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
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
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
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 sacrifice.
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
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
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 command.
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, 1414).
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 heresies:
1. Jesus was never a "victim" but
went to the cross in humble obedience to His Father (Phil.
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
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
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 (Ex. 20:4-5).
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.
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!