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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/31

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MASS


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MASS


doubt is dispelled by the Hebrew text, which has no fewer than three classic sacerdotal declarations refer- ring to the promised sacrifice, thus designedly doing away with the possibility of interpreting it metaphori- cally. Especially important is the substantive nnjD. Although in its origin the generic term for every sacri- fice, the bloody included (cf. Gen., iv, 4 sq.; I Kings, ii, 17), it was not only never used to indicate an unreal sacrifice (such as a prayer offering), but even became the technical term for an unbloody sacrifice (mostly food offerings), in contradistinction to the bloody sacrifice which is given the name of n3T, Sebach (see Knabenbauer, "Commentar. in Prophet, minor.", II, Paris, 1886, pp. 4.'?() sqq.).

As to the third antl last proposition, no lengthy demonstration is needed to show that the sacrifice of Malachias cannot be formally identified with the Sacrifice of the Cross. This interpretation is at once contradicted by the Minchah, i. e. unbloody (food) offering. Then, there are other cogent considerations based on fact. Though a real sacrifice, belonging to the time of the Messiah and the most powerful means conceivable for glorifying the Divine name, the Sacri- fice of the Cross, so far from being offered "in every place" and among non-Jewish peoples, was confined to Golgotha and the midst of the Jewish people. Nor can the Sacrifice of the Cross, which was accomplished by the Saviour in person without the help of a human representative priesthood, be identified with that sac- rifice for the offering of which the Messiah makes use of priests after the manner of the Levites, in every place and at all times. Furthermore, he wilfully shuts his eyes against the light, who di'nics that the proph- ecy of Malachias is fulfilled to the letter in the Sacrifice of the Mass. In it are united all the characteristics of the promised sacrifice: its unbloody sacrificial rite as genuine Minchah, its universality in regard to place and time, its extension to non- Jewish peoples, its dele- gated priesthood differing from that of the Jews, its essential unity by reason of the identity of the Chief Priest and the Victim (Christ), and its intrinsic and essential purity which no Levitical or moral uncleanli- ness can defile. Little wonder that the Council of Trent should say (Sess. XXII, cap. i): "This is that pure oblation, which cannot be defiled by unworthi- ness and impiety on the part of those who offer it, and concerning which God has predicted through Mala- chias, that there would be offered up a clean oblation in every place to His Name, which would be great among the Gentiles" (see Denzinger, n. 939).

(ii) Passing now to the proofs contained in the New Testament, we may begin by remarking that many dogmatic writers .see in the dialogue of Jesus with the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well a prophetic refer- ence to the Mass (John, iv, 21 sqe).) : "Woman, believe me, that the hour cometh, when you shall neither on this mountain [Garizim] nor in Jerusalem, adore the Father. . . . But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth." Since the point at issue between the Samari- tans and the Jews related, not to the ordinary, private offering of prayer practised everywhere, but to the solemn, public worship embodied in a real sacrifice, Jesus really seems to refer to a future real sacrifice of praise, which would not be confined in its liturgy to the city of Jerusalem but would captivate the whole world (see Bellarmine, " De Euchar.", v, 11). Not without good reason do most commentators appeal to Heb., xiii, 10: "We have an altar [QvaiauTfipiov. altare], whereof they have no power to eat [a7er^, edere] who serve the tabernacle." Since St. Paul has just con- trasted the Jewish food offering (^pJifxaa-Lv, escis) and the Christian altar food, the partaking of which was denied to the Jews, the inference is obvious: where there is an altar, there is a sacrifice. But the Euchar- ist is the food which the Christians alone are permitted to eat: therefore there is a Eucharistic sacrifice. The


objection that, in Apostolic times, the term altar was not yet used in the sense of the "Lord's table" (cf, I Cor., X, 21) is clearly a begging of the question, since Paul might well have been the first to introduce tha name, it being adopted from him by later writers (e. g. Ignatius of Antioch, died a. d. 107).

It can scarcely be denied that the entirely mystical explanation of the " spiritual food from the altar of the cross", favoured by St. Thomas Afjuinas, Estius, and Stentrup, is far-fetched (cf. Thalhofer, " Das Opfer des A. und N. Bundes ", Ratisbon, 1870, pp. 2.3.3 sqq.). It might on the other hand appear still more strange that in the passage of the Epistle to the Hebrews, where Christ and Melchisedech are compared, the two food offerings should be not only not placed in prophetical relation with each other, but not even mentioned. The reason, however, is not far to seek: such a parallel lay entirely outside the scope of the argument. All that St. Paul desired to show was that the high priest- hood of Christ was superior to the Levitical priesthood of the Old Testament (cf. Heb., vii, 4 sqq.), and this he fully demonstrated by proving that Aaron and his priesthood stood far below the unattainable height of Melchisedech. So much the more, therefore, must Christ as "priest according to the order of Melchise- dech" excel the Levitical priesthood. The peculiar dignity of Melchisedech, however, was manifested not through the fact that he made a food offering of bread and wine, a thing which the Levites also were able to do, but chiefly through the fact that he IjIcssciI the great "Father Abraham and receivetl the tithes from him". (For the proofs relating to the Sacrifice of the Mass in I Cor., x, lG-21, see Al. Schafer, "Erklarung der beiden Briefe an die Korinther", Miinster, 1903, pp. 195 S(|q.)

The main testimony of the New Testament lies in the account of the institution of the Eucharist, and most clearly in the words of consecration spoken over the chalice. For this reason we shall consider these words first, since thereby, owing to the analogy between the two formulae, clearer light will be thrown on the mean- ing of the words of consecration pronounced over the bread. For the sake of clearness and easy comparison we sulijoin the four passages in Greek and English:

(1) Matt., XX vi, 28: ToCto ydp iariv ri alfii fwv rb ttj^ [Kaivrji] Sia8J)Kr)i rb ircpl toWQv iKxvpvi>ii.(vov eh Htpeaiv afMipriSiv.

For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.

(2) Mark, xiv, 24: Tout6 iaTLvrb alfjid fj.ou t^s Kaivij^ Siad'riKTis rd virip iroWuiv iKx^vvb^ievov.

This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many.

(3) Luke, xxii, 20: ToCto tA iroT-qpiov ij Kami) ScclO^kt] €v Ty aifMari juou, t6 uir^p v^Civ (Kx^vvlitievov.

This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you.

(4) ICor.,xi, 25: Touto t4 ttot^/jioi- t] Kamr) Siad-qKij iarlv iv T<f ifiifi ai/iaTi..

This chalice is the new testament in my blood.

The Divine institution of the sacrifice of the altar is proved by showing (1) that the "shedding of blood" spoken of in the text took place there and then and not for the first time on the cross; (2) that it was a true and real sacrifice; (3) that it was considered a permanent institution in the Church. The present form of till- participle ^kx'"""*^"""' in conjunction w'ith the present ((ttI v e.stal )lishes the first point. For it is a gi-ammatical rule of New Testament (!reek, t hat , when the double present is used (that is, in both the parti- ciple and the finite verb, as is the case here), the time denoted is not thedistant ornear future, butstrictly the present (see Fr. Blass, "Grammatik des N. T. Griech- isch", p. 193, Gottingen, 1890). This rule does not apply to other constructions of the present tense, as when Christ says earlier (John, xiv, 12) : " I go {vopei- oAiai) to the father". Alleged exceptions to the rule