former Catholics have described their experience of going to weekly Mass
as a prison sentence, something they had to do in order to avoid the
penalty of a serious sin. Others remember it as a mindless ritual of
standing, sitting, kneeling and reciting as the priest performed his
religious duties. There are many practicing Catholics who feel the
same way but are bound by the laws of their church to attend church every
week: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are
bound to participate in the Mass" (paragraph 2180 of the Catechism of
the Catholic Church). With this law so explicit and demanding, the
question that begs an answer is: Why is participation so compulsory for
Catholics? The answers are complex, controversial and authoritative. They
are also found in the Catholic Catechism and are noted by paragraph
numbers in parenthesis.
First let us look to the Catechism for the definitions
of the Mass and the Eucharist.
The Mass is...the sacrificial memorial in
which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated (1382).
The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because
it re-presents [makes present] the sacrifice of the cross...and because
it applies its fruit...the forgiveness of the sins we daily commit. The
sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single
sacrifice: The victim is one and the same. In this divine sacrifice
which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself
once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is
offered in an unbloody manner (1366,1367). It is the seed of eternal
life and the power of resurrection (1524).
Catholics are given no choice but to believe these
inconceivable teachings. Is the Lord Jesus really physically present in
the Eucharist? How Catholics answer this question has serious
consequences. If they deny the presence of Jesus they are condemned by
their church. Canon I of the Council of Trent states, "If anyone
denies, that in the sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist, are contained
truly, really and substantially the body and blood together with the soul
and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ,
but says that He is in it only as a sign, let him be anathema."
Conversely, if they believe Jesus is present in the Eucharist they
are committing the most serious sin of idolatry, showing their hatred
toward God and breaking His second commandment (Deut. 5:8-9).
Based on these teachings Catholics are taught their
redemption comes not from the perfect and finished sacrifice of Jesus
Christ on Calvaryís cross but through the liturgy of the Eucharistic
For it is in the liturgy, especially in
the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, that the work of our redemption
is accomplished. Every time this mystery is celebrated, the work of our
redemption is carried on (1068, 1405).
Incredibly the Vatican teaches the Eucharist has the
power to produce divine life and to unite the people of God.
The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and
sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the
People of God. It is the source and summit of the Christian life. For in
the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the
Church, namely Christ himself (1324,1325).
Yes, the Catholic Church teaches the Lord Jesus Christ
returns to the earth every day to be worshipped and sacrificed.
In the most blessed sacrament of the
Eucharist the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of
our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really,
and substantially contained (1374). In the liturgy of the Mass we
express our faith in the real presence of Christ by genuflecting or
bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord (1374, 1378). The
Church knows that the Lord comes even now in his Eucharist and that he
is there in our midst (1404).
How can that be? Why would Jesus return to the earth in
a different way and not to the Mount of Olives as God pre-ordained? This
Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the
same way as you have watched Him go into heaven (Acts 1:11). Why would
Jesus change His mind about how and when He would return to the earth? He
said, "For just as the lightning comes from the east, and flashes
even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be...immediately
after the tribulation...and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn,
and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with
power and great glory" (Matt. 24:27-30). Father John OíBrien
answers these questions from his book, The Faith of Millions:
When the priest announces the tremendous
words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ
down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up
again as the Victim for the sins of man. It is a power greater than that
of saints and angels, greater than that of Seraphim and Cherubim. The
priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our
altar as the eternal Victim for the sins of manónot once but a
thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and
omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priestís
As preposterous and unthinkable as this may sound, the
Catholic priest is said to have the power to call almighty God down from
heaven to continue to do what the Lord Jesus said was finished. Over
200,000 times each day, on Catholic altars throughout the world, priests
believe they re-present Jesus as a sacrificial victim for sins. When we
reflect on the excruciating pain and torture Jesus endured to redeem
mankind, it is unconscionable that Catholics would want to continue His
suffering and agony.
His tribulation began the night before He was crucified.
In the garden He agonized over His Fatherís wrath that would soon come
upon Him. Hours later He was whipped, scourged and spat upon. After His
beard was plucked from His face, He humbled himself and became obedient
to deathóeven death on a cross (Psalm 50:6; Phil. 2:8). Like a
lamb He was led to slaughter (Isaiah 53:7). Bystanders sneered at Him
and He was mocked as a Roman legionnaire hammered heavy, square, iron
nails through his wrists and feet producing excruciating pain. He was
pierced through for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities
(Isaiah 53:5). Later, as the King of Glory hung in torment on the cross,
His arms began to fatigue, and great waves of cramps swept over his
muscles, knotting them in throbbing relentless pain. He could draw air
into His lungs, but it was nearly impossible to exhale. Jesus strained to
raise Himself for each dying breath. But as He moved up and down against
the rough timber, tissue was torn from His lacerated back, adding to His
agony. His compressed heart struggled to pump the blood that was being
shed for the redemption of man. His bones were out of joint and His
heart was like wax (Psalm 22:14). After several hours of this
agonizing and horrifying pain, with all His strength dried up and His
tongue cleaving to His jaw, Jesus gasps, "I am thirsty"
(Psalm 22:15; John 19:28). After a sponge full of sour wine was shoved
into His mouth, Jesus said in anguish, "It is finished"
(John 19:30). Then, with one last surge of strength, He pressed His torn
feet against the nail, straightened His legs, took a deep breath, and
cried out, "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit"
(Luke 23:46). To ensure His death, the legionnaire drove a lance through
His ribs and into His heart. Immediately there came out blood and water
Not only does Rome purport to continue this horrific
sacrifice with Jesus as its "victim;" it dares to say the
sacrifice on its altar forgives sins.
As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also
offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to
obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God. Holy Communion separates
us from sin. I should always receive it, so that it may always forgive
my sins. Because I always sin, I should always have a remedy (1393,
What absurdity! The perfect and actual sacrifice of
Jesus, who poured out genuine blood and died a real death is said to be
insufficient to forgive all sins, but its blasphemous re-presentation on
Catholic altars is said to forgive sins that Jesus could not. Yes, the
Catholic Mass blatantly denies the sufficiency of Christís atonement
that is so clearly stated in Scripture. In the book of Hebrews we read the
believerís redemption is eternal because of a finished transaction. "By
His [Christís] own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having
obtained eternal redemption for us" (9:12). We also read, "So
Christ was once [not many times] offered to bear the sins of many"
(9:28). Again, "we are sanctified through the offering of the body
of Jesus Christ once [no re-presentations] for all" (10:10).
Continuing, "But this Man [Jesus] after He had offered one
sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God.... For by
one offering [not many] He hath perfected forever them that are
sanctified" (10:12,14). It is perfectly clear that this one
offering of Jesus took away sins. We also read: "And their sins
and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is,
there is no more offering for sin" (10:17,18).
Godís promises revealed in the Gospel are null and
void to those who teach and believe the doctrine of the Mass. Those
deluded followers who faithfully participate in the Mass throughout their
lives are not offered the peace of heaven on their death bed, but the
fires of purgatory. Once they die, purgatory demands more Masses to get
them out, and so the deception and bondage perpetuates.
The sacrifice of the Mass more closely resembles the Old
Testament animal sacrifices which had to be repeated and could never take
away sins. By re-presenting Jesus as a sacrificial "victim" in
the Mass, the Catholic Church keeps Him cursed on the cross and forsaken
by God instead of glorified at His Fatherís right hand. Catholic priests
have robbed the Lord Jesus of His highly priestly office of intercession,
assuming the responsibility themselves. Yet, their role as priest is
spurious and fraudulent. The only true priesthood on earth that is
recognized in the New Testament is the spiritual priesthood of all
believers (1 Pet. 2:9).
When the doctrine and practice of the Mass is tested
against the word of God, the only standard for measuring truth, we find
definite and conclusive misinterpretations, errors, fallacies and
1. Jesus was never a "victim" but went to
the cross in humble obedience to His Father (Phil. 2:8).
2. When Jesus demand that men eat His flesh and drink
His blood, He said it had a spiritual meaning, not a literal one (John
6:63). He often spoke to them in figurative language (John 16:25). The
Jews were familiar with "eating and drinking" being used
figuratively to describe appropriating divine blessings to oneís
innermost being (Jer. 15:16; Isa. 55:1-3). To take His words literally
would cause everyone to become cannibals, that is, to eat human flesh.
3. If we take Christís words literally then
"eating and drinking" is necessary for eternal life. This
directly opposes hundreds of scriptures that reveal salvation is by
grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ alone. If eating and drinking
is necessary for salvation it presents a dilemma, "What is a person
eats and drinks but does not believe?" Or "what if a person
believes but does not eat and drink?"
4. Jesus instituted the Lordís Supper as a memorial
not a sacrifice (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24).
5. The sacrifice of Christ was a once for all event
(Heb. 9:12,26,28; 10:10,12,14).
6. A sacrifice without blood cannot atone for sins
(Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22).
7. Catholic priests violate Christís unique role as
mediator between God and men (1 Tim. 2:5).
8. No where in the first century Church do we find
priests offering sacrifices for sin or Masses for the dead (Acts).
9. Prayers and rituals for the dead are abominations
before God (Deut. 18:9,11; 26:13-14).
10. The alleged changes of bread and wine into flesh
and blood are not miracles but counterfeits because they remain
unchanged in appearance, substance and taste. True biblical miracles
were real and observable.
11. Worship of the elements of the Mass is idolatry
12. Jesus will return to earth the same way He left,
not in the form of a wafer (Acts 1:11).
13. Drinking blood was forbidden. Jesus would not have
asked the Jews to break the law (Lev. 17:10-14).
Clearly the Mass violates biblical integrity and is a
powerful deception that holds its adherents in bondage. May the truth of
Godís word set Catholics free. His word promises eternal life through
Christís once-for-all and finished sacrifice. The Lordís Supper is a
blessed memorial for all who believe this!
Mr. Mike Gendron
Mr. Greg Durel
Carlos Tomas Knott