Thursday, March 3, 2016

Quotidian Apologetics--3: Worship


How can we explain the Mass to our Protestant friends? 
Schedule a Sunday or weekday mass with your friend as a "Take a Protestant to Catholic Mass" day. But before you take that step you may need to do some reading in preparation for the questions your friend will surely have.  We will recommend some books that will be very informative for you and helpful in initiating your friend in the ancient Church's "sacrifice of the Mass."

Gus Lloyd, author and radio broadcaster, provides a succinct answer to the "why?" of the sacrifice of the Mass. Protestant Christians may refer to Hebrews 10:9-18 that states that the "once for all" sacrifice of Christ is never to be repeated. Absolutely!   Here is what Gus Lloyd, as well as other Catholic apologists have to say in response to objections about the "re-presentation" of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. The prophet Malachi (1:10-11) foretells of a pure sacrifice being offered everywhere, from the rising of the sun to its setting. The Council of Trent (1545-1563) declared that Malachi's foretelling anticipated the "pure offering to be sacrificed in messianic times..." The universal Sacrifice of the Mass was foreshadowed in the Old Covenant (Old Testament) and fulfilled once and for all in the New Covenant (New Testament and forward in time--messianic period).

What began as Israel's story is humanity's story. The Old Covenant led to the New Covenant.  The old was not rejected for the new, the old was fulfilled in the new. And it is the worship in New Covenant that will continue through eternity.  We, as Catholics, participate in worship of the Triune God "according to the pattern [Moses saw] on the mountain."  This may help your Protestant friend understand why Catholics take the Mass so seriously. Catholic Christians are enculturated in what will remain forever--worship of the Lamb of God. And that is probably the best answer you can give to your friend about the Sacrifice of the Mass.

For your consideration, read what the Catechism states on the Sacrifice of the Mass.  through

Some excellent books are available to us on the subject of worship. Dr. Brant Pitre has written two enlightening books that pertain to this subject. Jesus and the Jewist Roots of the Eucharist and Jesus the Bridegroom.  Dr. Scott Hahn is a prolific writer, one of Dr. Hahn's books The Lamb's Supper may help to revive your own appreciation for the Sacrifice of the Mass.

The following blog post is actually a long quote from one of St. Iranaeus' treatise on worship. (St. Iranaeus lived in late first and early second century.  He was a disciple of St. Polycarp who was a disciple of the beloved disciple, St. John.) It's part II of this brief visit with history.

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