Friday 21st June 2024

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ… The Mass Is A True Sacrifice

May 6, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments


Part 27

We have seen in previous articles that the sacrifices of the Old Law involved and required two specific elements: the Victim and the Priest. The Mass possesses both the requisites for a sacrifice:
First of all, we have the Victim, whose life is sacrificed: Jesus Christ is the Victim, the Victim who declared Himself to be a perpetual Victim, capable of being offered to the end of time as He offered His Life at the Last Supper and on the cross. He did so by His very command to the apostles to do as He did, to consecrate as He consecrated.
The second element is the priest, the one who offers the Victim for the same sacrificial ends for which the Victim was offered at the Supper and on the cross: for the salvation of the whole world and “for the remission of sins.” The Priest, Jesus, offers the Victim, Jesus, for the purpose of adoring, praising, and glorifying the Father Almighty (adoration), of thanking Him for His past mercies and favors (thanksgiving), of beseeching His help and blessings (petition), of appeasing His anger and gaining His friendship (propitiation), and of obtaining release from the punishment due to sin (satisfaction).
These purposes are expressed in the prayer Glory to God in the Highest, the Our Father, the Eucharistic Prayer, and in other parts of the Mass.
Christ is the Victim of the Mass, but He does not die or suffer again at Mass. He is presented to God as the Lamb, once slain, who lives forever; as the Crucified, Risen, and living Victim, perfectly pleasing to our Heavenly Father; as the great Mediator between God and man.
It would be silly to expect that at every Mass our Lord would come down to Earth to renew the sacrifice over and over again, and in every detail, what took place on Calvary. But that is not so. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass renews the Last Supper and Calvary in an unbloody manner, without any physical death, as St. Paul explains: “Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him” (Romans 6:9).
Thus, we may speak of Mass as a “renewal” or “re-presentation” of Calvary, but we avoid the words “repetition” or “re-enactment.”
The Mass is the same sacrifice as that of the Last Supper and the cross, because in both there is the same Victim, Jesus, the same Priest, Jesus, the same Offering to the Father, and yet they are not identical in every respect. The differences are that in the Mass, Christ as Priest offers through the ministry or agency of the priests of the Church, and His offering is not accompanied by the shedding of His Blood.
Thus, Christ is the Principal Priest of the Mass, and the earthly priest in your parish is His agent. But he is a true agent; he truly consecrates or offers, just as he truly absolves your sins. He is the agent or minister of Christ, since it is from Christ he has received the “character” of the priesthood.
But the priest is not offering the Mass alone: We, the laity, because we are baptized Catholics, have the power of co-offering, that is, the power of attaching our offering to that of the priest. Every Mass is offered by Christ as the Principal Priest, and by the Universal Church as well.
It is visibly offered by the officiating priest, who acts as minister of Christ and the Church; by the congregation present; and by those who cause the Mass to be celebrated.
Can a woman be priest? Of course! Every baptized female is also a priest, participating in the priesthood of the laity, as all baptized males do. Because there are two kinds of priesthood in the Catholic Church; the priesthood of the laity and the ministerial priesthood. All the lay faithful are priests, males and females, and St. Peter (1 Peter 2:9) speaks of the Christian people as “a royal priesthood.”
We, the Christian laity, are the co-offerers of the Mass, but we do not have power to perform the sacrificial rite of the consecration — that is reserved to the ministerial priesthood, which is a special calling of God to some men. It is not a human right for any man to be a priest: It is a special calling from God, which is discerned by the Church. We the laity share in the priesthood of Christ by Baptism, but we are not ministerial priests as those in Holy Orders.
The only sacrament we can minister is Baptism, in case of necessity. But under no circumstances at all could a layman or a deacon say Mass — the Code of Canon Law states that he would incur latae sententiae excommunication — that is, automatic excommunication, without need of a declaration from the bishop. That is why there are no women priests in the Catholic Church, even if a bishop attempts to ordain them: All those who were supposedly “ordained” priestesses were automatically excommunicated when they attempted to “celebrate their first ‘mass’.”
Again, it is not a human right for any man to be a priest: It is a special calling from God, which is discerned by the Church.
There were also altars in the Old Law. In the New Law, the altar at which the priest celebrates has been consecrated or dedicated with great solemnity by the bishop, so that, like the cross of Calvary, it may be a secondary altar of Christ’s sacrifice.
But Christ Himself is the true or chief Altar, and it is in that capacity that He receives and attaches to Himself our offering of ourselves as sharers in His Victimhood.
A beautiful prefigure of Christ in the Old Testament was the King of Salem, Melchizedek, who blessed Abraham after his victory over the four kings, and offered a sacrifice of bread and wine, the first great figure of the unbloody sacrifice of the New Law. In the Old Law, animals were sacrificed, but Melchizedek offered bread and wine, thus indicating a new kind of priesthood that would appear in the future: The Catholic Priesthood. Since Christ offered this unbloody sacrifice at the Last Supper, and will continue to offer it to the end of time, He is called “a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Heb. 7:17; cf. Psalm 110:4 [109:4].)
In the days of the Prophet Malachi, God angrily rejected the Levitical sacrifices, and the prophet foretold that their place will be taken by a clean oblation which would be offered up all over the world: “From the rising of the sun to its setting My name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to My name, and a pure offering” (Mal. 1:10-11).
God spoke in these words of a new, pure offering, an unbloody sacrifice, one that should be pleasing to Him, and, therefore, one of His own institution. It was to be offered at every hour and in every place. Observe how wonderfully His prophecy has been fulfilled: At every hour of our day, dawn is breaking in some part of the world, and with it comes the daily Mass, the clean oblation, the great sacrifice founded by His Divine Son.
Next article: The blessings of the Mass.

+ + +

(Raymond de Souza, KM, is a Knight of the Sovereign and Military Order of Malta; a delegate for International Missions for Human Life International [HLI]; and an EWTN program host. Website:

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1


Today . . .

Doctors urge U.S. medical groups to ‘immediately stop’ transgender treatments on children

Top medical groups and physicians have signed a “Doctors Protecting Children” declaration that expresses “serious concerns” about the treatment of minors who are uncomfortable with their biological sex, one advocate told EWTN News this week.  Jill Simons, the executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, told “EWTN News Nightly” anchor Tracy Sabol on Thursday that the medical group has been “sounding the alarm” after the recently leaked files from the World Professional Association of Transgender Health in which…Continue Reading

Pedophile advocacy group praises Germany’s new law softening punishment for child pornography

(LifeSiteNews) — In 2010, Jan Flesichhauer and Wiebke Hollersen penned a chilling essay for Der Spiegel titled “How the Left Took Things Too Far.” “One of the goals of the German 1968 movement was the sexual liberation of children,” they wrote. “For some, this meant overcoming all sexual inhibitions, creating a climate in which even pedophilia was considered progressive.”   That climate involved discussions about whether sex with children might be healthy for the children and musings that this could…Continue Reading

Here’s Harrison Butker’s Full Speech Celebrating Pro-Life Christian Values

Some sports stars make headlines for drug abuse or acts of violence, but one football player is taking heat for publicly promoting Christian values. On Saturday, Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker delivered the commencement at the Catholic Benedictine College, encouraging young graduates to stand firm in their faith and live out authentic Christian virtues. Now, the National Football League (NFL) is playing defense and condemning Butker’s speech as offensive. The NFL’s senior vice president and top diversity, equity,…Continue Reading

DeSantis declares Florida ‘will not comply’ with Biden rule forcing ‘gender identity’ on schools

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (LifeSiteNews) — Florida “will not comply” with the Biden administration’s recently finalized rule forcing widespread recognition and accommodation of LGBT “identities” on the American education system, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis declared. In February, President Joe Biden’s U.S. Department of Education submitted to the U.S. Office of Management & Budget its finalized Title IX rule. Late last month, the administration published the rule, which expands the federal

U.S. birth and fertility rates drop to record lows, according to CDC report

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Apr 26, 2024 / 16:45 pm Provisional data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week showed that the fertility rate in the United States hit a record low and the total number of births in the country was the lowest it’s been in decades.  According to the report, slightly fewer than 3.6 million babies were born in 2023, or 54.4 births per 1,000 women aged 15 through…Continue Reading

The King of Kings

Cindy Paslawski We are at the end of the Church year. We began with Advent a year ago, commemorating the time awaiting the coming of the Christ and we are ending these weeks later with a vision of the future, a vision of Christ the King of the Universe on His throne before us all.…Continue Reading

7,000 Pro-Lifers March In London

By STEVEN ERTELT LONDON (LifeNews) — Over the weekend, some seven thousand pro-life people in the UK participated in the March for Life in London to protest abortion.They marched to Parliament Square on Saturday, September 2 under the banner of “Freedom to Live” and had to deal with a handful of radical abortion activists.During the…Continue Reading

An Appeal For Prayer For The Armenian People

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke on August 29, 2023, issued this prayer for the Armenian people, noting their unceasing love for Christ, even in the face of persecution.) + + On the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, having a few days ago celebrated the…Continue Reading

Robert Hickson, Founding Member Of Christendom College, Dies At 80

By MAIKE HICKSON FRONT ROYAL, Va. (LifeSiteNews) — Robert David Hickson, Jr., of Front Royal, Va., died at his home on September 2, 2023, at 21:29 p.m. after several months of suffering and after having received the Last Rites of the Catholic Church. He was surrounded by friends and family.Robert is survived by me —…Continue Reading

The Real Hero Of “Sound of Freedom”… Says The Film Has Strengthened The Fight Against Child Trafficking

By ANA PAULA MORALES (CNA) —Tim Ballard, a former U.S. Homeland Security agent who risked his life to fight child trafficking, discussed the impact of the movie Sound of Freedom, which is based on his work, in an August 29 interview with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. “I’ve spent more than 20 years helping…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This lesson on medical-moral issues is taken from the book Catholicism & Ethics. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. The email and postal addresses are given at the end of this column. Special Course On Catholicism And Ethics (Pages 53-59)…Continue Reading

Color Politics An Impediment To Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The USCCB is rightly concerned about racism, as they should be about any sin. In the 2018 statement Open Wide Our Hearts, they affirm the dignity of every human person: “But racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart. This evil causes great harm to its victims, and…Continue Reading

Trademarks Of The True Messiah

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this essay on September 2, and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + In Sunday’s Gospel the Lord firmly sets before us the need for the cross, not as an end in itself, but as the way to glory. Let’s consider the Gospel in three stages.First: The Pattern That…Continue Reading

A Beacon Of Light… The Holy Cross And Jesus’ Unconditional Love

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON Each year on September 14 the Church celebrates the Feast Day of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. The Feast Day of the Triumph of the Holy Cross commemorates the day St. Helen found the True Cross. It is fitting then, that today we should focus on the final moments of Jesus’ life on the…Continue Reading

Our Ways Must Become More Like God’s Ways

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:6-9Phil. 1:20c-24, 27aMatt. 20:1-16a In the first reading today, God tells us through the Prophet Isaiah that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, especially when we look at what the Lord…Continue Reading

The Devil And The Democrats

By FR. DENIS WILDE, OSA States such as Minnesota, California, Maryland, and others, in all cases with Democrat-controlled legislatures, are on a fast track to not only allow unborn babies to be murdered on demand as a woman’s “constitutional right” but also to allow infanticide.Our nation has gotten so used to the moral evil of killing in the womb that…Continue Reading

Crushed But Unbroken . . . The Martyrdom Of St. Margaret Clitherow

By RAY CAVANAUGH The late-1500s were a tough time for Catholics in England, where the Reformation was in full gear. A 1581 law prohibited Catholic religious ceremonies. And a 1584 Act of Parliament mandated that all Catholic priests leave the country or else face execution. Some chose to remain, however, so they could continue serving the faithful.Also taking huge risks…Continue Reading