Priest, drifting toward heavenlike the Temple incense, sins were considered to be atoned for, though this was really only aforeshadowing of the true redemption to be offered by Christ, following His crucifixion andresurrection. This act was imperfect because it would not rid all types of sins of the people of thenation of Israel, and because it could only occur once a year on the Day of Atonement (YomKippur).Please observe the Old Covenant Temple model on page 14, and how Christ’s New Testamentsacrifice, follows the Old Testament Temple model sacrifice so perfectly. The crucifixion of ourLord occurred in the first stage of his sacrifice, and this first-stage is never repeated (Heb 10:10). Page 13
  • God is Spirit Jn 4:24 The name of the Father… Jesus came not to Holy Trinity The Law: Our Mt 28:19 abolish the Law, but One God in tutor which leads to fulfill it. three persons us to Christ Matthew 5:17 Galatians 3:24 …And …And The The Son Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit: Jesus: My At right hand The mind of God Lord & God of the Father 1 Corinthians 2:11 John 20:28 Acts 2:33Second stage of Christ’s sacrifice: Offered Perpetually! First stage of Christ’s sacrifice: Never repeated! Ascended Old Covenant Temple Sacrifice – Fulfilled by Christ to heaven Jesus crucified (blood shed) Lamb: Sin offering to God Mk 16:19-20 Old Testament Foreshadowing (blue) & New Testament Fulfillments (green) Mt28:32-54/Mk 15:21-41/ for people. Ex 29:38-42 Lk 24:50-51 Lk 23:26-49/Jn 19: 17-37 Jesus: Sin offering to God High Priest only entered Holy of Golden table of the bread of the presence (“panim” means ”face”) Delivered for our trespasses for people. 2 Cor 5:21 Holies once a year to make amends Exodus 25:30, Leviticus 24:5-9, Hebrews 9:2, and Matthew 12:3-6 Romans 4:25 to God for people (Day of Atonement). Three times a year males could see the face of the Lord. Exodus 23:17 Christ is sacrificed only once Priest had to enter with the cups/bowls Table of the Bread of Presence was also displayed before Jewish pilgrims Sacrificial Lamb Hebrews 10:10 of shed blood of the lamb. Leviticus 16:9-15 three times a year in Jewish Tradition. Babylonian Talmud Menahoth 29A Ex 12:3-10, 21-24 Bread of the Presence Exodus 29: 15-17 (Prefigures the Eucharist) Holy of Holies Lamb of God takes Holies Holies away sins of world. John 1:29 Priest entered Holy of Holies with blood Lamb roasted. of bulls/goats Heb 9:7 Sacrifice not finished till lamb Brazen Altar of Sacrifice. Blood sprinkled on mercy seat of Altar of Incense eaten. Ex 12:4-9 Blood shed into bowls/ the Ark of Covenant: Lev 16:11-16, Prayers ascend to God like incense You must eat my cups of priest Ex 24:1-8 Jesus’ blood given to us Mt 26:26-28 Ex 30:1 Jesus takes our prayers body in order to This cup is my blood, shed & intermediates for us with the have eternal life. for you. Luke 22:20 Father. Heb 7:25 John 6:53-54 Lampstand (“Menorah”) Bronze Laver (ritual Jesus (Lamb of God) Exodus 25:31-40 cleansing) Ex 27:1-8 Rose from dead: Jesus: Light of the world Baptism cleanses us of Mk16:6/Lk 24:5/Jn 20:6 John 8:12 original sin 1 Pet 3:21 To declare us righteous Preached to the dead Romans 4:25 1 Pet 3:19-20 Eph 4:8-10 Page 14
  • Now, as the fulfillment and perfection of the Old Temple sacrificial system, please refer to the “NewCovenant Sacrifice” shown on page 16. Though Christ’s crucifixion is never repeated, never-the-less, Christ’sNew Covenant Sacrifice has not ceased, but rather, it continues into perpetuity (fulfilling Mal 1:11). Christsacrifice could only be applied to us if He was resurrected (Rom 4:25), and ascended (Jn 20:17) into theheavenly Holy of Holies in his glorified, resurrected body. Christ, following the Old Testament Temple model,had sacrificial blood with him in entering the heavenly Holy of Holies, just as the earthly High Priest had tohave with him the blood of the sacrificial animal (Heb 9:7). But, it was not the blood of bulls or goats whichChrist had with him upon entering the heavenly Holy of Holies, it was His own blood (Heb 9:12 (fulfilling Lev16:15)). Christ, acting as both High Priest, and sacrificial victim, from the heavenly Holy of Holies, in thissecond stage, which happens in the Mass, not just yearly (as on the Day of Atonement), but in factthroughout the world, and perpetually, pours out His sacrificial body and blood as an offering to the Father,in order to take away our sins (Mt 26:26-28 (fulfilling Lev 16:11-16)). And, like the High Priest, we also haveour role in this sacrifice. If the Old Testament Temple model is to be fulfilled, then just like our spiritualforefathers, the Jews, we too must eat our sacrificial lamb (“Christ”) in the Eucharist, in order for thesacrifice to be complete (Jn 6:53-54 & 1 Cor 5:7-8 (fulfilling Ex 12:4-9)).Eating Jesus real body and drinking His real blood? Surely this cannot be understood literally, or else itwould be cannibalism, wouldn’t it? It might be cannibalism if Christ had ascended to heaven in His earthlydead, bloody, battered, crucified body. But, as mentioned earlier, He ascended into the heavenly Holy ofHolies in His new heavenly body, which is His perfect, glorified, and resurrected body. Therefore, this is thebody and blood which Christ, as our high priest, offers us at communion. And since Jesus’ glorified body hassupernatural qualities (John 20:24-29), Christians, through it, will receive the grace of Christ in supernaturalways also. His body and blood in the Eucharist, foreshadowed in the miraculous multiplication of the loavesand fish (John 6:1-15), is inexhaustible and super-abundant in quantity. Unlike the forefathers of theHebrews, who ate the manna from heaven and died (John 6:49), eating this bread would give eternal life(John 6:50). And, when we receive the Eucharist, our eyes are opened (i.e.: we recognize his sacramentalpresence (Luke 24:30-31)). Page 15
  • The New Covenant Sacrifice – Mass/Divine Liturgy: Heaven Meets Earth “Greater more perfect Tabernacle” in Heaven Hebrews 9:11-12 11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this Entered with his own building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us blood in Holy of Holies Hebrews 4:14/9:12 (Heavenly) Holy of Holies Holies 24 elders Rev 5:8 Holies …stood a Lamb slain… 2 hears Rev 5:6 As High Priest & sacrificial victim, Jesus Bread/Manna me” allows us to receive His from heaven Saints Saints Saints resurrected glorified body John 6:48-51 in the Eucharist. Every priest inexhaustible ) ordained to sacrifice. Heb 8:3 John 6:1-15 Eat my flesh Jesus: Priest forever order for eternal of Melchizedek. Jesus’ life Jn 6:54 sacrifice like Melchizedek is Bread/wine.Gen 14:18;Ascended In theto heaven “Shadow” Ps 110:4; Heb 5:6 Golden Bowls of Incense A Great Cloud of Death doesn’t separate us Heavenly & Earthly Tabernacle are the Prayers of the Witnesses Heb 12:1 from God. Romans 8:38-39Mk 16:19-20 (Heb 8:5) saints. Revelation 5:8 We are one body. 1 Cor 12:13 Tabernacles mirrorLk 24:50-51 Angel offers prayers ofTo minister “shadow” Angel presents Tobit & holy ones to God. The fervent prayer of a righteous person availeth much Jas 5:16 each other & areto us Jn 20:17 of Christ must be Sarah’s prayer to God. Rev 5:8 Pure sacrifice represented Tob 12:12 one worship. Earthly also offered every- We present ourselves as a holy and living sacrifice. Romans 12:1 imitates heavenly. where into perpetuity. hears you “He Heb 8:4-5; 9:11-12 Mal 1:11 1 3 who Transforms: Sacrifice of This is my body Bread/wine Mt 26:26 Mt 26:26 Perfect lamb – must be eaten Ex12:1-28 Priest Eucharist - must also (Acts for Christ) be eaten 1 Cor 5:7-8 Luke 10:16 Forgives sin Mt 26:28 Hebrews 8:5 1 Cor 10:16/1 Cor 11:23-26Raised for our “Example and Shadow Tabernacle” on Earth (Mass/Divine Liturgy) Hebrews 8:5JustificationRomans 4:25 Hebrews 8:1-6 1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. 3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have something also to offer. 4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. 6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. Heb 8:13 New Covenant makes Old Covenant law obsolete. Jesus preached to dead 1 Pet 3:19-20/Eph 4:8-10 Page 16
  • But, you might say, the elements which begin as bread and wine, don’t appear any different after the“Epiclesis” (when the Priest calls forth the Holy Spirit), when they are supposed to change into the body andblood of Christ. Yes, that is the mystery of God’s ways. In order to better understand why God chooses thisspecial mode to convey His Son to the faithful, let us remember what Scripture says the definition of faith is.Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, and the expectation of things unseen (Heb 11:1). The Eucharist,like all sacraments, has its own unique “form” and its own unique “matter”. The “form” of a sacrament arethe words of blessing spoken by the priest (e.g.: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and theHoly Spirit” (baptism), etc); while the “matter” is a material creation of some sort, such as unleavenedwheat bread and wine (Eucharist), water (baptism), or oil (healing), depending on the particular sacrament.In the case of the Eucharist, the “form” consists of the words spoken by the priest, which identify it as thebody of Christ. For example, just before communion, the priest will hold up the Eucharist, as he speaks forChrist, “this is my body…” (i.e. “Jesus’ body”). So, we receive through the form (words) of this sacrament,the assurance of things hoped for (that Christ is truly, substantially present in the Eucharist); but, because allwe continue to see is what appears to be nothing more than an unleavened wafer of wheat bread, we musthave an expectation of things that we cannot see (e.g.: that it is in fact the body and blood of Christ).A sacrament brings to us the invisible grace of God through visible signs. The term “sacrament” comes fromthe Latin word “sacramentum” meaning “oath”, because, a person receiving a sacrament, is invoking God’sholy name in an oath, imploring God to help him. However, an oath simultaneously permits a curse to befallthe oath-taker if he lies while under the oath. So, when the priest offers the Eucharist (as a sacrament,thereby inducing an oath), to each parishioner, the priest will audibly say “the body of Christ”, and we whoreceive the Eucharist will affirm we understand it is Christ’s body, blood, soul and divinity we are receiving,by responding with our “amen” (i.e. “truly”, or “so be it”). Because we are swearing an oath to God with ouraffirmation (our “amen”) that Christ is truly and substantially present in the Eucharist, though we cannottruly comprehend this; by the gift of God’s faith, we must accept it as true. To believe otherwise byintention, is to falsely swear to God, thereby profaning the body and blood of Christ: “So then, whoever eatsthe bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body andblood of the Lord” (1 Cor 11:27). Page 17
  • Some might ask if the idea of sacramental reception of Christ inhibits a spiritual reception of Him. Thisis a false dichotomy. Sacramental reception of communion with Christ is spiritual! Sacraments providea complimentarity with faith, which in fact causes faith to grow. Neither the spiritual realm nor thematerial realm should be excluded from our faith experience, since they both derive from God. WhenChrist healed the blind man, he used the created material substances of dirt and saliva to restore theman’s sight (John 9:6). God loves His creation, so He gives us bodies to benefit from putting His creationto its highest possible application; worship of the Creator Himself. In fact, God actually commands ouruse of His creation during worship (e.g. Communion-bread/wine, Baptism-water, Healing-oil).This brings up another question; why do Catholics use only bread and wine during communion? Isn’t itokay to use other substances, such as bread and water, or bread and grape juice for communion?Other Christian groups may decide for themselves what substances should be used in their worship, butit is not okay for Catholic priests to offer anything but bread and wine during Mass. This is because theCatholic Church, through apostolic succession, must follow Christ’s example. And, Christ himselffollowed the example of Melchizedek (Gen 14:18) who as an Old Testament priest and king, was aprefigurement of the perfect priest and king, Jesus. Since a priest must make a sacrifice (in other wordsan offering) (Heb 8:3), and Jesus is a priest according to the order of Melchizedek (Heb 5:6 (fulfilling Ps110:4)), Jesus too, makes an offering, and this offering is the same as that of Melchizedek. SinceMelchizedek’s sacrificial offering was bread and wine (Gen 14:18), Jesus, in perfectly fulfilling his role asa priest according to the order of Melchizedek, also offered bread and wine (Mt 26:26-29). Jesus thenordained His apostles to offer bread and wine at the Lord’s supper (Luke 22:19-20). The apostlesordinations from Jesus, made them priests according to the order of Melchizedek. Later, the apostlesthemselves, would in turn, ordain their successors in the order of Melchizedek (Acts 1:20-26; 2 Tim2:2). In these ordinations; the apostles and all their successors, like Jesus, become priests according tothe order of Melchizedek. Since all bishops and priests in the Catholic Church have unbroken apostolicsuccession from the original apostles, thereby making them priests according to the order ofMelchizedek, their sacrificial offerings can never be anything other than bread and wine. Page 18
  • Do Catholics worship the bread and wine at Mass? No, but they do worship the Eucharist, which is no longermere bread and wine, as it has been transformed by Christ Himself into His own body, blood, soul anddivinity. If Christ is not really, substantially present in the Eucharist, then Catholics are certainly idolaters;maybe not intentionally, but certainly by de-facto. On the other hand, if the Eucharist is Christ’s body, blood,soul and divinity, then it stands to reason that whoever is not receiving the Eucharist, is missing out onsomething Christ wants for them to receive. Why else would He be present in the Eucharist?Let’s examine arguments frequently used against a literal understanding that the Eucharist is Christ’s truebody and blood. Objection #1: The communion elements cannot be Christ’s real body and blood, becauseChrist said to “do this in remembrance of me”, so we only remember Him. Response: Yes, we do rememberChrist in receiving the Eucharist. But, we remember Him while we also recognize we receive His true body inthe Eucharist. Christ’s use of the term “remembrance” (Greek: “anamnesis”) isn’t to be understood in a waythat mutually excludes His true presence in the Eucharist, in our act of “remembrance”, as in an “either/or”proposition. Rather, “anamnesis” is interpreted as “memorial” and memorializing merely means to make it arecurring celebration, exactly as the Lord’s Supper is. Use of “anamnesis” as recurring celebration associatedwith sacrifice, is also shown in the Old Testament Septuagint usage of this same term in Lev 24:7 and Num10:10. In the case of the Mass, this memorial meal occurs on a daily basis (fulfilling Mal 1:11). So, it is bestunderstood as a “both/and” (i.e. we both call to mind Jesus’ past sacrifice, and we partake of His true body).Objection #2: Jesus was speaking symbolically. Response: In John 6:35-69, Christ tells both the Jews and Hisdisciples they must eat His body and drink His blood to have eternal life. Jesus’ audience, does not initiallyunderstand Him. Only after He repeats this several times, do they finally understand that He means thisliterally. Many people, including some of His disciples, scandalized by their literal understanding, leave Him.In Scripture, whenever people rightly take Jesus’ words literally, He always confirms and repeats Himself (Mt9:2-6; Jn 8:56-59; Jn 6:41-51); and, whenever people wrongly take Him literally, Jesus always corrects theirmisunderstandings, and explains Himself (Jn 3:3-5; Jn 11:11-14; Mt 19:24-26; Jn 8:21-23; Jn 8:31-36; Jn 6:32-35). Jesus didn’t correct the people in this instance because they hadn’t misunderstood Him. 1 Page 19
  • If we were to assume Jesus was speaking symbolically, It should be noted that eating someone’s flesh ordrinking their blood when it is used by Scripture in a symbolic sense, is a figure of speech for assault,persecution and destruction (Ps 27:2; Is 9:18-20; Is 49:26; Mic 3:3; 2 Sam 23:17; Rev 17:6, 16). So, if Jesusmeant what He said about eating His flesh in a symbolic way; then the Jews would have understood Him tobe saying “Whoever persecutes, assaults, and destroys me will have eternal life.” Obviously, a symbolicmeaning does not make sense, and therefore cannot be what Jesus meant. 2Objection #3: Jesus was speaking of eating his flesh in a metaphoric way, in the same way that He says “I amthe vine” or “I am the door”. Response: A metaphor doesn’t work in this case. Jesus is like a vine, because itis from Him that we receive our spiritual sap. He is like a door because through Him we are lead to salvation.There is no metaphoric sense as to Jesus’ “body” and “blood” being like “bread” and “wine”, or, vice-versa. 31,2,3) “Beginning Apologetics, How to Explain and Defend the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist”, Fr. Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham, San Juan Catholic Seminars, 1999-2004Objection #4: Jesus said “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life” (John 6:63). Isn’t Jesus Himself denying here that the Eucharist is His ownflesh? No, Jesus wasn’t talking about His own flesh. He is using the term “flesh” to describe earthly “men”,as a reference to the men who had just found a literal meaning of His words to be a hard teaching.Historical Evidence: All the early church fathers who wrote on the Eucharist (i.e. “The Lord’s Supper”),describe it as containing the real presence of Christ, and absolutely none suggest it is symbolic or figurative.If Jesus intended it in a symbolic sense, it is very strange that all of the numerous early church fathers whowrote on the subject (St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Justin Martyr, St. Irenaeus of Lyons, St. Clement ofAlexandria, Tertullian of Carthage, St. Hippolytus of Rome, Origen of Alexandria, St. Cyprian of Carthage, St.Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Ambrose of Milan, and St. Augustine, among others), with such an immediate lineagefrom the Apostles, would have so easily and consistently mistaken Christ’s important teaching on this topic.Not only do the biblical, philosophical, and historical, evidential aspects of Christ’s true presence in theEucharist not contradict each other; they are in fact completely complimentary with each other. Page 20
  • Objection #5: We are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9)! If Catholics repeatedly receivecommunion in order to continue cleansing themselves of sin, they obviously don’t accept God’s grace issufficient to cover their future sins, nor do they apparently believe that Christ’s sacrifice was perfect!Response: Catholics believe Christ’s sacrifice is perfect in the way he intended it to be perfect. BecauseGod loves us and wishes for us to return His love, He has given us the gift of free-will, so that we canmake the correct choices, thereby demonstrating our love for Him. But, because we do not alwayschoose rightly, Christians must continue to appropriate Christ’s perfect sacrifice into their lives; and thisdoes not diminish the perfection of Christ’s sacrifice. No less than St. Paul said, we must work out oursalvation in fear and trembling (Phil 2:12). Adam and Eve certainly lived in a state of grace, and yet theyfell! Also, Scripture indicates Abraham received God’s saving grace through acting in faith, not just onone occasion, but in fact on three occasions ((Gen 12:1-4; Gen 15:6 (Heb 11:17-19); Gen 22:6 (Jas 2:21-23)). If we are once saved, always saved, why was Abraham justified more than once? Also, Mt 7:21, Mt19:16-17, Mt 24:13, Rom 2:2-8, Rom 11:22, 1 Cor 10:11-12, Phil 2:12-13, Col 3:24, and Jas 2:14-26indicate our salvation is not guaranteed. For these reasons, Catholics do not accept the doctrine of“once saved, always saved”.Am I really suggesting that our salvation is based upon our own works, rather than on God’s grace? No.I’ll explain that “no”, in a second. But, works are important to our salvation. For Scripture says we arenot saved by faith alone (Jas 2:14-26); and, as Christ Himself said, “not everyone who says to me, Lord,Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father” (Mt 7:21). So, wedo bear some responsibility in our own salvation. Now, let me hasten to add that even though works areimportant to our personal salvation, we are not saved by our own works. Am I engaging in double-talk?No. Any and all acts of virtue (works) we perform, or acts of sin which we avoid, are the result of prayer,and/or our imitation of Christ; both of which come from God (through our reception of Christ’s body andshed blood), so we cannot boast that they are our own doing. So, we are saved by God’s grace, throughthe faith we build up in Christ. And, whose faith is this? Not ours, but it is a gift of God (i.e. it is God’sfaith, not ours, because we receive it from God).**Because it is God’s faith, and not our own faith that saves us, Catholics practice infant baptism Page 21
  • To some, the Mass may appear overly ornate and unnecessary in its formality and ritual. It justseems “dead” to them. They might rather go to a church where they can get excited about God!Just like in any other faith, some people go to Mass with an idea that if they just show up at, that’sall they need to do to satisfy God. There are, of course, many Catholics who go to Mass with adevout and reverent mind-set, who get much out of the Mass; though it should not surpriseanyone, if these people’s joy should express itself in ways that are quiet and meditative. The objectof the Mass isn’t to be entertained by inspirational music, or even emotional testimonies (asworthy as these things are), it’s to be with God in a very intimate and reflective way, which exactlyimitates and reflects the heavenly worship of Christ in heaven. We should also behold God in awe,since He is very Holy. For this reason, we need to show Him proper respect and reverence, as wereflect on His infinite nature and awesome majesty during the Mass.The Mass, is in fact a very exciting worship of God; particularly if one knows what is happening allaround him while it is happening! We are truly surrounded by “a great cloud of witnesses” (Heb12:1 - those who have preceded us in death, and who, because of the power and authority theyreceive from their presence in His body (the Church, which the living faithful also belong to), in facthave an awareness of how we are living our lives. They therefore also worship God along with us,and the angels). Death does not separate these saints and angels from God (Rom 8:38-39); norfrom us, since we are all “one body” in Christ (1 Cor 12:13), and because we worship in thepresence of these angels and saints, we pray together with them; and, through intercessory prayer,we ask them (just as we ask the living faithful), for their prayers. We can do this because Scripturesays “the fervent prayer of a righteous person, availeth much” (James 5:16), and since there aresaints who are present in heaven, their righteousness is proven by their presence there. Page 22
  • How do we appreciate the presence of these unseen, unheard saints and angels, as well as Jesus, inour worship of God? By making them visible to the mortal human eye, and audible to the mortalhuman ear! The Church has always done this through the practice of liturgy, which it inherited fromJudaism. The practice of liturgy, since it is a component of Judaism, is therefore part of the tutorial ofthe Old Testament, which as St. Paul described, leads us to Christ (Gal 3:24).How does liturgy do this? By presenting us with examples of the heavenly worship that is going on allaround us, by employing the use of our senses, gifted to us as creatures of God. In most cases, theliturgical actions (words, songs, actions, smells, etc), that are present in heaven, and which weexperience during the Mass, are described in Scripture (see page 24). The Church uses the priests,deacons, acolytes, the laity; and objects such as lamp-stands, light, water, incense, statues, artwork,priests vestments; and, songs and sounds to re-enact the worship of God which occurs in heaven, sothat it becomes “visible” and “audible” to us in a way that our earthly organs can understand. After all,Scripture tells us that we worship with heaven during Mass. Hebrews 8:5 speaks of the earthlyworship, which is an “example and shadow” tabernacle of heavenly things; while there is also a“greater, more perfect tabernacle”, in heaven (Heb 9:11). Obviously, these tabernacles (which are thefulfillments of the Old Testament Temple) mirror each other. And, since the heavenly tabernacle hasJesus as our High Priest (because of his ascension, by which He entered into the heavenly Holy ofHolies), Jesus must have a representation of Himself, within this “example and shadow” tabernacle;and, in fact He does: the earthly priest, during Mass. The purpose of the High Priest, while he is in theHoly of Holies, is to provide a blood sacrifice that is holy and acceptable to the Father, which is exactlywhat Jesus does for us from His heavenly Holy of Holies. Only priests can offer sacrifice, so, we canpartake of this Eucharistic sacrifice, and unite our sins to Christ’s sacrifice (Rom 8:16, Col 1:24),thusmaking ours acceptable, because we are a priesthood of believers (1 Pet 2:4). Ever since Pentecost,the Mass of heaven and earth has been connected. This is why the Mass is “heaven on earth”! Page 23
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